Last year, 2018, was a year when many important public figures moved on to a better place. One of them was Stan Lee, perhaps the most prominent creators in Marvel Comics. As such, it’s no surprise that the news of his passing affected a multitude of people. Among them is Blizzard, as they added a tribute for him in its biggest MMO: World of Warcraft.
Deserving of a Tribute: Stan the Man
While Blizzard paying tribute to one of the biggest names in the comic book industry is a noble gesture, it is common knowledge for WoW players that only prominent WoW players and developers receive memorials, so it’s pretty natural to wonder why Stan Lee would even receive one.
However, there have been many memorials in-game for people who pretty much have nothing to do with Blizzard—and even gaming in general. One good example is Christopher Rush, one of the original illustrators of Magic the Gathering. Another is Farrah Fawcett, a Hollywood actress famous for roles in Charlie’s Angels and other hit series and movies in the 70s. Last, but definitely not least, is Chris Farley, famed comedian and Saturday Night Live alum who died in 1997.
A Cameo in Azeroth
Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber, died at the ripe old age of 95 due to cardiac arrest with respiratory failure as well as congestive heart failure. When the news broke out, many people, especially Marvel fans, were shocked and saddened. Aside from the fact that the world of comic books lost one of its most famous, prominent, and prolific writers, Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans will no longer be able to see his cameos after the upcoming Miss Marvel movie and the final installment of the Avengers series. It’s only fitting, as these are the last two movies of MCU’s Phase 4, and more importantly, its first decade.
That is why when Bas Schouten, WoW player on a public test realm, a server where soon-to-be-released content are previewed by players, accidentally found a memorial of the late great comic book writer, everyone who caught. The non-playable character in question named Stanley, a lanky elderly man with wearing that classic blue Alliance armor, walking around in Stormwind Keep. Other than the grey hair and mustache as well as the shades, he also exclaims “Excelsior!” If that’s still not enough of a tribute to you, nothing would be. Don’t expect any WoW gold for finding it; seeing Stan Lee immortalized should be more than enough of a reward for you.
Stan Lee’s Influence on Azeroth
The thing about geeks is that one field of interest is usually connected to another, so it’s no surprise that lots of WoW developers love Marvel. In fact, aside from Stan Lee, there are other Marvel references in-game, many of which had been in Azeroth way before Stan Lee’s death.
Heck, some of them even go way back Vanilla WoW. There’s the Avenger’s Battle gear, whose dead giveaways not only include the name, but also the color (hot red and yellow). The Incredible Hulk also got referenced, with Bloodlord Mandokir, boss of the Inside the Troll instance of Zul’Gurub, saying his iconic “Don’t make me angry. You won’t like it when I’m angry” line.
In Wrath of the Lich King, developers added a quest named Slay Loguhn that can be found in Dragonblight. The quest requires you to kill a wolvar– a small wolverine-like race–named Loguhn. A wolvar (wolverine), named Loguhn is definitely a Logan reference. As if that’s not obvious enough, the claws should help you out.
Despite not having played WoW or even any Blizzard game, Stan Lee is very much worthy of the tribute for him in Azeroth. May he be remembered by both Alliance and the Horde forever.