Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy features a Stan Lee cameo that perfectly encapsulates the impact Lee had on the superhero genre. A host of references can be found throughout Marvel's GotG, ranging from '80s Easter Eggs in Peter Quill's childhood home, ties to Spider-Man and the Avengers, and even Guardians costumes from their previous appearances in the comics and MCU. Amidst all of these is a Stan Lee Easter egg that keeps with the trend of Stan 'The Man' appearing in all kinds of different Marvel products.
Most comic book fans have heard of Stan Lee in some capacity, considering that he had a hand in creating some of the most popular superheroes in Marvel history. If it wasn't for Lee's work alongside artist Jack Kirby, there wouldn't be any Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and more for fans to enjoy. During his later years, Lee became known for making cameos in various Marvel movies, and it was always a treat for fans to spot him throughout any given Marvel adventure.
Stan Lee didn't limit himself to just Marvel movie appearances, however, as he also found the time to make cameos in a number of Marvel video games. The former Marvel editor-in-chief provided narration in Vicarious Visions' Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, and later served as the narrator in Beenox's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions in 2010. Stan Lee's first physical appearance in video games took place in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 as Senator Lieber, followed by a litany of cameos as himself in the LEGO Marvel games and The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 movie tie-ins.
Stan Lee Also Had A Cameo In Insomniac's Spider-Man Games
Probably Stan Lee's most memorable video game cameo happened during Insomniac's Marvel's Spider-Man in 2018. Peter Parker and Mary Jane go to Mick's Diner during Act 1 of the game, catching up after having not spent time with one another for six months post-breakup. Police cars go racing by the window and Peter has to leave quickly to fulfill his Spider-Man duties. In one of Marvel's Spider-Man's best Easter eggs, when Mary Jane stands up to leave, the Short Order Cook of the diner (who turns out to be a stunningly accurate recreation of Stan Lee), tells her that he's happy to see Peter and her back together, saying that "You two were always my favorites." It's a heartwarming moment in the game, with Lee acknowledging his love for two of the characters he helped create being together again. Considering Stan Lee passed away two short months after the release of Marvel's Spider-Man, it made the moment hit a little harder than others.
As a tribute following Lee's passing, Insomniac Games was able to include an appearance of Stan Lee during Spider-Man: Miles Morales, albeit in a more unconventional method. If players took Miles back to Mick's diner where Peter and Mary Jane shared their meal in Marvel's Spider-Man, a large bronze statue of Stan Lee's likeness is found standing outside the restaurant. A plaque attached to the bottom of the statue honors "a man who nourished the hearts, minds, and souls of True Believers everywhere." Capped off with Stan Lee's famous catchphrase "Excelsior!", Insomniac's inclusion of the Stan Lee statue worked as a fitting tribute to one of the most influential comic book creators of all time, and continued Lee's beloved tradition of appearing in various Marvel adaptations.
How To Find Stan Lee's Easter Egg In Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy
One of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy's Easter eggs includes a reference to Stan Lee. This particular appearance is a bit more subtle than all of his other cameos, but that doesn't make it any less impactful. Like the Easter egg in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the Stan Lee reference in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy serves as a fitting tribute to Lee, and how he became synonymous with the Marvel Universe.
The Stan Lee Easter egg is found within The Collector's Emporium on the planet Knowhere, which the Guardians visit during the sixth chapter of Marvel's GotG's story. It's an optional area of exploration that players don't have to visit to progress through the story, but this will cause them to miss the Stan Lee reference as well as other Easter eggs in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Gaining access to the Collector's Emporium can be done by obtaining a free ticket during an encounter with a supposed friend of Peter Quill, or by choosing to dip into the Guardians' monetary funds and pay 5,000 credits for a ticket to see all of the Collector's treasures.
The Collector's Emporium is filled to the brim with items from the Marvel Universe, including Yondu's Yaka Arrow, Cagllostro's Book, and even Throg, Frog of Thunder. Included in the collection is a pair of glasses shaped in a similar fashion to the pair Stan Lee was known to wear. The glasses are identified as the Cosmic Glasses in Marvel's Guardian's of the Galaxy, and a digital display offers this description for the spectacles when players interact with it:
If you see a relic before you, you're in luck. Occasionally, a pair of lenses manifest, eyewear that belongs to a powerful cosmic entity seemingly capable of being anywhere in the galaxy at any given time. He has appeared throughout history in multiple worlds and I suspect he will continue to do so throughout the future as well. Though we do not know his motives, many believe this mysterious being has had a profound impact on our galaxy. Excelsior!
GotG's Stan Lee Cameo Ties Into Fans' Watcher Theory
The reference to Stan Lee that players can find as Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy works as a loving tribute to him, but it may also play into a theory established by Marvel fans about how he was able to show up in so many different adaptations of Marvel's comics. The theory maintains that Lee is one of the Watchers, a group of cosmic beings dedicated to observing and collecting knowledge about the entire universe without ever being able to intervene. James Gunn echoed this idea in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 by featuring an appearance from Stan Lee in space speaking to the Watchers, recalling the time he was dressed as a FedEx delivery man in Captain America: Civil War. The film's post-credit scene picked back up with Lee still telling the Watchers all that he had seen, and the Watchers growing tired of the stories and leaving him alone on the planet where they were standing.
It's a funny moment, but it also established Lee as a cosmic force in the Marvel multiverse, and that is further established in the Guardians of the Galaxy game with the appearance of his glasses in the Collector's Emporium. The simplicity of the Stan Lee Easter egg makes it all the better, as it provides a tasteful tribute to Lee that celebrates the legacy that he left behind through his work. Eidos-Montréal perfectly captures Stan Lee's omnipresence in the Marvel Universe within the context of the story, with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy honoring the comic book legend in the best of ways.