Now, with Stan Lee's recent (tongue-in-cheek) unveiling of his least favorite superhero cameo making waves recently, it seemed well past time to take a closer look at some of the other famous folks who've made cunning cameo appearances in Marvel movies. After all, while Stan may have taken the lion's share of the on-screen glory, he's had plenty of competition over the years for the title of 'geekiest cameo'.
Now, for the sake of simplicity - and because otherwise Bruce Campbell was going to come 1st, 2nd and 3rd - I've kept things limited to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and to cameo appearances that aren't technically main roles. Harry Dean Stanton's appearance in The Avengers misses out, for instance, as it's really more of a small prestige-giving part than a true cameo. Similarly, directors and screenwriters inserting themselves into the movie have been left by the wayside, largely because that's pretty much expected to happen at this point.
Enough already, though - let's get on with...
The Seven Geekiest Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (That Weren't Stan Lee)
7. Rob Zombie Snuck Into 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Now, we didn't actually get to see hard-rocking musician and horror maven Rob Zombie in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but we did get to hear him. He voiced the Ravager's navigator - suggesting that he could well turn up once again in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
6. Seth Green IS Howard the Duck
Another Guardians of the Galaxy cameo now - this time from the movie's deeply fan-pleasing final scene. Howard the Duck's voice, y'see, was actually provided by Robot Chicken (and countless other projects') Seth Green. Of course, that may well be the last we ever see of Howard in the MCU, but it sure was nice while it lasted...
5. One of Thor's Most Acclaimed Writers Turned Up in 'Thor'
Having consulted on the movie - as well as written a particularly acclaimed run on the comic-book - J. Michael Straczynski was an obvious choice for a cameo in 2011's Thor. Remember the locals who tried to remove Mjolnir from the ground? One of them was very much him.
4. An Even More Acclaimed Thor Writer Also Turned Up in 'Thor'
Straczynski wasn't, as it turns out, the most acclaimed Thor scribe to make it into Thor, though. Walt Simonson - who penned one of the most iconic comic-book runs of all time while working on Thor back in the mid 80s (#337 to #367) - also turned up in the movie, with the clearly enjoyable task of sharing a meal with the Asgardians.
3. The Winter Soldier's Creator Tortured Him in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Now, Ed Brubaker didn't create Bucky Barnes (that honor goes to the legendary Joe Simon and Jack Kirby), but he did bring him back to life in his acclaimed run on Captain America, and so can very much be considered to be The Winter Soldier's 'father'. Which makes it all the more awesome (and gently disconcerting) that he turned up in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier to help brainwash and torture ol' Winty.
2. The Original Hulk Was In 'The Incredible Hulk'
Smashing his way in at number two, Lou 'the Hulk your parents remember from TV' Ferrigno turned up in 2008's The Incredible Hulk as a security guard that Bruce at one point bribes with pizza. Which, since Ferrigno also turned up in 2003's Hulk, also as a security guard...
...presumably technically counts as a pan-studio-crossover, hence the lofty position.
1. Nathan Fillion Was Indeed in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Though his cameo was highly teased at the time, none of us knew quite who Nathan Fillion would be playing in Guardians of the Galaxy - making his appearance as a giant CGI alien in the Kyln all the more enjoyable. If you're wondering why he's number one, then you might want to go and watch Firefly for the first time...