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There's a beautiful Stan Lee tribute in Captain Marvel (other than his cameo) and it WILL make you cry

There’s certain things every Marvel movie has. A comic book Easter egg, a post-credits scene, a Stan Lee cameo (opens in new tab)… Having seen Captain Marvel (opens in new tab), I can confirm that the new Marvel movie (opens in new tab) has all of these things, including a Stan Lee cameo, despite the comic book creator sadly passing away (opens in new tab) just four months before the film’s release. But it also pays tribute to Stan Lee in another, surprising way, which no one will see coming.

Although I wouldn’t consider this a spoiler for Captain Marvel, the Stan Lee tribute might be something you want to see for yourself when the upcoming movie (opens in new tab) hits cinemas on March 8, so make sure you really want to know what happens before reading on. Are you sure? Ok. 

When I sat down to watch Captain Marvel, it started with the usual Marvel Studios intro (opens in new tab), which sees various comic book strips flip across the screen before showing images from the MCU and eventually revealing the Marvel Studios logo. In most Marvel movies, this intro subtly changes to reflect the film it’s attached to, but there was no sign of the MCU’s newest hero in the Captain Marvel intro. Instead, every single image was of Stan Lee. 

Rather than the usual collection of images of on-screen superheroes, the Marvel Studios intro for Captain Marvel features images from Stan Lee’s most memorable MCU cameos, including Guardians of the Galaxy (opens in new tab), Captain America: Civil War (opens in new tab), and Thor: Ragnarok (opens in new tab). Coming to a close with the words “Thank you Stan”, it’s a fitting tribute for someone who contributed so much to the world of superhero comics and without whom the MCU itself wouldn’t exist. Understandably, it’s an emotional moment, which brought a tear to more than one eye in the screening room, myself included. 

While Stan Lee also has his usual cameo in Captain Marvel, having filmed it before he died (along with a few others (opens in new tab)), it’s the edited Marvel Studios intro that will really hit fans hard when they sit down to watch the film this weekend. There’s no word yet on whether this same intro will appear before the other two Marvel movies coming out this year (Avengers 4 (opens in new tab): Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home (opens in new tab)), but I’d say it’s probably likely. Either way, make sure you bring some tissues to the cinema when you go to see Captain Marvel because you won’t have much time to dry your eyes before the action starts. 

Spoiler alert! Here’s what happens in the Captain Marvel ending (opens in new tab) and Captain Marvel post-credits scenes (opens in new tab) (if you want to know).

Lauren O'Callaghan
Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.