Stan Lee never got to see 'Avengers: Endgame'
After founding Marvel Comics in 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created numerous iconic superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man and X-Men. Kirby died in 1994, missing out on the golden age of comic book movies that began with Sony's adaptations of X-Men and Spider-Man. Unhappy with some of those films, Marvel Studios struck a deal with Paramount to independently produce movies. And there you have it, the origin story of the MCU!
Over eleven years, Marvel produced 22 films in the same shared universe, and every one was a blockbuster success. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and even those weirdos in the Guardians of the Galaxy became household names. And in every movie, the legendary Stan Lee made a showstealing cameo appearance. In fact, the man became as recognizable as his characters, appearing on many TV shows as himself, and turning heads at comic book conventions.
Sadly, Stan Lee died in November 2018, at the age of 95. His final cameo was in Avengers: Endgame, during the 'time heist' sequence. When Captain America and Ironman travel to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in 1970, Stan Lee drives by, telling the government agency to "make love, not war!"
"I think anything that affects you as a child really affects you as an adult, sticks with you. " Endgame co-director Joe Russo told ComicBook.com earlier this year. "So when he would come on set, and we'd hear his voice, it's sort of Pavlovian in a way, where you just become a child again. The whole crew would be like that. People were always... All these movie stars on set every day, and then Stan would show up, and it was just like people were kids all over again."
It was fitting to see the Marvel mastermind's last appearance in Phase 3's grand conclusion, but some fans wondered: Did he get a chance to see Endgame before he died?
Watch Stan Lee's final heartfelt message to fans
Recently Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did a Reddit AMA and revealed that Stan never saw Endgame because he preferred to see movies on the big screen. "Stan loved to wait to see the final movie at the premiere, so unfortunately he did not get to see the finished movie," Feige confirmed. "[But] Stan got a download of the full story the day he came and shot his cameo."
Well, it's sad that Stan didn't get the chance to see Endgame, but at least he knew the story, and was around for everything else. Unlike Jack Kirby, he lived to see the golden age of comic book movies, with many of his creations dominating pop culture. And the MCU is far from over! The saga continues with Phase Four, and the TV shows on Disney's streaming service, which Feige said weave into the films "totally and completely."
Oh, and remember that crowd-pleasing moment in Endgame when Captain America lifted Thor's Hammer? Feige said that Captain America "was always worthy" to lift Thor’s hammer, and "he was being polite in Age of Ultron." So you can stop debating that now!