The imminent arrival of Avengers: Endgame has the world in a frenzy of anticipation, with fans slavering to find the answers to the most urgent questions. Who will live? Who will die? How will Thanos be defeated? Will Hawkeye really be of any use at all?
Whatever the answers to these, we can be sure that after Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be forever changed. But perhaps we’ve overlooked the most profound change about to be rendered in the MCU: we could be about to see Stan Lee’s last-ever cameo.
Ever since the MCU kicked off with the awesome Iron Man in 2008, each film in the rapidly-expanding universe has reliably served up one scene of knowing comic relief, in which Lee, the legendary comic book writer without whom there would be no MCU at all, pops up as any one of myriad loveable or irascible old codgers. It’s a filmic tradition we’ve grown to love, but with the passing of Lee last year, it’s one that won’t last much longer.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has said that Lee’s cameo in Endgame might be the last ever, and that it would likely be a sentimental send-off for the master, one that will surely leave a lump in the throat – especially given that unlike the death of Spider-Man in Infinity War, Lee’s was final.
Apparently there have been a few other cameos shot for upcoming Marvel films, but Feige wouldn’t say whether that footage would be used. One thing’s for sure: there’ll be no CGI post-mortem Lee appearing in future movies, so when you catch a glimpse of Lee in Endgame, drink it in – it might be the last we see of the old guy.