Sony's critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has finally arrived in theaters, and comic book fans are getting a chance to see Stan Lee's first Marvel cameo since passing away last month. Unlike some of his other cameo's, Lee's appearance in Spider-Verse is actually quite the tear-jerker, especially considering the timing of the film's release.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse! Continue reading at your own risk...
So the action in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse really kicks off when the Peter Parker in Miles' universe (voiced by Chris Pine) is murdered by the Kingpin. All of New York City comes together to mourn the loss of their hero, providing an incredibly touching moment of unity. Peter Parker's wife, Mary Jane, is preparing for a public speech in the middle of the city, and all of the kids in New York decide to wear Spider-Man masks and costumes to pay their respects.
Having already discovered his Spidey powers, and been given a call to action by Spider-Man before he died, Miles goes to a store to purchase his own mask, thinking he would have to be the next hero in NYC. Stan Lee is running the store, and sells the mask to the young man.
After telling Miles that he also misses Spider-Man, Lee hands a mask to the young customer and tells him, "It always fits, eventually."
This is a touching moment with the late co-creator of Spider-Man, and it leans in to the film's message that any of us can be a hero. While speaking to ComicBook.com's Chris Killian at the Spider-Verse junket, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller opened up about Lee's cameo.
"I think that it's a really warm cameo, and we've seen it play with an audience for a few months now, and it's always been a welcome presence," said Lord. "People are always excited to see him. We've seen it since then with an audience, and there's still a kind of joy in it, even though we all miss him. The audience basically welcomes him back. It's like seeing an old friend."
"I feel like it's taken on an added poignancy since we lost him, but it still as a moment still plays to cheers, but now with some 'AHs', and then some laughs," added Miller. "I'm just happy that we got to put him in a really integral spot of the movie, and sort of at a really important, emotional moment for the movie. And be able to honor him in a way that felt like it did him some justice."
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters.