Stan Lee's 7 Best Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

In case you missed the devastating news yesterday, pop culture icon and co-creator of some of the greatest comic book characters of all time, Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Across the Internet and in the real world, millions of fans have been sharing their condolences and thanking Stan for changing their lives with the stories he told and the universe he helped build-a universe that has spawned one of the most popular and profitable movie franchises in history: the MCU. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn’t the first time that Lee got to see the characters that he, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby created be adapted from page to screen, but it came at a time when people weren’t as hyped on reading fantasy stories about superheroes and their alter egos. Beginning with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel Studios managed to breathe new life into the industry, and they were smart enough to bring Stan Lee along for the ride. Lee had made appearances in projects involving his characters before, but his cameos in the MCU movies are what fans cheered for, and it’s a little sad to know that, with the exception of those that he taped before his passing, that tradition is now over. To honor the man and his legacy, we wanted to take a look back at some of his best cameos from the 20 films that have been produced and released so far. 

Iron Man (2008)

You have to start with the one that started it all. In Iron Man, Lee is walking outside of a swanky event with multiple women on his arms and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) mistakes him for Hugh Hefner. It’s a very quick turnaround cameo, but fans immediately got the joke.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

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The best cameos are the ones where Stan Lee is allowed to show off his acting chops. We totally believed him as an old Milwaukee man taking a sip of a gamma blood-laced soda. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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Stan seemed like the guy who (when he was younger) you would want to get a drink with. Drunk Stan Lee reciting his classic “Excelsior!” catchphrase is the Stan we wanted to hang with! 

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

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Blink and you might miss him as the oblivious classical music fan as Spidey and The Lizard trash a library. It wouldn’t be a Spider-Man movie without a proper Stan Lee cameo.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The “Tony Stank” line may be the biggest laugh at Stan as gotten in a movie appearance to date.

Black Panther (2018)

Image credit: Marvel Studios/IMDb

In Black Panther, Stan plays a man at the casino in Korea Town that steals T’Challa’s winnings after he walks away from the table. 

Bonus: Deadpool (2016)

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OK, it’s not an MCU film, but we couldn’t resist. In Deadpool, you hear Lee’s voice in the strip club before you see him. The reveal that he is the DJ calling strippers to the stage is priceless and we’re so happy that it exists. There are so many more we could have chosen. Luckily, someone else has done the work of putting them all (pre-2018) in one glorious video that you can watch below. Thank you, Stan Lee. 

Cover photo credit: methodshop.com via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0