Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee has made quite a second career for himself as an actor. After appearing as a hot dog vendor in 2000's X-Men film, he's become a regular fixture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men franchise of movies. He never sticks around very long, but his cameo roles always get a big reaction from audiences.
His latest, though, might surprise you. Lee has switched sides, albeit temporarily. In Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, Stan Lee is a character. If you haven't seen Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, which screened at San Diego Comic-Con, the following could contain spoilers.
Lee pops up, letting everyone know he's there to make his standard superhero movie cameo. And while, at first glance, you may be wondering which voice actor is approximating the iconic figure, that's the Spider-Man co-creator himself poking fun at his constant appearances in a variety of comic book films.
While this is only the second time he's made a cameo in an animated film--shout out to Big Hero 6--it's his first time appearing in a DC Comics property. If ever there was a film to do it in, though, this is the one. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is loaded with meta jokes about a variety of other superhero films, poking fun at the MCU, the X-Men and Deadpool, and it takes a lot of shots at DC Entertainment's own big screen properties.
This is a movie that dreams up a trailer for Batman's utility belt getting its own standalone film. If ever Lee were going to poke fun at his own penchant for appearing in so many movies, this is where it was meant to happen. That is managed to be in a DC Entertainment film is just one more meta layer on top of the movie.
After all, by this point, Stan Lee is bigger than one cinematic universe. He's not associated with any one hero or company. Stan Lee is comic books, and it's exciting to see both Marvel and DC embrace that.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is now in theaters.