If you missed ABC's relentless promotional blitz, last night's episode of superhero drama Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featured a very special cameo: Comics legend Stan Lee, who co-created Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
As a tribute to the integral role he played in establishing the Marvel universe, Lee has appeared in the vast majority of Marvel movies released to date, but it took more than half the season for him to show up in ABC's superhero drama. This time, Lee's cameo offers some levity in the midst of a tense train heist. As Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) attempts to maintain her cover story by screaming at her "dad" Agent Coulson, Lee becomes so enraged that he intervenes. "I'm terribly sorry about your loss," says Lee to Simmons. "As for you," he says to Coulson, "Now is your chance to do better. Why don't you see that you take it?" Lee's character is flanked by two beautiful women, for reasons that Lee himself doesn't understand: "I don't know who they are or why I'm sitting with them, but they were attractive, so I was very happy to do it," he said in an interview with IGN.
Stan Lee's first cinematic cameo came in 2000, when he appeared as a hot dog vendor in X-Men. Since then, he's appeared in everything from Iron Man (as a man Tony Stark mistakes for Hugh Hefner) to Captain America: The First Avenger (as a U.S. Army general) to Thor: The Dark World (as a mental patient). Lee is set to appear in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but fans shouldn't expect to see him in Guardians of the Galaxy: "That's the one group I didn't create," said Lee in a recent interview.
Watch a compilation of Stan Lee's other Marvel cameos: