Touching Stan Lee Easter egg discovered in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

stan lee

A touching Stan Lee Easter egg has been discovered in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The beloved Marvel creator was an MCU fixture from its inception with 2008’s Iron Man to the end of the Infinity Saga in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Following Lee’s passing in 2018, the tradition of having him cameo in every single movie was retired, but subsequent entries in the franchise have found different and much subtler ways of honoring him.

We now know how No Way Home managed it. As pointed out by CinemaBlend, the blockbuster threequel sneaks in a sly reference to Lee’s birthday. During the big bridge battle scene between Tom Holland’s Spidey and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, the license plate belonging to the taxi cab parked behind the MIT recruiter that Peter goes to see reads “1228.” This has to be a nod to Lee, who was born on Dec. 28, 1922.

License plates in Marvel films are usually worth paying attention to, as they often contain hidden references to certain key comic book issues, usually ones that served as an inspiration to the movie in question. In this case, director Jon Watts and the props department decided to slip in a touching tip of the hat to Lee, who previously appeared in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Seeing as No Way Home is such a celebration of the iconic character he co-created with artist Steve Ditko, and with some help from Jack Kirby, it’s easy to imagine that he would have loved the movie had he lived to see it. Lee did cameo in another multiversal Spidey flick, Sony’s acclaimed animation Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, though it was released in Dec. 2018, a month after his death.

Keep a close eye out for this Easter egg the next time you watch Spider-Man: No Way Home.