Note: This article contains light spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Godfather of Marvel Comics Stan Lee has had quite the colorful side hustle as the cameo king of Hollywood. From his blink-and-you'll-miss-'em scene stealers in all the #Marvel blockbusters, to the occasional pop-up in Kevin Smith fare, Lee's been called the "Daniel Day-Lewis of cameo acting" by — well, by nobody as of yet, but you get my point. Yep, for someone who's six years shy of a century, he's possessed of an incredible vivacity and comedic timing that is always a delight to see on the big screen.
In addition to being a regular Marvel Easter Egg, it's long been theorized by fervent fans that #StanLee has portrayed the same character in each film — and it's not himself. It's the Watcher!
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Who Are These Watchers Of Which You Speak?
The Watchers are among the oldest species known in the Marvel universe, whose primary concern is observing and amassing information on everything within the universe but without giving any interference. So if the Watchmen were Marvel characters, they would be watched by the Watchers. Bad joke?
This would make sense for Lee cameos because he is pervasive within the #MCU, appearing everywhere including in space alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy in both the first movie and in Vol. 2.
And Here's Where We Hit Spoiler Territory
At the press junket for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, producer Kevin Feige talked about the story behind Lee's prolific cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, seeming to confirm this fan theory:
"Stan Lee clearly exists above and apart from the reality of all the films, so the notion that he could be sitting there on a cosmic pit stop during the Jump Gate sequence in 'Guardians' was something very fun.
"[Director] James [Gunn] had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much, you see it a couple of times in the movie. It wasn’t in for a long time and we put it back in towards the end of the process, where he references that time he was a Federal Express agent and we thought it would be fun to keep that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films as the same person."
Makes sense to us! What other Marvel character could the godlike Generalissimo be playing if not the Watcher?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits cinemas on May 5. Do you think Stan Lee has been playing the Watcher this whole time? Check out our awesome cameo compilation and sound off in the comments below.