One of Stan Lee’s first movie cameos came straight from the comics
Fantastic Four creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were turned away from Reed and Sue’s marriage in the comics, and Lee then recreated the moment on film.
Before becoming a staple of the MCU, one of the Stan leeThe first movie cameos of s were straight out of his own comics. In 1965, Lee and legendary artist Jack Kirby portrayed the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, putting the Fantastic Four through a gauntlet of villains and obstacles just hours before the big event. Lee and Kirby even made cameos in the comic itself as guests who were turned down for not having invites – a cameo Lee would replicate in his first cameo as himself in 2007. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
In 1961, Lee and Kirby co-created the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s first family and flagship superheroes, who gained superpowers after a science mission in space bombarded them with cosmic rays. Proving critical and popular success, the duo’s continued collaboration has created many iconic characters and storylines that have pushed the boundaries of the medium while establishing the reputation of the creators and Marvel. The Fantastic Four Annual # 3 finally saw Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl tie the knot, a signature event whose global publicity not only drew a crowd, but also invited guests from the superhero community and celebrities.
As the guest arrives, the wedding proves to be a perfect opportunity to attack the Fantastic Four, which their already impressive collection of villains attempt throughout the issue. Although Nick Fury and Agents of SHIELD do their best on security, other famous Marvel superheroes like the X-Men, Avengers, Daredevil, and Spider-Man step in as the onslaught of determined villains continues, orchestrated by their nemesis Doctor Doom. When the battle between heroes and villains gets too intense, Reed Richards receives a little help from the Observer, whose nonchalant intervention allows the marriage to begin. As Reed and Sue enjoy their first kiss as husband and wife, Nick Fury is told of two revelers attempting to enter uninvited. Despite their threats, the two annoyed men are escorted, revealing themselves to be Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Although the reader never sees their faces, Lee and Kirby come out after being escorted, plotting revenge in the next issue. This hilarious meta-moment has become synonymous with Reed and Sue’s wedding, and is sometimes referenced alongside it, as in the background of artist Alex Ross’ rendition of the event for the wonders mini-series. When it came time to portray Reed and Sue’s wedding on the big screen, Stan Lee recreated his comedic cameo. In Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver SurferStan is present but stopped by a security guard who does not recognize him and informs him that he is not on the list. Sadly, Jack Kirby passed away in 1994, so while his influence is still strongly felt in pop culture today, he was not available to recreate the comics.
Stan Lee’s cameos in the Marvel movies may have been a hilarious homage to comic book history, but it wasn’t a new idea, and the cameo in The Fantastic Four Annual # 3 prove. A showman who doesn’t take himself too seriously, Stan lee was crushing the lives of his comic book characters long before they appeared in the movies.
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