Stan Lee's Avengers: Endgame cameo was one for fans of classic Marvel. As with every other Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Avengers: Endgame had a small appearance from the one-and-only Stan Lee. Although his cameos are always a joy for fans young and old alike, there was a special air about his Avengers: Endgame role because as he tragically passed away last year, there's a high chance it's his last for Marvel Studios, at least as far as Endgame co-director Joe Russo knows.
There's no word on if something was filmed for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Marvel filmed Stan's scenes in batches, usually doing three or four at a time for productions that are all filming around the same time, and cameras started rolling on Spider-Man: Far From Home after his shots for Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame were done.
In any case, his moment in Avengers: Endgame is one that honors his incredible legacy within Marvel. Stan is one of a small group of comics creators that have been around the industry for what feels like forever, seeing comics through some of its greatest highs and lowest lows. Lee's first credit is dated May 1941, so he was right at the forefront during the Golden, Silver and Bronze ages of comics and beyond during his illustrious career.
So with Avengers: Endgame being a time travel film, this opened the possibility of doing something a little special and paying homage to Stan the Man as many older fans now might've known him as. The bulk of the movie deals with the recent past, the battle of New York in 2012 being the furthest back the Avengers travel initially. Then, after they lose the Tesseract, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers decide to jump back to 1970 to the S.H.I.E.L.D base in New Jersey to retrieve it and more Pym Particles, which is where Stan makes his cameo.
Like Lee's cameo as himself in Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame takes a slightly different approach to his other appearances. A younger, more middle-aged Stan is seen speeding down the road in a silver Chevelle with black racing stripes, sporting a 'Nuff Said' bumper sticker. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but an effective one for those that know the context.
1970 was a big year for comics. The Silver Age, from 1956 to then, had been hugely successful, Justice League of America and Fantastic Four both making their debuts in this time. Stan had started to settle into his position as the face of Marvel comics - and comics in general – and one of the contributing factors for this was his Stan Lee's Soapbox column that he'd run in the back every issue.
Stan Lee's Soapbox was where Stan would comment on the industry and the wider world in a more personal fashion, usually extolling progressive values to his readers. At the end of each one, he'd sign off with 'Nuff Said', just like the bumper sticker on his car in Avengers: Endgame.
In the decades since, Stan's persona and role had shifted and morphed. From the '90s on, he was more an advocate for the medium, presenting and appearing on lots of TV specials and documentaries and conventions, introducing and discussing his work and the work of others on the forefront. In that time, the word “Excelsior” became a more well-known catch-phrase as new generations got used to this older, more sagely Stan Lee rather than the one who was part of the furniture of Marvel editorial.
Avengers: Endgame reminds us that Stan led a remarkable career, longer than most of us can fathom or imagine. He spoke to countless fans across a number of generations around the world and helped keep the form alive at times when it seemed like he was the last one left that really cared. We were lucky to have him – 'nuff said.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019