It’s fun watching Marvel films. Most of them are generally entertaining for the most part (Iron Man) and a couple of them are pretty dull (Iron Man 2) but they all have something in common. One, they all have an after credits scene or two, which is why I think it’s crazy that people still leave during the credits of Marvel movies even though it’s common knowledge there will be after credits scenes!
*Ahem* Excuse the rant. I just had to get that off my chest. Moving on…
The second thing great about films based on Marvel comics it that it usually has a cameo of Stan “The Man” Lee. And with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy looming close by, I decided to list my favorite cameo appearances of the man himself. For this list, I’m only going list the ones where he appears in movies that use the characters from Marvel comics. So, even though I really, really want to put his cameo in Mallrats, I can’t.
Anyway, let’s go start this list with…
5) A security guard in Hulk
In the 2003 film, Stan Lee is employed as a security guard complaining to his colleague that they need to beef up the security of the facility. While seeing Stan in a movie based on a character he actually created, the film’s producers decided to double down on the fan service. The other security guard he’s talking just so happens to be Lou Ferrigno, the Hulk from the television series! Having the two of these icons in the same scene was a stroke of genius!
4) Willie Lumpkin in Fantastic Four
Now, this is a very unique character as this is the first time Stan lee actually portrayed a character from the comics! Here, he plays Willie Lumpkin, the Fantastic Four’s mailman. Come to think of it, Stan Lee does look a lot like Willie Lumpkin in his debut way back in 1963.
Fun Fact: Willie Lumpkin was actually a character developed for a totally unrelated comic strip by Dan DeCarlo (more known for Archie comics) and Stan Lee. How this mailman got into the Marvel Universe, I don’t know.
3) A person not invited to Reed and Sue’s wedding in the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
As much as I abhor Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Stan Lee’s cameo for this film is pretty good. Even though Reed Richard and Sue Storm are the products of his creative genius, I guess that wasn’t enough to get him invited to their wedding.
Maybe if he said he was Willie Lumpkin, he could’ve gotten in! Then again, maybe it was a good thing he didn’t. I don’t think he would’ve survived the carnage The Silver Surfer caused during the wedding!
2) A New Yorker who tells Peter Parker he’s made a difference in Spider-Man 3
Stan Lee may only have a couple of seconds of screentime in this cameo, but this has all the earmarks of a great one. Not only does Stan Lee actually interacts with Peter Parker a bit, he gets to impart some wisdom to Peter (and to the viewer as well) and he actually gets to say “‘Nuff said,” one of his catchphrases!
It also was the first time his cameo wasn’t anything silly or a “blink and you’ll miss it” kind of thing. It was a very thoughtful scene and really was fun to see him having a conversation with one of his characters in a caring way.
5) A clueless librarian in The Amazing Spider-Man
The reason why this is my favorite cameo is because it’s the perfect mixture of comedy and action. Oblivious to all of the mayhem happening behind him, the hapless Stan Lee goes about his business during librarian duties. He even gets saved by Spider-Man when the wallcrawler webs a flying table from striking him. I remember watching this in the cinema and the entire theater roared with laughter!
Well, those were my favorite cameos. Oddly enough, his cameos in the “official” Marvel films aren’t that memorable. Here’s hoping his upcoming cameo in will finally break that streak. Hint: I have it on good authority that he’s going to be another “man in the crowd” early in the film. So, keep your eyes peeled!
As a bonus, here’s his brilliant cameo in Mallrats. It shows how he can laugh at a good dick joke now and again.
What’s your favorite Stan Lee cameo? Write it up in the comments section below!