Stan Lee was famous for helping create a slew of Marvel Comics characters whose popularity have risen astronomically in recent years, but seemingly no hero meant more to Lee before his death than Spider-Man. As such, it’s fitting that one of Lee’s best and last cameos involved the web-slinger.

The cameo in question happens during Insomniac’s Spider-Man PlayStation 4, which launched September 7, 2018. Lee’s likeness appears relatively early in the game as a “Short Order Cook” at the end of the mission “Don’t Touch the Art.”

In the scene, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson reconnect after six months of being estranged. Peter’s been Spidey for eight years at this point, and his terrible work-life-superhero balance drove them apart. But after Spider-Man foils a villainous plot MJ is caught in at a local museum, the two catch up over dinner at their old spot, Mick’s Restaurant.

So who better to play the short order cook that recognizes them than a digitized Stan Lee?

In the middle of a tense moment between Peter and MJ, police cars roar by. MJ — like us watching — can’t help but roll her eyes at Peter’s same old habits. He rushes out into danger, shirking the meaningful connection he’s rebuilding with MJ. Just as MJ herself is about to leave, Lee’s cook appears to deliver two simple lines:

“Love seeing you two together again! You always were my favorites.”

In the universe of Spider-Man, clearly the character just loves seeing Peter and MJ reconcile their relationship, but for Stan Lee the man, this cameo takes on a much deeper meaning that basically breaks the fourth wall. Is it possible that Spider-Man was Lee’s favorite superhero of all time?

In the past, Lee has delivered diplomatic answers when asked outright who his favorite character was, comparing them all to his children and saying he wouldn’t be able to pick just one. But scrolling through the countless obituaries across the internet this week, it’s easy to see that in almost all cases, Spider-Man is the first hero mentioned. Many of the pictures of Lee also include Spider-Man in some fashion.

Why?

Lee helped create the X-Men and Fantastic Four, along with many other characters we all know today, but based on the way Lee used to talk about Spider-Man and the character’s immense popularity, it sure seems like the Spidey had special meaning to Lee.

This below tweet from James Earl Cash comes with a caption meant to mock anyone that might try to smear Lee’s legacy. But the video interview between Lee and Kevin Smith from Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters, & Marvels details how Spider-Man’s costume made the character “relevant to everybody everywhere.”

The official Spider-Man movie Twitter account, currently promoting Spider-Man: Far From Home, also shared an even more recent video interview with Lee in which he expands upon his love for the greater Spider-Verse and it’s characters.

So maybe Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson really were Stan Lee’s favorites?

The only Lee cameo to happen after Spider-Man’s and before Lee’s death was Venom, but there are probably plenty more to come over the next year or so. For years to come, we’ll all remember Lee’s Spider-Man cameo as one of his best, especially because it now feels like a heartwarming goodbye from Lee to his beloved Spider-Man.


Below are some of Inverse‘s most-read stories about Stan Lee.

Photos via Sony Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment