The Many Marvelous Faces of Stan Lee

The Many Marvelous Faces of Stan Lee

Let’s be honest here—as much as we all love Marvel movies, half the fun is looking for the Stan Lee cameo we all know will be there.

As the creator of several of our favourite heroes, including Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Panther, it’s certainly a nice touch to see his face in the films, uniting the stories across time, space, and alternate universes.

In honour of the upcoming release of Avengers: Infinity War, which is what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been working up to for a decade now, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of my favourite unexpected appearances from the man behind the comics!

Here goes:

 

Iron Man

When I saw this movie a couple of years after it came out, I didn’t actually realize it was Stan! The fact that Tony mistakes him for Hugh Hefner really threw me for a loop.

Fun fact: Stan really only has a specific name in Iron Man film cameos, and he’s usually mistaken for another big celebrity. In the second one, he’s mistaken for Larry King.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In this one, poor Stan the Smithsonian guard becomes quite flummoxed when he realizes someone broke in and stole Cap’s original uniform. Never mind I don’t think anyone would actually be upset to learn that it was Cap who stole his own clothes back.

He’s then afraid of being fired over it, but let’s be real. Like we could—or would—ever fire Stan.

 

The Avengers

I spent most of this movie on the lookout for the now-familiar face, but Stan didn’t make an appearance until almost the end!

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He shows up as one of the random citizens being interviewed on the news after the attack on New York, and ironically expresses some disbelief in the entire idea that superheroes exist.

Never mind the enthusiastically chaotic-good antics of the Avengers that brought down Loki and the majority of Manhattan.

 

Thor

In this one, Stan makes an appearance as one of the small-town men in a pickup truck trying to retrieve Mjölnir from its landing place.

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I just loved how excited he was about his brilliant plan of pulling it with a chain attached to his truck’s bumper—only to find out that apparently, his truck was not worthy of the power of Thor.

 

Agent Carter

So this one is a little off-the-radar, because the TV show based on Cap’s love interest from his first solo film only aired for two seasons as a mid-season break from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I appreciated this cameo because it really showed how involved Stan is with everything that Marvel Studios produces—he happily sits in on smaller spinoffs that give fans more background into how the MCU became what it is.

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He appeared in the 2015 season alongside Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis (who becomes J.A.R.V.I.S. in pretty much everything Tony builds), hiding behind his newspaper at the shoeshine.

 

Captain America: Civil War

It’s pretty obvious why I love this one, and it’s really not a deep reason at all.

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He shows up as a FedEx delivery guy who has a package for a Tony “Stank.”

 

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favourite Stan Lee cameo?

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The New Superstars: Mario and Luigi’s Remade RPG

The New Superstars: Mario and Luigi’s Remade RPG

About two months ago, my sister asked to borrow my DS Lite. She was on a nostalgia spree, and wanted to replay Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, but well, since her GBA went the way of every console whose buttons ceded to the hands of less-than-gentle kids, that was the only way she could.

About three weeks ago, I got a very enigmatic message from my sister the night before she was to come for a visit, saying she had something new to show me.

The next day, she showed up with my DS Lite, her copy of Superstar Saga—and a 3DS cartridge with art that looked suspiciously similar to the GBA cartridge.

I honestly hadn’t even known that Nintendo was putting out another RPG-style game for its smaller handhelds (you know, aside from the ones released for the Switch, which I haven’t managed to get my hands on yet), so I was both surprised and very excited.

I had many memories of that game, and to be honest, most of them involved that stomach-turning sensation of not quite getting something right.

She left it with me to play, telling me that it was pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the game I’d never actually finished.

Because life happens, I only managed to pick it up this past week—when she came for another visit.

 

Why I loved it

So first up, the reason I loved this game so much when I was younger was that it was one of very few Mario games that I could actually play. You know, because skating physics.

It’s set up like a turn-based, world-exploration game that reminds me pretty strongly of Pokémon. You can go just about anywhere you like, with certain parts of the maps locked until you’ve learned better abilities, and wherever you go, things will jump out at you.

Your mission to rescue Peach’s voice and put the Beanstar back together takes you to all kinds of whimsical places, and you’ll have to do all kinds of tasks—including feeding hungry Yoshis and helping a hapless fashion designer create new, unexpected patterns.

You get a bonus for going above and beyond on most of these challenges, which is where I remember leaving off as a kid.

I never actually finished it, because I think a rage quit happened.

 

What stayed the same?

Much in the style of the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions is basically a visual update with a few extra bonuses.

I mean, it’s only moving from a GBA to a 3DS, but still.

Overall, the game is still a traditional Mario look, and the sprites, maps, and everything else are the same. The biggest difference is that it’s much sharper, a result of the larger screen size and better resolution on the 3DS.

It also still has all the same out-of-combat actions, like hammering poor Luigi down into the ground so he can root around for Chuckle Beans and sneak under fences.

 

What changed?

The most noticeable (non-cosmetic) difference that I’ve noticed so far is in the actual combat functions. It might just be me, but it seems much easier and much more intuitive than the original!


Disclaimer: I was maybe 12 years old when I first played this game, so it may have just seemed easier because I’ve learned a thing or two in 14 years. Or at least, I would hope so!


In combat, you still get all the same options for Jump, Hammer, Bros, and Hand attacks. It would seem in this version, though, they’ve been updated both to be easier and more damaging!

For example, in the original game, a jump attack would do a set amount of damage, plus some bonus if you managed to hit A at exactly the right moment.

In the new version, you do the same damage—plus, if you time the A button properly, you actually get to jump on that enemy twice and do double the damage. It also doubles your chance for a critical hit.

This version also made hammer attacks easier; there’s a much more forgiving gap between the perfect timing and the hammer head awkwardly falling off at the last minute.

 

Overall, the changes are subtle, and the new version of the game stays true to Mario and Luigi’s first tag-team RPG. I’m nowhere near done, and I still need to find out how the + Bowser’s Minions part fits in, but I’m excited to keep playing!

On Life, Death, and Anime-inspired Tattoos

On Life, Death, and Anime-inspired Tattoos

I’ve always been fascinated by tattoos.

When I was in high school, in all the rebellious phases that a goody-two-shoes can have, I thought they were a great way to stand out and do something unique. I spent close to an entire school year’s worth of science classes designing ever-more-intricate patterns on the back of my left hand with my permanent markers. Continue reading “On Life, Death, and Anime-inspired Tattoos”

Why I Can’t Go On the Internet on April Fools

Why I Can’t Go On the Internet on April Fools

Some holidays, like Christmas, I spend months in advance planning for and counting down to. Including a daily “countdown” that my sister and I started doing when she lived across the country and flew home for the holidays.

Some holidays, like April Fools, I think of once or twice late in March with the vague revelation that it’s coming up soon and then totally forget about again until someone dyes my milk green or something. Continue reading “Why I Can’t Go On the Internet on April Fools”