Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to give praise to the awesome that is Stan Lee. As creator or co-creator of many of Marvel Comics greatest superheroes, he’s really come into his own in the last couple decades with the tremendous success of Marvel Studios and the film adaptations of his creations.


One of the perks has been that he’s managed to appear in a cameo in nearly all the Marvel films that had his characters in them. It’s almost like “Where’s Waldo” now every time a new Marvel film comes out. We keep waiting to see them slip Stan in somewhere. And they’re usually quite clever uses of the living legend. And so, I’d like to list my top 12 favorite Stan Lee Film Cameos. Why 12? Because I like to go one step beyond one step beyond.


Warning: Spoilers and plenty of Stan Lee goodness ahead…


#12 Man at refrigerator(The Incredible Hulk)


In a quick cut, we see Stan Lee as a regular guy taking an energy drink bottle from the South American city bottling plant Bruce Banner(Ed Norton) is working at. He’d had an accident and drops of his blood got into the bottle that Stan takes a sip from. “Oh My!” he utters and drops the bottle to shatter on the floor while he makes off screen grunts(We assume he’s “Hulking out” as a result of the drink…and why not? Stan Lee “Hulking out” would be awesome!).


#11 Hugh Hefner(Iron Man)


Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.) Sees Stan in a red sleeping jacket with a black pipe and several Playboy Playmates hanging around him. “Hi, Hef!” he greets him and walks past. Whether Stan was portraying Hugh Hefner, or just mistaken for him is irrelevant. This gave Stan Lee the chance to be surrounded by several Playboy Playmates, and after his amazing contributions to nerd and pop culture…HE’S EARNED IT LOL!


#10 Unnamed General(Captain America: The First Avenger)


When a United States Senator wants to get a big celebrity photo op. bestowing a medal of honor to Captain America at a big ceremony and the Captain doesn’t show, an aide comes out, instead, to confer with the Senator.  Stan Lee, as a General in the front row, mistaking the Senator’s aide as Captain America, comments to a man next to him, “I thought he’d be taller.” Any other actor would fumble this line, but Stan makes it believable.


#9 Unnamed security guard(Captain America: The Winter Soldier)


Not to be outdone by his cameo in the previous film, Stan plays a security guard at the Smithsonian where an exhibit on Captain America is going on. Having broken away from S.H.I.E.L.D. that has been infiltrated by H.Y.D.R.A., Steve Rogers had to ditch his current uniform. What does he do? He sneaks into the Smithsonian and grabs his original 1942 uniform off the mannequin that was wearing it for the show. Stan wanders into the room and stops, aghast, seeing the naked mannequin. “OH, MAN!…I am SOooo FIRED!” He cries. LMAO!


#8 Insane Asylum Inmate(Thor: The Dark World)


Dr. Eric Selvig(Stellan Skarsgard), having freaked out and streaked naked at Stonehenge attempting to plant scientific devices to save our world from an interstellar threat ends up in an insane asylum. In a great scene, he’s using a blackboard, chalk and a volunteer’s shoe to explain to his audience the great galactic convergence that’s going to occur soon and how his instruments will allow our world to escape it. At the end of his lecture, he asks if there’s any questions. At which point, Stan speaks up. “Yeah…can I have my shoe back?” Stan is really good at these little lines that make a big impression.


#7 As self(Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer)


Even the Marvel films not associated with Marvel Studios got some great Stan Lee Cameos. In this sequel to the first Fantastic 4 film, Reed Richards(Ioan Gruffudd) and Susan Storm(Jessica Alba) are getting married…many times, but at the big gala on the top of the Baxter Building, there’s a scene of guests in a line being screened by a security guard. Stan walks up. “Name?” the guard asks. “Stan Lee,” he answers. The guard scoffs. “Yeah, right…” Stan insists. “No, really, I’m Stan Lee…my name Should be on the list.” Unfortunately the guard isn’t buying it…but yeah, his name SHOULD be on the list, you know?


