Oh Marvel, when will you slow down? Taking a look through films released under the Marvel name now looks like a science lesson in creating the perfect formula for box-office success. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case had it not been for the brains behind these beloved stories, Stan Lee.
Here, Adam Brannon looks through his top five Stan Lee cameos from across the Marvel spectrum. But which five made the cut? Naturally, a spoiler warning is in force.
#5) X-Men: the Last Stand
Say what you wish about the film itself, but Brett Ratner’s Stan cameo is one of Marvel’s very best offerings with the famous face posing as a concerned resident after a young Jean Grey displays a mere fraction of her huge power. Considering his absence in X2, fans were left hoping for a return in its successor and that they got.
#4) Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron lessens its impact quite considerably after repeated viewings, not helped by the brilliance of Ant-Man, Deadpool and to a greater extent, Captain America: Civil War, all of which were far superior films released within a year of the Joss Whedon-directed epic. The Stan Lee cameo, whilst being overly cheesy is great fun as Thor’s “homebrew” goes head-to-head with Lee himself.
Ah Deadpool. Where would the comic-book movie be without this year’s surprise hit? It’s safe to say the Merc with the Mouth’s solo outing has been one of the biggest highlights of 2016’s film calendar, so far. Stan Lee’s cameo is a hilariously controversial as the movie itself – we see him DJing at a strip club for crying out loud.
#2) Captain America: Civil War
Few superhero films are as big and as exceptional as Captain America: Civil War, or should that be Mini Avengers, Assemble? Either way, the third outing for The First Avenger has got to be up there with Avengers Assemble, Deadpool and the original Iron Man as game-changers for the genre. Lee’s cameo here is priceless and had the audience erupting into fits of laughter in the cinema I was in. Check it out for yourself; it’s impossible not to laugh.
#1) The Amazing Spider-Man
Controversial. I happened to like Amazing Spider-Man, partly because it featured the ever-likeable Andrew Garfield in a role he was born to play, and partly because the lovely Emma Stone was a perfect casting choice by director Marc Webb. The pair shared genuine chemistry, helped by the fact they were in a relationship at the time of filming. The cameo: Stan Lee plays a librarian, completely oblivious to the utter mayhem going on behind him. It’s a brilliantly choreographed scene and well deserving of the number one spot here.