Besides the characters he created, Stan Lee is known for his cameos. Each one shows how dedicated he was to his work, as well as his fans. His numerous appearances in The Simpsons are proof why he’s called “The King of Cameos”. Stan’s powers are so strong, that he was able to jump to the DC Universe, and have subtle, but memorable cameo in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. It’s snarky, breaks the fourth wall, and leaves a lasting impression in film history. He also makes an appearance as Fred’s dad in Big Hero 6. The movie made by Marvel’s sister company, Disney, has a post-credit scene which reveals his character in the Marvel-esque flair fans would definitely recognize. Another Disney cameo to add to his roster is an internet user who talks to Iron Man in Ralph Breaks the Internet. That, along with cameo in Captain Marvel are bittersweet because those were some of his last cameos before he passed away.
Just recently announced at San Diego Comic Con was the fourth installment of the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder. Both Kevin Feige and Tessa Thompson have confirmed that Valkyrie with be Marvel’s very first LGBTQ+ superhero, after already being confirmed as a part of the community in Thor Ragnarok. Black Panther gave us a lot of firsts for the MCU: first black superhero to get a solo movie, fifth highest grossing marvel movie, and more importantly won two Oscars for Costume Design and Production Design; the first ever for Marvel Studios. Captain Marvel is Marvel Studios’ very first female-led film, which is iconic in and of itself but other records include: “Biggest Worldwide Opening for a Female-Led Movie” and “First Female Superhero Movie to Gross $1 Billion Worldwide”. Carol Danvers may be the first superhero to have her own movie in the MCU, but if it weren’t for Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (May 1st 2020), she wouldn’t be in that postion. In many ways, Black Widow is the First Lady of the Avengers, paving the way for the women of the MCU to make the A-Force. Before Chris Evans was Captain America, he was Human Torch. And before he was brought to life on screen, the Human Torch was actually one of Marvel’s very first comic book characters (1939). If it weren’t for Stan Lee’s creativity and vision, none of these characters would exist.
Whether it be a show about a Native American homicide detective, or his youthful dreaming, or being the co creator of several of Marvel’s favorite characters, Stan Lee has shaped the modern lexicon of superhero pop culture as we know it. He introduced the idea of not only crediting the writer of comic books, but the penciller, inker and letterer as well. His appearances at cons and conventions are an out of body experience for some because they have come face to face with their hero that has shaped how they grew up as a kid, and still live as an adult. His influence is so strong that in years to come, Marvel has created Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, as well as future themed attractions coming to the Disney parks. No matter how old each fan is, they can pinpoint an exact comic, book, attraction, character, or cameo of Stan’s that has made their life just a little bit brighter.
A hero is defined as “A person who is admired for their achievements and noble qualities.” Stan Lee fits that definition, 100%. Eight or 80, he has touched the lives of millions through various forms of media. And even though he’s gone, he has no means of stopping. Stan Lee is a one in a million, legendary figure who has forever mounted his place in the history of film.