Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 7 of WandaVision Season 1, fittingly called "Breaking the Fourth Wall."
WandaVision is getting closer and closer to the present when it comes to the sitcoms it's copying, with "Breaking the Fourth Wall" featuring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff more or less playing Julie Bowen playing Modern Family's Claire Dunphy. There was a lot going on in this episode, to the point that fans might have easily overlooked some small Easter eggs. When characters are directly addressing the camera, manifesting superpowers, and/or revealing themselves to be a villain all along, tiny details can slip through, which may be the case when it comes to a Stan Lee reference in the opening credits.
The Marvel legend was known for making cameos through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man back in 2008 all the way through to Avengers: Endgame in 2019, which actually premiered after Lee passed away in 2018. He even turned up on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter on ABC. While Lee's death means that he won't be appearing in any more MCU projects, WandaVIsion found a subtle way to reference the Marvel legend in the opening credits of Wanda's sitcom of the week. The credits were just shots of various items, including a VHS tape, a cake, a street sign, and — most importantly — a license plate with a particular set of numbers on it. Take a look!
That's not just a random string of numbers on the WANDA license plate, and not just because it seems that nothing is really random on WandaVision even if the explanation turns out to be wild. "122822" can be broken down to "12/28/22," or December 28, 1922. Those numbers reference back to Stan Lee's birthday. The Marvel Comics writer and editor was 95 years old at the time of his death in 2018. Members of the Marvel family have taken the time to remember him since he passed away, and now WandaVision honored Lee with an Easter egg.
The license plate nod to Stan Lee was a great way to reference the man without whom the modern MCU wouldn't exist, in my book. It wasn't distracting from WandaVision at a point in the season when fans really have to focus, and it wasn't disrespectful to Lee. For eagle-eyed fans on their first watch, it had to come as a great surprise. For those who didn't catch it right away, it's a fun discovery after it already seemed like the episode had to be out of shockers. Considering the cliffhanger reveal that Agnes is none other than Agatha Harkness, and Agatha has done something to the twins, I think anything that helps pass the time until next Friday will be welcome to most MCU fans!
Easter eggs like Stan Lee's birthday on a license plate are also likely to be the only kinds of references to the Marvel legend that viewers can expect. Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Production Victoria Alonso said back in 2019 that Stan Lee is not replaceable, and there will be no more Stan Lee cameos. Still, fans can always hope for more nods, and the upcoming WandaVision finale doesn't mean that the MCU will run out of content again.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres in March to follow WandaVision, with Loki then coming after Falcon and the Winter Soldier in May. The future is bright for the MCU, even if that future is likely to primarily remain on the small screen for the foreseeable future. For some MCU action, be sure to check out WandaVision as well as other Marvel offerings streaming now on Disney+ (opens in new tab).
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.