News about a Spider-Man cameo made the Internet rounds recently. The reported details are inconsistent so I don’t really know what to expect. Some sources have confirmed that Tom Holland’s (the actor cast as Spider-Man for the new reboot) scenes have already been filmed, while a few others have asserted that Spider-Man will do more than just a cameo appearance. Well, whatever the case, I’m very excited about it!
Cameo appearances have been a signature of Marvel movies, with Stan Lee making appearances in almost every movie based off of a Marvel character. Marvel Studios have gone beyond the use of cameo appearances as entertaining Easter Eggs though, employing non-Stan Lee cameo appearances to reinforce the connections of their shared universe as well as giving us fans a preview of what’s to come.
This is the reason why I always light up whenever someone significant does a cameo in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film. I’m going to talk about my favorite cameo appearances below, sharing my thoughts on why these scenes are significant for me. Note that a certain cameo appearance in Ant-Man is in this list, so anyone who hasn’t seen that film yet should stop reading if they don’t want any spoilers. Honorable Mention: Senator Stern (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Senator Stern is far from being a major character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, he isn’t even a character in the Marvel comic book universe – he’s just a minor character created specifically for the Iron Man 2 movie.
Despite this, I loved his cameo appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, particularly because it was a eureka! moment for me. In Iron Man 2, Senator Stern was the one leading the charge in getting Tony Stark to surrender his technology to the U.S. Government. Remember – he was the one grilling Stark in the Senate hearing.
Well, when Stern was revealed as a Hydra agent in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, didn’t it all start to make sense? That’s why Senator Stern wanted Stark to give up his secrets – this would allow Hydra access to all the advanced tech that Stark had developed. What’s not to like about a cameo appearance that sheds more light on events that happened a long time ago?
Additionally, this cameo started a chain of “Hail Hydra” internet memes that I think should have lasted longer than it did. I cracked at seeing all those “Hail Hydra” memes. Here are some of the few that I really liked: Yeah, this was a great meme. What happened, Internet? Why’d you get over this so soon? Bring this back!
Despite all this, I can’t really place this cameo in my top five. It’s partially because Senator Stern isn’t a major character, but it’s mainly due to more awesome cameo appearances in the other Marvel films. 5. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have had major roles in Avengers comic book history so I was quite excited when Joss Whedon announced that he’ll be including both characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron. When the twins finally showed up in one of the post-credits scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I was even more hyped up for the coming Avengers sequel.
I think this bears mentioning – one of the concerns of Marvel fans regarding these characters is how Marvel planned to justify the inclusion of mutants when Fox had the license for any X-Men related concepts. I understand the sentiment – how can you explain the appearance of more superpowered characters in this shared universe without a long origin story if you can’t play the mutant card? In my opinion, this post-credits cameo effectively justified how both of these characters could exist in the world of the Avengers – some evil guy was able to get a hold of Loki’s Scepter, and he used it to experiment on the twins. Voila, no need for the mutant gene for these two! 4. Falcon (Ant-Man)
Falcon’s appearance in Ant-Man was so unpredictable, I was quite surprised and amused when I saw it. It was a really entertaining fight scene, showing how effective Ant-Man’s shrinking powers can be in hand to hand combat while also giving Falcon more screen time as an Avenger (we really didn’t see much of him in Avengers: Age of Ultron). But what I really liked about Falcon’s cameo appearance was how Marvel used him in order to make Ant-Man look good.
Let me ask you this: How can you quickly establish the credibility – scratch that – the badassery of a new hero? Marvel took a page out of wrestling entertainment’s playbook by “jobbing” Falcon to “put over” Ant-Man. Jobbing, in wrestling, means to lose cleanly. Sometimes, this is done to a wrestler as a punishment in order to make them look weaker to the audience and therefore, make them less popular. Jobbing has also been used in order to make another wrestler look good to the audience (to “put him over”). And that’s exactly what happened when Ant-Man made quick work of Falcon.
If you doubted the idea of Ant-Man as a superhero, then I’m sure this scene erased all doubts in your mind and made you look at Ant-Man as a legitimate superhero. Falcon is also the perfect choice to take this role – he’s a rookie Avenger, so it’s okay to show him lose. Imagine how audiences would react if Ant-Man was shown defeating someone more established like Iron Man or even Hawkeye – it’d make Ant-Man’s credibility as a hero feel forced and harder to accept. Marvel definitely hit the right buttons with this scene. 3. Captain America (Thor: The Dark World)
Unlike the others on this list, Captain America’s “cameo appearance” is on here because this scene cracked me up so much. And it worked so well too! How Captain America acted was a good fit to Loki’s mischievous character, and it also reminded me of Chris Evans’ chops as a comedic actor. I liked this scene so much, I used an animated GIF instead of a still image.
Or better yet, here’s the entire scene:
And I admit, that’s not really Captain America in this scene – it’s Loki trying to get under Thor’s skin. But hey, it’s Chris Evans, he’s wearing the Captain America costume, I say it qualifies for this list. A really fun scene, and a good reminder that Thor is part of Marvel’s shared universe and that the Avengers happened. Whoever thought of this scene deserves a pat on the back. 2. Thanos (The Avengers)
I can’t think of a better post-credits scene for The Avengers than Thanos’ cameo appearance. I mean, how can you top the magic of Marvel’s most famous non-mutant superheroes not named Spider-Man? By introducing one of the biggest, baddest, most popular supervillains the comic book company has ever created, of course!
People not familiar with the comic books that these Marvel films are based on may have missed the significance of this grinning purple guy’s appearance but for those in the know, this one scene revealed what Marvel’s plans were for this shared universe. Yes, the Infinity Gauntlet exists in this universe, and that spells major trouble for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not to mention a lot more movies to come). 1. Nick Fury (Iron Man)
I don’t think any cameo appearance can top Nick Fury’s appearance in Iron Man’s post-credits scene, not even Thanos’ or Spider-Man’s. My jaw literally dropped when this scene played out, especially because this started the possibility of a movie based on the Avengers. A lot has been said about how nobody has done what Marvel Studios has with its shared universe, and both box office and critical success proves that this was a really good idea.
This scene further gets points for casting Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. For those not in the know, the original Nick Fury is actually a caucasian American male that looks nothing like Jackson. It wasn’t until the early 2000s when Marvel started using Jackson’s likeness as Nick Fury, when the character appeared in Marvel’s The Ultimates comic book series. There was even a scene in The Ultimates where several characters were discussing which actors they’d like to be cast as themselves if a film were to be made of the Ultimates, and of course Nick Fury was quick to name Jackson. Don’t believe me? Here’s the exact panel as evidence: I don’t know if Bryan Hitch and Mark Millar, the creative minds behind The Ultimates, knew how good of an idea they had when they thought to have their version of Nick Fury look like Jackson, but it turned out to be casting gold. Samuel L. Jackson has knocked it out of the park each time he appears as Nick Fury, and I can’t even picture anyone else in the role now.
And there you have it – my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos. Do you agree with my list? What are your favorite cameo appearances? Drop us a line below and share your thoughts!