Few creators are as synonymous with their work as Stan Lee. Starting with the 1980s Incredible Hulk cartoon series which he narrated, Lee has repeatedly shown up in adaptations of characters he helped bring to life. In recent years, he’s even turned up in movies based on characters he had nothing to do with – like Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy. Such is Lee’s impact and popularity that anything that Marvel produces is inextricably tied to him.
That’s probably why it just doesn’t feel like a proper Marvel movie unless Stan Lee turns up for a swift cameo. Over the last two decades (though his first live-action cameo actually came in 1989’s Trial of the Incredible Hulk), Lee has exceeded even Alfred Hitchcock in turning the creator cameo into an artform. He’s been inserted for comic relief, for dramatic emphasis, for a fourth-wall breaking joke or as a final post-credits tease for the fans. Lee is currently 93, but he doesn’t look to be slowing down his glittering movie career any time soon.
And so, from Stan Lee’s just shy of 50 cameo appearances in Marvel productions, across TV and film, we’ve whittled it down to the 15 of the best. Excelsior!