Stan Lee’s appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe likely began as a simple homage to the man that created so many of the Comic Universe’s beloved characters. But over time fans began to think maybe his appearances weren’t simply a coincidence but were a part of the comic lore itself.
Fair warning that there are mild Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2 spoilers listed below.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Stan Lee appears in a space suit talking to an ancient alien race who watch over planets containing sentient life. That aliens were The Watchers. This begs the question of whether Stan Lee’s character, across all of the films, is Uata, the first watcher.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Marvel chief Kevin Feige seemed to confirm – or at the very least endorsed – the widely held fan theory regarding Lee.
“Yes, we always thought it would be fun. Stan Lee clearly exists, you know, 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 – James had that idea and we shot that cameo and loved it so much, you know, 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 – we thought it would be fun to put that in there because that really says, so wait a minute, he’s this same character who’s popped up in all these films.”
While Feige doesn’t outright say that Stan Lee the first watcher it would make the most sense. Not only would it be pleasing continuity wise, it’s also a rather fitting role for the man who has watched his creations come to life over the past few decades.
Though there have been some health issues for Mr. Excelsior, he has already shot cameos for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. Be sure to keep a watchful eye out for any more news regarding Lee and the Marvel Universe.