Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee: The superhero of cameos
BY DENNIS KING
NEW YORK – As you might expect, the legendary Marvel Comics creative genius Stan Lee has more than a little ham in him.
As an irrepressible creative force behind such iconic comic-book heroes as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man and others, Lee has been an inspirational presence behind the scenes for most of the blockbuster movies that have sprung from Marvel’s rich pulp universe.
And as even the most casual fan knows, the 89-year-old Lee has also been a consistent and witty presence in front of the cameras for most of Marvel’s big-screen extravaganzas.
To date, Lee has made 16 cameo appearances – often winning huge laughs from comic-book lovers – in Marvel-inspired superhero movies, beginning in 1989 with “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk.” And when “The Amazing Spider-Man” swings into the nation’s multiplexes on July 3, Lee will chalk up his 17th such attention-grabbing cameo (still a far cry from that wily old cameo fox Alfred Hitchcock, who reportedly had 39).
Not to give too much away, but during a fierce faceoff between Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and his slithery nemesis The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), watch for a rumble through the school library to catch a humorous glimpse of the mustachioed, bespectacled Lee.
During a recent press day hosted by Columbia Pictures at the Crosby Street Hotel, director Marc Webb, taking over from Sam Raimi in this rebooting of the franchise, talked about his first encounter with Lee.
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