Stan "The Man" Lee is, for all intents and purposes, the glue to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even if he's not there in person, you can see him in a Marvel project in some way, shape or form. But why is he there, and what's the story behind his appearances that transcend time and space? Let the following video explain the life and times of Stan Lee in the MCU:
This academic dissection of the art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe cameo has been brought to us by The Lamppost, and it's probably the most creative theory we've seen this side of the whole theory that Stan Lee is actually The Watcher. While this alternate theory isn't as convenient as The Watcher variant, and stretches logic more than a gymnast during practice for the Olympics, it's sure as hell entertaining!
So to understand this new Stan Lee theory, we have to break Stan Lee's appearances into two different eras delineated by Marvel's Agent Carter. The man dubbed "Stan Lee Sr." served as a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Army during World War II, as well as troubled Howard Stark for his Sports page, in his appearances in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter. Unfortunately, it's Stan Lee Sr's story that would kick start Stan Lee Jr's own quest in life, as the father was abducted into the world of the Guardians of the Galaxy, leading the son to investigate his disappearance.
Enter the story of Stan Lee Jr., who starts his appearances in Iron Man and has appeared in every film, including the last Marvel Cinematic Universe film to have been released - Ant-Man. Despite his renaissance man litany of various professions and locations he's popped up in, a common thread has woven itself throughout all 14 Marvel Studios appearances he's made: Stan Lee Jr. is looking for his father, as well as a way to avoid superheroes. Of course, he can't find his father, nor can he avoid any of The Avengers, but his personal journey sees him employed as a soldier, a cop, and even a bartender... who just happens to be involved with every major superhero event since 2008.
With this rather compartmentalized approach to the works of Stan Lee's cameo appearances in Marvel's Cinematic Universe, all of the appearances make as much sense as they need to loosely bind the entire universe together. Though we wonder what Stan Lee Jr. will think of the chaos ahead in Captain America: Civil War, as well as the multi-dimensional havoc that The Avengers: Infinity War Part I and II will bring down upon our Earth. If we were him, we'd sneak some more of Thor's Asgardian liquor, and find a cool corner to ride this whole thing out.
Captain America: Civil War makes Stan Lee Jr.'s life even more of a living hell on May 6th.