It has been a big of a day for Marvel fans.
Marvel Studios unexpectedly released an emotional tribute to its Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, while also teasing a more in-depth look at its Phase 4 slate. The reel features snapshots from most of its MCU movies — the mammoth superhero phenomenon that Kevin Feige started over thirteen years ago with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man (2008). The first movie in the Avengers Saga brought Marvel fans the eccentric Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr, as he begins his journey as the armor-clad superhero.
After the touching tribute to the MCU — as well as a message of hope about moviegoing and the cinema experience — the immense reel finished with a sneak peek of Marvel’s new phase. Beginning with a more detailed look at Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (2021) – -which is finally, finally, seeing its release this July — the video went on to showcase Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) and an exclusive never-before-seen look at Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao’s Eternals (2021), which will star Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Game of Thrones‘ Richard Madden, among a huge cast of others.
Following this, Marvel revealed the dates of many of its announced movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 from director James Gunn, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and The Marvels — the sequel to Brie Larson’s hugely successful, Captain Marvel (2019). Marvel saved the biggest surprise for the end, however, debuting a teaser for the highly anticipated movie of Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four, officially confirming its place in the MCU Phase 4.
While the content alone seems like enough excitement for one day, the beginning of the video featured a moving narration from Marvel’s leading man, the late Stan Lee.
And well, as expected, the internet has thoughts. Many, many, emotional thoughts.
What did Stan Lee do?
Marvel Studios shared the exciting reel saying:
The world may change and evolve. But the one thing that will never change, we’re all part of one big family.
The world may change and evolve. But the one thing that will never change, we’re all part of one big family. pic.twitter.com/TUU5848QYR
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) May 3, 2021
The intro of the video begins with a speech by the Marvel Comics star — and creator of popular characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Thor — saying “I love being with people. It’s the most incredible thing in the world.” Fans responded to Lee’s words, making the legendary Marvel artist and businessman trend online.
Twitter user, Quinty (@marvelssq), used an image of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Sebastian Stan, to convey her thoughts.
When the video started with Stan Lee talking
When the video started with Stan Lee talking pic.twitter.com/v1fU0zyMnO
— Quinty (@marvelssq) May 3, 2021
Another tweet from Maria (@quackzonqueen) said:
DID ANYONE ELSE TEAR UP AT THE START WHEN HEARING STAN LEE’S VOICE
DID ANYONE ELSE TEAR UP AT THE START WHEN HEARING STAN LEE'S VOICE pic.twitter.com/jVtnz27M3m
— ✨Maria✨ (@quackzonqueen) May 3, 2021
Gwen (@buckybaby_) shared their emotional response to the Marvel reel, commenting on the unifying power of the MCU.
NOT ME THINKING OF HOW PROUD. NAT , PIETRO , LOKI , YONDU , T’CHALLA (CHADWICK WE MISS YOU.) , TONY , AND STAN LEE HIMSELF… BEING PROUD ON HOW THE UNIVERSE THAT UNITES ONE FAMILY AS ONE IS STRONGER THAN EVER
FIRST MCU PHASE WITHOUT THEM..BUT ITS GONNA BE OKAY
NOT ME THINKING OF HOW PROUD. NAT , PIETRO , LOKI , YONDU , T'CHALLA (CHADWICK WE MISS YOU.) , TONY , AND STAN LEE HIMSELF…
BEING PROUD ON HOW THE UNIVERSE THAT UNITES ONE FAMILY AS ONE IS STRONGER THAN EVER🥺💗🙏
FIRST MCU PHASE WITHOUT THEM..BUT ITS GONNA BE OKAY pic.twitter.com/MLhV56gYL1
— gwen ✪ loves bucky ||sebastian stan🥺|| ETERNALS💖 (@buckybaby_) May 3, 2021
One user, Trent (@trentjoseph11), shared their excitement at being back in the theater.
You can’t just use a Stan Lee voice over and expect me not to cry. I’m ready to be back in the theaters July 9th!!!
You can't just use a Stan Lee voice over and expect me not to cry. I'm ready to be back in the theaters July 9th!!! https://t.co/Hk69pkwfN8
— TRΣΠT-TΣΠT (@trentjoseph11) May 3, 2021
It’s clear that Marvel fans worldwide miss the iconic Stan Lee, as in this tweet from OutcastMunkee (@OutcastMunkee).
Stan Lee’s commentary over this piece got me tearing up… I miss him
Stan Lee's commentary over this piece got me tearing up… I miss him.
— OutcastMunkee (@OutcastMunkee) May 3, 2021
Who was Stan Lee?
Stan Lee was a leading player in the development of Marvel Comics, and alongside Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, helped create the massive slate of Marvel characters we know and love today. Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and The Incredible Hulk are among Lee’s creations, which have all gone on to star in their own live-action feature films.
Lee pioneered a more natural approach to superhero storytelling through his comic books, and after retiring from Marvel in the 1990’s remained a public figure for the Marvel company. The comic book hero appeared in many of the MCU movies and Lee’s cameo in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) is often cited as one of his most popular. He died in November 2018.
Phase 4 of the MCU began this year with the Disney+ original shows WandaVision and more recently, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Next up for television is Tom Hiddleston’s self-titled Loki miniseries that sees the Asgardian trickster getting involved with the Multiverse.
We don’t know much about the Marvel Universe in Phase 5, although a new Captain America movie has been confirmed by Marvel creator Malcolm Spellman, as well as the third entry into Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise.
How did hearing Stan Lee make you feel?