As is usual for me, I went to watch Captain Marvel on the opening night with a giddy crowd of fellow geeks. The trailers eventually ended and as the film opened I remembered that this was the first MCU film since the death of the great Stan Lee a few months ago.
And on cue, the Marvel logo rolled on screen. To mark the great man's passing, there had been a change to the opening title sequence. Now if you pay attention to these things, you'll know the sequence was recently changed in honor of Marvel Studio's 10 years of making movies. The current title sequence is the Marvel logo with scenes showcasing superheroes from previous MCU films inside the word MARVEL.
We have seen this opening logo on recent films. The tribute to Stan Lee was to basically replace the heroes in the logo with cameos of Stan from previous films. It was a touching moment and as expected the cinema erupted with applause and like everyone, I was applauding.
But… I was not happy.
I wanted more. I felt short changed.
I am sure Marvel could have made this homage more epic and even longer. It felt rushed (perhaps it was rushed?) and the fanboy in me felt that I should have been on my feet cheering and crying after the homage.
This may sound churlish but it was my most prominent feeling after the title sequence ended.
I guess I am maybe too invested in this and just wanted too much.
In the film we also get to see Stan in one of his usual appearances, and while at first glance it appeared to be another run-of-the-mill cameo it had a specific significance.
The cameo had a heartfelt, easy-to-miss heartfelt Easter egg. Captain Marvel is set in the 90’s and in this cameo features Stan practicing his lines from the script from his cameo in the film Mallrats.
This is very bittersweet as Kevin Smith, the director of Mallrats, is a huge comic fan and a person that Stan actually came to love almost as a son in real life.
It was of his earliest cameos was in Mallrats and having it be referenced in one of his last is a hell of a way to bookend his cameo career. Kevin Smith's reaction to this cameo is worth watching for how much he was touched by it.
While not as great as the Spider-verse cameo with his almost magical words to Miles about the suit always somehow fitting, this cameo did carry its own significance for anyone who understood the implications of that script he was reading.
Stan Lee for me is a real life hero. One that I totally appreciate and I cannot understate the impact he had on my life. He promoted a message of tolerance, of being good to one another, of embracing our differences rather than fearing them.
His creations are now the mythology of the modern era and bring joy to millions of people around the world. They have done so for the last 80 years and will probably continue to do so way past the time I leave this spinning orb.
I guess this is what made me want a more touching tribute. I now actually feel the need for a biopic of his life.
Bryan Cranston get ready!
Nuff said. Excelsior!