#6 Bystander in news interview(Marvel’s The Avengers)


You knew he’d be in the film SOMEWHERE, right? Well, we got our reward right after the battle of New York, where a news montage of witnesses and reporters talk about the Avengers. Right at the end, Stan is a man in Central Park telling the camera, “Superheroes…in New York City?..GIMME A BREAK!” Which is really ironic as most of the superheroes he invented operated in NEW YORK LOL!


#5 Old pervert Xandarian(Guardians of the Galaxy)


Stan also has the ability to make a great character impression without any speaking lines. In this scene, unseen Rocket Raccoon(Bradley Cooper) is using a device to scan for bounties to hunt down for profitable units. Everyone he lands on he’s got a scathing sarcastic insult for….when he lands on Xandarian Stan Lee, Stan is sweet talking with a hot Xandarian girl. “Where’s your wife, old man?” Rocket comments. “What a class ‘A’ Prevert!…” Your mind really does consider whether Stan is legit or perverted from this 5 second scene.


#4 School Librarian(The Amazing Spider Man)


And speaking again of unspoken lines…in this one, Stan plays the High School Librarian who walks through the Library with a set of headphones on that’s playing a pleasant piece of classical music. Behind his back, he’s blissfully unaware that Spiderman(Andrew Garfield) and the Lizard(Rhys Ifans) are having a major fight and destroying the Library in the process! He’s just smiling and shuffling through the room untouched by the melee. It’s like watching Buster Keaton do a slapstick scene in one of the early silent comedies.


#3 Bystander(Spider Man 3)


And after all the cameos before this film, Stan has a quiet moment with Peter Parker(Toby Maguire). Peter is watching the Sony Jumbotron in Times Square showing action shots of Spider man. Stan joins him and nods. “I guess one man really CAN make a difference,” Stan observes, then he concludes, “‘Nuff Said.” And in that one moment, takes a bow for all the nerdy goodness he created that spawned a great superhero wave that Marvel has been riding ever since.


#2 Stan, the Man with a pickup truck(Thor)


It’s a great scene. A bystander(played by J Michael Strazynski…who wrote many Thor comic stories) finds Mjolnir half-buried in the stone and attempts to lift it. Of course, only one who is worthy of the power of Thor will be able to lift it, but that doesn’t stop a mob of thrill seekers from trying to do it. It’s a major event in the lives of the small town in New Mexico. Complete with a barbeque and beer. One guy locks a big chain around Thor’s hammer and attaches it to the hitch of a big pickup truck and the driver guns the engine. The chain pulls taught…the tires spin and SNAP! The pickup breaks in two pieces! Stan leans out the window and asks, eagerly “Did it work?” LMAO!


And my #1 favorite Stan Lee Film Cameo is…


#1 Fred’s Dad(Big Hero 6)


Even though he’s animated CGI, this is a great moment…right at the end of the ending credits. Fred(T.J. Miller) is one of the superheroes who has a “recycling” spirit for wearing underpants. In this scene, he’s talking to the portrait of his Father(who looks just like Stan Lee…) wishing he could share his accomplishment with him and about how he’s always felt a distance between them, since his dad’s always away.


He touches the painting, and a secret door is revealed. He enters and finds a Superhero lair inside. He picks up a pair of the Superhero’s colorful briefs and is interrupted by the arrival of his dad…and it’s Stan Lee! He walks over to his son. He picks up the Superhero shorts and, smiling, says the same quote his son used earlier in the film. “I wear ‘em FRONT!…I wear ‘em Back! I turn ‘em inside out..” and Fred joins him completing the quote, “I wear ‘em front to back again!” Fred is overjoyed. “DAD!” He exclaims and they hug. Stan says, “We’ve got a lot to talk about, son.” And the thought that Stan Lee could’ve been a secret Superhero is compelling and an awesome thought, in of itself.


And that’s my top 12 favorite Stan Lee Film Cameos. Did I miss any of yours? I’d love to hear what Stan Lee moments you enjoyed, my friends. Peace.

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