Few people have a better understanding of Stan Lee’s immense contributions to comic book history than the man who took over his role as Marvel Comics EIC, Roy Thomas. So when the news broke earlier this week of the writer’s passing, it figures that Lee’s old friend and colleague had some reverent words to say about the legend, while also recalling his continued enthusiasm for his patented Marvel movie cameos.
Speaking to Bleeding Cool, Thomas reminisced about Lee’s final days, saying that he was still keen to return to the big screen so long as it didn’t create too many problems:
“At that time, it was obvious that he lacked much of the old Stan Lee energy that everybody had got to know at conventions and in movie cameos, but when I asked him about future cameos, he expressed a real interest in making them, if he could find a way to do it without their [Sic] being too much trouble.”
That “old Stan Lee energy” Thomas refers to has been a recurring topic in the many tributes from fans and acquaintances, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige recently recalling how Lee would always bring some enthusiasm to the set when he showed up for his cameos.
“It would be a holiday on set, when he came to do this cameos. That’s how much he inspired people. Whether it was the beginning of the shoot, the middle, the end, the energy would skyrocket when he came on the set. Those are my strongest memories,” recalled Feige. “And as much as we and the audience love the cameos, Stan loved and was so proud of every one.”
Evidently, this spark in the man was observable to many a screen superhero too. Hugh Jackman, for instance, recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the X-Men star called Lee “a true gentleman that had this glint in his eye.” Meanwhile, Chris Evans – known for his turns as Captain America in the MCU and the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films – recalled via Twitter how he “exuded love and kindness.”
Though Stan Lee is no longer with us, you can be sure that we haven’t seen the last of his traditional cameos, with directors Anthony and Joe Russo explaining earlier this year how his scenes were shot in bulk. And while Feige is keeping quiet about the specifics of these appearances, you can imagine that every one of them will prove a bittersweet experience for countless fans.