Ever since Marvel Studios revealed the future of the MCU would introduce newcomers like the Eternals and Shang-Chi to the ranks, we couldn’t help but reminisce about all the Marvel movies that led up to this moment. It got us thinking about our favorite movie, coolest fight scene, and tearful goodbyes, but most all, we discussed how much we appreciate Marvel’s commitment to including Easter eggs because of how they foreshadow events and/or pay homage to the source material – all of which bring a smile to face of those quick enough to catch the hidden gems the first time around.
So without further ado, from the meaning behind Whiplashes tattoo’s in Iron Man 2 to teasing the Asgardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Endgame, join us as we highlight the 50 greatest Easter eggs fans might have missed in the Marvel movies. Enjoy!
50. Jack Kirby’s Influence (Thor: Ragnarok)
From a visual standpoint, Thor: Ragnarok is easily one of the best looking Marvel movies to date and this has a lot to do with it essentially being one giant homage to the style of legendary Marvel Comics artist Jack Kirby. In particular, Kirby’s love of over-designed backdrops and weird-looking bits of architecture and armor can be seen all over the planet of Sakaar. The background in the scene where Loki watches Thor and Hulk’s fight from the Grandmaster’s box seat is a replica of Kirby’s artwork on the cover of Fantastic Four #64 (1967).
49. Fake Infinity Gauntlet (Thor: Ragnarok)
When Hela enters Odin’s vault to access the Eternal Flame, she reveals that the murals in the throne room aren’t the only lies being sold by her departed father. We see Hela walk up to the Infinity Gauntlet and casually knock it off its pedestal, claiming it’s a fake in the process. This addresses an issue introduced back in the original Thor movie, which first introduced the Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The problem was that eagle-eyed fans noticed that the gauntlet was a right-handed glove; a problem that was only compounded further when we Thanos put on the ‘correct’ left-handed glove in the post-credits scene of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. As Hela demonstrates, Marvel Studios essentially retconned this issue by having Asgard’s version turned out to be a fake this whole time.
48. Grandmaster’s Palace Heads (Thor: Ragnarok)
The Hulk may be the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) favorite champion, but he’s had other beloveds in the past, which he honors with massive busts on the outside of his palace. We see that the Hulk’s bust is still under construction but other skulls are adorning the walls, each one a reference to a specific character from Marvel lore. The one of particular note to Thor fans is the Korbinite skull, a race of intelligent, humanoid aliens with heads shaped like much like a horse’s. Most likely, this is Beta Ray Bill himself, thus confirming that the character exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Beta Ray Bill is a character who wielded Mjolnir for a time, proving to be worthy of the God of Thunder’s power while he was out of commission. Once Thor reclaimed his hammer, Odin gave Bill a hammer of his own and the two became longtime allies.
The other heads look like they belong to Ares (yes, Marvel and DC both have a version of the Greek God of War); the swam monster Man-Thing; and the Mighty Bi-Beast, an enemy of the Hulk with two heads stacked on top of each other who is actually an android designed by an extinct race of aliens.
47. Miek (Thor: Ragnarok)
Korg’s little buddy Miek is quite different from his comics counterpart but in perhaps the best way possible. Introduced in the original Planet Hulk storyline — which Thor Ragnarok draws on heavily for inspiration — Miek is still an insectoid creature but whereas he’s just a small slug-like thing piloting an exosuit with “knives for hands,” Planet Hulk’s version of Miek is a large humanoid creature similar in size to the Hulk himself. This is because he’s able to evolve into a “King” version of his species, with increased size and strength. Considering how popular he and Korg have been with audiences, it’s a safe bet that we’ll see the pair again in a future MCU movie.
46. Shuri’s Vine Joke (Black Panther)
Black Panther easily could have made T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) a hermit-like tech nerd, but the film also remembers that she’s a teenager and one who is every bit in touch with pop culture as anyone else her age (it’s amazing what the internet can do, isn’t it?). One sequence that shows off Shuri’s knowledge of meme culture comes early on when she glances down at her brother’s sandals and asks “What are thoooose?!” in an incredulous tone. That same question and tone were first delivered in a Vine of the same name, only in that case the comment was directed at a police officer’s choice of footwear. You can learn all about the history of this particular Vine here.
45. Back to the Future Kicks (Black Panther)
Fortunately for T’Challa, style is just as important as function when it comes to Shuri’s Black Panther suit designs and she comes up with a much cooler choice of footwear for her brother to replace his sandals with. Shuri’s “sneakers” (emphasis on the sneaking) are designed to cut down on the sounds of footsteps and fit perfectly like a second skin. As Shuri explains, the form-fitting tech was inspired by an old American movie and while the title is never explicitly stated, it’s most likely a reference to Back to the Future Part II and Marty McFly’s futuristic, self-lacing Nikes.
44. Moonlight Cameo (Black Panther)
Ryan Coogler has gone on record praising Barry Jenkins’ work on his Academy Award-winning film Moonlight and notes that the filmmaker was a supportive voice for him when making Black Panther. Coogler returns the favor in a sense with Black Panther’s final scene set in Oakland, California. As Shuri is showing the local neighborhood children a Wakanda airship, there’s a small boy who gets the last line in the movie. That boy is none other than actor Alex R. Hibbert, who starred in Moonlight is one of the film’s three starring roles.
