Ok, I've got a theory that Stan "The Man" Lee is playing the same character throughout the films. I'm only counting the ones produced by MARVEL though, not Fox or Sony. It's all for fun mind you, so don't start freakin' out or nothin'. Y'all ready for this?! Good, let's go:
Alrighty, let's start at the beginning shall we? Back during World War II, in Captain America: The First Avenger, our man Stan is obviously a high ranking military officer if he gets to be there to see Captain America. However, when he retires, he doesn't have it so good...:
He's forced to take a job as a security guard for none other than Bruce Banner's lab, in the movie Hulk. Then he gets lucky, maybe he won the lottery or something. He becomes stupid rich and gets a bunch of girls and stuff:
Here (in Iron Man)....
And here! He's rich enough to be at a party with Tony Stark and to go on a vacation in the Italian countryside on a train, on the episode of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) titled T.R.A.C.K.S.
So, everything is great, right? Not for long... here Stan is having the best life he could imagine until -DUN DUN DUN - he drinks Hulk blood!
In the Incredible Hulk, Stan drinks the soda he thinks to be a normal treat, but in reality, it's not. It has the Hulk's blood mixed into it. Which I theorize had some strange side-effects, like causing him to go insane!
He goes nuts! He's insane to the point where he believes he is, in fact, the one and only Larry King!
In Iron Man 2, after being found out to not be Larry King himself, the security tried to throw him out, but he resisted and then they tried to arrest him and put him in a mental facility. However the spry ol' guy escaped. He was smart enough to run away though. But where would he run to?
New Mexico, of course. No one would look there. He hunkers down in a little town in the middle of nowhere, in the Thor movie, and all is going well until a hammer falls out of the sky. And of course when all of the rednecks try to move it, they think, Let's get ol' crazy Stan down here, it'll be fun. And when they rip off the back of the truck trying to move Thor's hammer, he asks if it worked or not. Of course he wouldn't know, he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal, if you know what I mean. Then he's forced to leave when the Destroyer, well, destroys everything. Where does he settle down next?:
New York City! In [The Avengers](movie:9040), he is asked by reporters, after the Chituari invasion, what he thinks of the Avengers. He replies saying that it would be ridiculous if there were superheroes in New York. Now, only a crazy person would think....hey! Yup, Stan's off his rocker.
Now we'll talk about the life of Stan Lee in New York. He mainly hangs out playing chess (as seen above), and at little outdoor cafes:
(With Captain America!), and... judging beauty pageants:
Yesiree, beauty pageants. In [Iron Man 3](movie:24391), he needs some way to make money and I guess this is how he does it. If you ask me, it looks like he might just enjoy it a tad too much, just a tad.
But, sadly, it was kinda a one time deal, so he needed another job. He thinks that he isn't good at much, but remember that one time he was a security guard? He could do that again:
At the Captain America museum. In [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973), the people there gave him the job out of pity because he's just an old man who's lookin' for a job, but when the Captain America suit was stolen... things changed. They suspected him at first, because he was the only one there and started looking into him. They found out he was crazy so they put him in a mental facility. "Which one?" You may ask. Well, I'll tell you:
This one! In [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462), Stan is put in the same mental ward as Eric Selvig, a supergenius who ends up helping Thor kill the main villain, Malkelith. So, crazy Stan is safely locked away, but all that is about to change. In the movie, portals to other worlds start opening up everywhere. One of which, I think, opened near good ol' Mr. Lee. Seeing it as an opportunity to escape, the cunning little devil, slipped away through the portal. And where exactly has our one and only Stan Lee gone?
The suspense is killing me...
Wait, no it isn't. I already know. I'm the writer for Pete's sake!
Who's Pete? Doesn't matter.
In the land of talking racoons and trees! In [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), Rocket Racoon sees Stan Lee on his scanner whilst looking for someone with a bounty on 'em. He finds that Stanley Lee (hehe, funny name) doesn't have a bounty, but WE find that he's made himself quite comfortable in this new world and he's back to being the charming ladie's man.
Well, being in a whole new world, Stan's up for quite the adventure. Let's wait and find out where he'll end up next!
Now, there's probably TONS of stuff that would disprove this little fan theory of mine, but let's remember that 'tis all for fun!