[Knock, knock, knock] Stan Lee? [Knock, knock, knock] Stan Lee? [Knock, knock, knock] Stan Lee?

I would consider myself a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to The Big Bang Theory. I caught reruns between seasons two and three and was endeared by the characters, enjoyed the sitcom, punchline timing, and was curious how they could get away with physics humor in prime time. But I was most enthralled with the trips to the local comic book store…especially on new comic book day (which we all know is Tuesday). This last episode of TBBT was a love letter to all fans of Marvel comics, of which I most heartily count myself.

No episode of a TV show or movie starring a Marvel character or featuring a comic book plot is complete without the mandatory Stan Lee cameo. Whether it’s Stan Lee pulling a kid to safety in Spider-Man or being a playboy in Iron Man, he pops ala Steven King.

This episode’s A-plot centered on Stan Lee’s visit to the comic book store. I enjoyed their excitement and the scene where they were flipping through their collections to decide what they would have him sign. Leonard had a tough choice between the first appearance of Dr. Doom or Thor (he definitely should have chosen Thor) for Stan Lee to autograph. But a Batman comic?? That would have been awesome.

This series does a good job of not patronizing nerds/geeks, but making comedy where we are in our element and know the references without being too obscure. Raj’s jokes about Marvel characters’ alliteration names is very true. Poor JJJ. I enjoyed every minute they were in the comic book store as it is a place ripe for good-natured humor and one that all us comic book fans know well.

For the denouement, my wife called it. She didn’t even know who Stan Lee was, but knew that Sheldon would have a signed restraining order that he would frame. Brilliant! She definitely deserves a No-Prize.