Eagle-eyed Marvel fans captured a secret reference to Stan Lee in the newest episode of WandaVision. In the new episode titled "Breaking the Fourth Wall," an opening sequence flashes a variety of different images reading the name "Wanda" as music similar to the theme from The Office plays. One particular image puts the name printed on a license plate along with these seemingly-insignificant numbers: 122822.
This appears to be a direct reference to 12/28/22, or Dec. 28, 1922, which just so happens to be Stan Lee's birthdate. It didn't go unnoticed by many fans of Lee who were touched by the Easter egg, even if it was subtle. Of course, Lee was known to make special appearances in every major Marvel project in the years he was still here, and his absence in the MCU has been strongly felt by fans ever since. While cameos are no longer possible, these kinds of nods are an excellent way for Marvel Studios to pay tribute.
While working at Marvel, Stan Lee helped to create many iconic superheroes, such as creating WandaVision's Scarlet Witch with Jack Kirby. Frequently collaborating with Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee also developed other popular characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Ant-Man, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Black Widow, and Doctor Strange. He retired from Marvel in the 1990s but remained the face of the company with his expected cameos in every movie.
Lee posthumously appeared in 2019's Captain Marvel in one of his final Marvel cameos, reading his lines from Mallrats as Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) passes by. His final special appearance was seen soon after in Avengers: Endgame in which he was digitally de-aged along with his wife, Joan Boocock Lee, and was able to utter the phrase, "Hey man, make love, not war!" Following Lee's death, the PG-13 re-release of Deadpool added "RIP" to the graffiti of Lee that was featured in the movie.
WandaVision was developed by Jac Schaeffer and stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles from the MCU as Wanda Maximoff and Vision. The series has also included other Marvel characters like Randall Park as Jimmy Woo and Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the series picks up with Wanda and Vision living in a sitcom-like world where they encounter various television tropes. An instant hit, it hasn't taken long for WandaVision to find great success. With a growing audience every week, the series has become the most in-demand television show in the world.
You can watch the first seven episodes of WandaVision on Disney+. There are just two episodes left to go, and given the surprises we've already seen thus far, it's likely that there's going to be something huge going down by the time the season is over. Following the final episode, Disney+ will also debut the new making-of documentary series Assembled that will detail how WandaVision came to be. The final two episodes will debut Fridays only on the official Disney streaming app.