Over the years, there have been many theories on who Stan Lee has been playing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Is he the Watcher? Is he us? Is he just a comic creator appearing in the Cinematic Universe of his creations? Well, true believers, I have figured out just who (or what) Stan Lee has been playing in the MCU. This has taken years of pain-staking and detailed research, resulting in broken marriages, neglected children and a shattered employment history. It’s been well worth it to bring this truth nugget to you, the readers and viewers of the Marvel movies.
Stan Lee is…..
A Near-Immortal Super-Soldier!
In the latest Marvel movie, Avengers Age of Ultron, Stan Lee is a guest in Avengers Tower and demands a drink from Thor. He states that he is no mere mortal because he stormed Omaha Beach in 1944. Taking this statement literally, he is not mortal, but a Super-Soldier, forged in the battles of WWII!
Stan Lee’s earliest cameo (chronologically) was in Captain America: The First Avenger during WWII. He appears as a general, apparently commanding his troops from the Front. He was summoned from Europe to Washington DC to view Captain America receive his medal for rescuing POW’s. He watched as Captain America and his Howling Commandos take down HYDRA and help the Allies win WWII. When Captain America was proclaimed as Missing in Action during the final battle between the SSR and HYDRA, the SSR picked General Stan Lee as the next Super-Soldier. He was given the final dose of Super-Soldier serum, scraped off the concrete at the docks when Steve Rogers tried to capture a fleeing HYDRA saboteur. Thanks to Howard Stark, he was also given the vital Vita-Rays that is crucial to the creation of a Super-Soldier.
Following the end of WWII, General Lee retired from the military and moved to New York City. It was here he ran into Peggy Carter and his old buddy Howard Stark on the streets, getting his shoes shined. Stan would continue to live in New York City for the next 70 years, with the occasional jaunt to other countries and cities.
We won’t discuss the ‘70’s, though...
Stan Lee lived in suburbia, often seen watering his lawn during the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. He frequented malls and dispensed wisdom to the lovelorn.
As the US approached the 2000’s, sightings of Stan Lee got more and more prevalent. He would spend time as a hot dog vendor, a security guard and just generally walking around talking to strangers. NYC and the police would take special notice of Stan when he would randomly save people on the street, notably during the 2002 Unity Day street fair and when super-villains attack.
It was because of this heroism that many precincts in NYC contain Stan’s portrait despite his future bad behavior.
To make some extra money, he purchased a false ID from a neighbor, Irving Forbush, and became known as the mailman to the Baxter Building, Willie Lumpkin. He was also known around this time period as a habitual wedding crasher.
According to history, this next time period became known as “The Marvel Age,” when individual members of the Avengers started to make their appearances in the world. Stan Lee was known to be mistaken for far more famous people, and would use this in order to get into parties. He even met Tony Stark that way!
Known to authorities for his frequent party and wedding crashes, he moved briefly to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (no word if he ever met any disgraced angels). It was during this time he accidentally drank a Brazilian Guarana soda that was dosed with gamma-irradiated blood. Hulk blood. Since Stan has Super-Soldier formula coursing through his veins, it is unknown if he destroyed his neighborhood on the way out of Milwaukee or fled during the night.
He made his way back to New York, but fell into familiar habits. Dressing like Hugh Hefner, and with paid models, Stan infiltrated the exclusive backstage environment of the Stark Expo and again met Tony Stark.
Once again fleeing arrest warrants in New York City, he made his way to New Mexico, exactly during the time when Odin threw Thor’s hammer Mjolnir to Earth, embedding it into the ground. Never one to shy away from a barbeque, he joined the group of rowdy gentlemen trying to lift the hammer. Not wanting to tempt fate when it came to the Super-Soldier formula that’s in his blood, he tied a chain around his truck and tried to lift the hammer that way, but to no avail. His truck was destroyed, but his secret was safe. After all, if Captain America can slightly move the hammer, what might happen when “Stan the Man” tries to lift it?
Moving once again back to familiar grounds of New York, he would often meet with friends on the street, either eating steak in front of Stark Tower or playing chess. He was once interviewed on the street after the Battle of New York, which saw the appearance of the Avengers. Trying to take attention off himself, he belittled the fact there were superheroes in New York and went back to playing chess.
Stan took a job in Midtown Science High School as its friendly neighborhood librarian. Allegedly, a fight took place between Spider-Man and a lizard creature, but Stan didn’t hear anything.
With the proliferation of super heroes all over New York, Stan decided to take an extended vacation. He started in a small town in Tennessee, where he was roped into judging a beauty pageant.
He eventually made his way to Europe where he hadn’t been in over 70 years. Unfortunately, Stan was picked up in London, England for odd behavior around Stonehenge and arrested. He was mistakenly put in the psych ward of the local constabulary where he was treated to an astrophysics lecture by Dr. Eric Selvig.
Unfortunately, he didn’t listen very closely. You see, this was during the Convergence, where the walls between worlds were at their thinnest. Sensing an opportunity, Stan jumped through a fissure that appeared in his padded cell confident his Super-Soldier formula would protect him.
Stan Lee found himself on Xandar, home-world of the Nova Corp and civilized society of the galaxy. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Guardians came after Agents of SHIELD and Winter Soldier, how can this part of Stan’s life come after Thor Dark World?” Well, I’m glad you asked!
While on Xandar, Stan tried to fit in as much as possible, even donning space clothes and funky eyewear. While failed bounty hunters Rocket and Groot thought that Stan was too old to be hitting on a young Xandarian, they were mistaken. You see, Stan wasn’t trying to mack on a beautiful alien and neglecting his wife, he was talking to a very important person! You see, that young woman is the current holder of an Infinity Stone, the Time Stone! Stan persuaded her to not only send him home to Earth, but to bend time and send him back a few days before the Convergence took place. Oddly enough, he had "Hooked on a Feeling" stuck in his head the entire time.
There was even a rumor that the dreaded Collector put him in a glass cage in his Collection on Knowhere but it was just a look-alike. Phew!
With time rewritten on Earth, Stan found himself back in Europe and not in the nuthouse in London. He then boarded a train in Italy and decided to become a more distinguished Hugh Hefner, even traveling with several beautiful Italian ladies. He unknowingly met with SHIELD agents and dispensed some advice.
Stan was becoming sick of Europe and seeing the galaxy was quite frankly, boring. He decided to relocate to our nation’s capital of Washington, DC! Using his connections made during the heady days of WWII, he got a job at the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution as a security guard. Since he had previously been a security guard with a rather large protégé named Lou, he was considered the best man to patrol, ironically, the new Captain America exhibit. All was going well until the day that SHIELD fell. When Stan was doing his rounds in the exhibit, reliving his glory days as a General, he saw that the Captain America uniform was stolen right off the mannequin. As Stan predicted, he was fired the next day.
He next attended the graduation ceremony of Midtown Science High School back in New York, recognizing several students, including Valedictorian Gwen Stacy and Salutatorian Peter Parker (who arrived late, very rude!).
Stan decided to stay in New York for a while, and it’s a good thing he did. He received a phone call from a very important person. Hearing that Stan was fired from the Smithsonian (kinda Steve's fault) and knowing his importance during the War, Captain America himself, Steve Rogers, called Stan to invite him to a shindig at Avengers Tower. Marking himself as a WWII veteran with a ball cap, Stan was in the presence of the Avengers, with them not knowing the critical role Stan played in their lives.
Stan was later escorted from the party, drunk on thousand-year old Asgardian liquor and mumbling in Latin. But, seeing as how Captain America (and other Super-Soldiers) can't get drunk, maybe Stan's faking it so he can go home and watch Orange is the New Black?
Where might Stan Lee be in Ant-Man or Captain America Civil War? Only time will tell....
So there you have it! Incontrovertible proof that Stan Lee is the same character in every movie! And the Super-Soldier formula he acquired during WWII continuing to course through his body!