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Cameo again: The marvelous world of Stan Lee

With such an abundance of political, religious, and societal differences, there are few universal statements we can all agree on. However, it’s safe to assume everyone hopes to be as cool as Stan Lee when they’re his age. At 91, Lee prances about nimbly, staying well-involved in projects based on his plethora of creations. The multi-talented genius spawned much of the Marvel universe, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the X-Men.

Stan Lee as Hugh Hefner in "Iron Man"
Stan Lee as Hugh Hefner in "Iron Man"
Stan Lee, a marvelous fellow
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

While we have Stan to thank for a profusion of our favorite super heroes, he’s also kept us entertained on-screen. His cameos throughout the Marvel movies are wonderful Easter Eggs. The highlights: An appearance as Hugh Heffner in “Iron Man,” a Larry King lampoon in “Iron Man 2,” and a crusty old man playing chess in “The Avengers.” His brief appearances are small touches, but they further convey that Lee maintains an engaged presence in the Marvel franchise.

Stan Lee continues to entertain both through continuously refreshed iterations of his beloved characters, and through always appreciated cameos. His roles span the spectrum of Marvel mediums, from live action movies, to animated pieces, and even video games. The breadth of Lee’s parts is rivaled only by his prolific works. Additionally, he’s served as executive producer for a smattering of Marvel flicks. When analyzing his works, Stan appears progressively more akin to his super hero creations. They almost feel autobiographical.

As the “It’s all connected” series relates only to Marvel Studios productions, we’ll limit our exploration of Lee’s pop-ups to those projects. That excludes several franchises such as both Spider-Man series, the X-Men movies, Hulk, and Fantastic Four. His scenes are each unique, and as anticipated as the now mandatory post-credits sequences. Click on for a retrospective of Stan Lee’s wacky bit parts. Have a favorite Stan Lee creation or cameo? Tell us in the comments section below!