Rick and Morty's Season 5 finale gave fans a whole lot to process, as Evil Morty's master plan - and Rick Sanchez's tragic backstory - all collided in a game-changing showdown. That was such a milestone series of events that fans are still picking out some of the finer Easter egg details that the creators packed into this latest finale event. Well, one detail of Rick and Morty's Season 5's finale has Marvel fans really feeling good: a cameo appearance by a version of Rick Sanchez that is modeled after Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee!
The Rick and Morty Season 5 finale "Rickmurai Jack" finally pulls together the loose threads of the series' main canon storyline, which have been threaded in the show since season 1. Evil Morty reveals his master plan to use the resources of the Citadel of Ricks (and its Rick and Morty inhabitants) to finally break the cycle of sadness and exploitation that defines Rick and Morty. However, in building to that climactic cliffhanger, Rick and Morty have to (begrudgingly) accept the rules of major canonized event storytelling, with an obligatory exposition dump to satisfy the fandom.
It's during the re-tread of all the major Citadel/Evil Morty story points that we get a cameo appearance from a Rick Sanchez version of Stan Lee, who reminds viewers that a particular story point was explored all the way back in season 1, episode 10, "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind". The 'Rick Lee' character punctuates his Rickness by burping in the middle of his catchphrase, "Excelsior!"
Rick and Morty's Stan Lee cameo isn't just a reference to Lee's penchant for making cameos in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies - it's actually a deep-cut reference to some vintage Marvel Comics tradition.
In classic Marvel Comics, Stan Lee (and/or other editors) would speak directly to fans through the comic book issues. Lee's narration would explain how events seen in a comic related to or were influenced by events in another comic series issue or storyline - which is exactly the tradition that Rick and Morty is celebrating - in its own Rick and Morty fashion, of course.
It's just one more way that pop-culture and/or geek-culture continues to celebrate the life and legacy of Stan Lee after his death in late 2019. It feels weirdly comforting to know that a version of Lee exists out there in the Rick and Morty multiverse.
Rick and Morty just wrapped Season 5.