What is a Marvel movie without a Stan Lee cameo? That’s a very tough question that we’re going to have to ask ourselves relatively soon. With Stan Lee’s passing, there are only a few cameos left within the MCU, most have been filmed in advance, and the upcoming Endgame has already confirmed his appearance. What isn’t known is if this will be our final time seeing Stan Lee within the MCU. I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready to face that just yet. Endgame already feels like enough of an ending, adding Stan Lee’s final MCU cameo appearance to the mix might be enough to push me over the edge. Emotionally speaking that is.
Hopefully, by now you’ve seen Captain Marvel and if you haven’t you need to change that stat, but you might also want to stop reading because I’m going to spoil the Stan Lee cameo. During her hunt of a Skrull operative, Carol Danvers boards a train looking for everyone’s favorite shape-shifting alien. During her travels, she passes a man holding a script and reciting lines. That man is Stan Lee, obviously, and that script belongs to Mallrats a Kevin Smith film that was released in 1995. On the surface level, this is a delightful little easter egg that tickles ‘90s nostalgia while also reminding us of the charm of Stan Lee. But when you stop and take a deeper look this cameo might change every other Stan Lee cameo within the MCU.
All the Stan Lee cameos and there have been twenty-one of them now, are connected. This has been confirmed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when Lee was breaking down all the things he’s done within the MCU to the Watchers. I’m not sure if there’s a story being told, this isn’t as deep as The Simpsons hidden McBain movie, but every time we see Stan Lee we are to believe that this is the same character. It’s a pretty neat layer of canon that just adds to the fun to see Stan Lee on screen. “Oh, what kind of adventures is he getting into now?” Throughout his many travels, Lee has been confused for Hugh Hefner, flirted with aliens, delivered FedEx packages, even giving Thor a haircut on an alien planet. That’s a pretty busy guy.
With the Captain Marvel cameo things sort of went from this fun job hoping, planet visiting zany character to a meta-commentary. Geeklings, the character that Stan Lee is playing in each cameo is… Stan Lee!
Stan Lee was in Mallrats which means the character that Carol Danvers walks past is the actual Stan Lee, and if we’re to go with the thread confirmed in Guardians Vol. 2 then Stan Lee himself has been a part of the MCU since Iron Man. Let that sink in for a second. One of the founding fathers of the Marvel Universe is present as himself within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Does this make him God? Are the cameos we’ve seen over the last ten years, Stan Lee checking in on his creations and making sure that they’re okay? Maybe even guiding them towards something? Could Stan Lee be what undoes Thanos’s snap?
Or maybe, is this Marvel telling us that Stan Lee is as big a hero as Captain America, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel? I like to believe that that’s the one…
Or maybe this is a separate Stan Lee cameo from the canon, and put there to play off the ‘90s goodness of Captain Marvel? Who would’ve thought a Stan Lee cameo could have raised this many questions?
What do you think Geeklings? What does Captain Marvel’s meta Stan Lee reveal mean to you? Sound off in the comments or be sure to throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. I for one love the fact that Stan Lee exists within the MCU as himself. After all, he’s the center of it… excelsior!