Stan Lee was known for his cameo appearances in various television shows, films, and video games. He continued to turn up on screen after his death in November 2018, tastefully showing up through references or tributes instead of cameos.
The Guardians of the Galaxy game contains one of these references and is a loving Easter egg buried in one of its optional areas.
The Easter egg can be found in The Collector’s emporium on Knowhere a few hours into the game. Players can get into the emporium by rekindling a friendship at the nearby bar or, presumably, through paying the entry fee. There are many items on display in the showcase from Frogjolnir to Snowbird’s tiara to Kang the Conqueror’s Time Chair, but there is also a familiar pair of glasses called the “Cosmic Glasses” on the right side of the exhibit near the exit. Interacting with the case gives the following description:
“If you see a relic before you, you’re in luck. Occasionally, a pair of lenses manifest, eyewear that belongs to a powerful cosmic entity seemingly capable of being anywhere in the galaxy at any given time. He has appeared throughout history in multiple worlds and I suspect he will continue to do so throughout the future as well. Though we do not know his motives, many believe this mysterious being has had a profound impact on our galaxy. Excelsior!”
Lee has made cameos in many other Marvel video games before and was most recently in both of Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man titles. He even had a small speaking role in the 2018 entry and was fully modeled inside the game. Insomniac later added a memorial to the credits after he passed away. Miles Morales went a step further as it had a full statue of the man outside of his in-game restaurant, which unlocks the “Best Fries in Town” trophy if players find it, as shown in the above picture.
However, Lee has not popped up in every recent Marvel game. 2020’s Avengers game, strangely, did not have any references to him. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 also did not have a Lee cameo either, despite his appearance in its 2009 predecessor. Some consider the inclusion of Willie Lumpkin during a special (and incredibly difficult) post-game mission in Iron Man VR to be a sly allusion to Lee as he played Lumpkin in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie, but that seems like a stretch.