43. The White Wolf (Black Panther)
On the surface, Black Panther’s final post-credits scene is a bit of a letdown. Showing Bucky Barnes alive and well in Wakanda after being put into a deep freeze at the end of Captain America: Civil War is pretty much exactly what we expected to happen since Bucky is featured in the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War. Plus, considering Black Panther is the final Marvel movie before Infinity War hits, it’s hard not to be disappointed that the film doesn’t do much else to set up the imminent arrival of Thanos.
Still, there is one interesting bit of information provided in the scene that may hint at something bigger to come. We learn that the children of Wakanda refer to Bucky as the “White Wolf,” which is the name given to an outsider stranded in Wakanda. However, it also signifies the person raised to eventually be T’Challa’s most trusted soldier, as the White Wolf becomes the head of the Wakandan secret police, which suggests that Bucky will be an important ally for Black Panther and the whole of Wakanda in Infinity War.
42. Panther Vs Rhino (Black Panther)
Late in the film, we see W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) unleash his combat rhinos against T’Challa’s forces, leading to a supremely cool fight between Black Panther and one of the charging beasts. While some viewers were likely turned off by this overly fantastical sequence, it’s one that’s ripped right out of the pages of Black Panther’s earliest comic run. In the character’s very first story arc, “Panther’s Rage” (Jungle Action comics), T’Challa fights Erik Killmonger but also does battle with a rhino at one point. This moment was a clear inspiration for the action on screen, as Coogler and his effects team recreate the Black Panther’s grasp on the rhino (seen below) almost perfectly.
41. Everett Ross: Captain Marvel Connections? (Black Panther)
Martin Freeman’s CIA man Everett Ross is given much more to do in Black Panther than he did during his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, even getting to play the hero in the third act thanks to his skills as an ace pilot. It’s that detail specifically that elevates Ross above being just a silly presence in the film, as Shuri’s reading of Ross’ file makes it clear that he’s much more capable than his appearance would suggest.
Ross was a pilot before he joined up with the CIA and what’s interesting about this detail is that it was invented specifically for the movie. Considering Carol Danvers will be introduced to us as a young pilot in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, is it possible that Ross has crossed paths with the Marvel heroine before? We’ll just have to wait and see …
40. Trevor Noah Cameo (Black Panther)
It took more than three months after Black Panther’s release for this one to be discovered but as confirmed by Vanity Fair, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has a cameo in the film as Shuri’s A.I. Griot, which helps Everett Ross pilot a virtual fighter plane during the final battle (the word “griot” is a West African term for a storyteller).
Noah, a native of South Africa, notes that getting the chance to play a role in Black Panther represents a personal victory for himself, as several of the film’s characters speak Xhosa, one of his home country’s official languages. “It was extra special for me because the people speak Xhosa in the movie,” he said back in February. “There were subtitles, and I was like, I don’t need your subtitles! I don’t need your subtitles! This is just for me right now! Nobody else listen! This reminds me of my mom.”
In a later interview with Chadwick Boseman, Noah confirmed that Black Panther’s “authenticity” resonated with his friends in South Africa, noting that “People loved it back home.”
39. Public Enemy (Black Panther)
Branching off the previous point, Ryan Coogler also makes sure to imbue Oakland with a sense of place that ties in not only the history of the Black Panther (both the hero and the political party) but also the larger cultural landscape as well. We don’t get to learn much about N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) before he is killed in the opening scene, but there is a pretty significant Easter egg hiding in his apartment in the form of a Public Enemy poster. Although the hip hop group formed in Long Island, New York, they had a close connection with the Black Panther Party, with their lyrics and clothing explicitly highlighting their affiliation (even their backup dancers wore leather jackets and hats affiliated with the Black Panthers!).
38. Killmonger’s Mask (Black Panther)
Though he eventually opts for a Black Panther suit of his own, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens’ initial costume is easily one of the film’s most striking. The tribal mask that Erik picks up in London has connections to Wakanda, but also to Marvel Comics. It turns out that the mask is a throwback to two different comic designs.
The first is Mephisto, as the mask bears a striking resemblance to the demon who made such a memorable appearance in Christopher Priest’s run on the Black Panther comics. The second (and more obvious) connection is to Killmonger himself, as the mask resembles the one he wore in his battle with T’Challa in Black Panther #37.
37. M’Baku’s Comics Origins (Black Panther)
In a movie already overflowing with fantastic characters, Winston Duke’s M’Baku gets overshadowed a bit but does a great job with the familiar rival-turned-ally arc. M’Baku is a physical force to be reckoned with but what you may not have realized is that his comic counterpart is even more powerful — and a lot more problematic. See, M’Baku is Man-Ape, the leader of a rival clan of gorilla-worshiping warriors who dressed up in a gorilla suit in honor of the tribe’s white gorilla deity.
Of course, having a black man parading around in a gorilla suit is some racially-charged imagery that Black Panther thankfully chooses not to adapt, which is why this black exploitation period character is altered considerably in the jump to the screen. That being said, the movie still finds a way to tastefully honor the character’s comic origins: the thick fur on M’Baku’s shoulders and forearms along with attached armor pieces help exaggerate his upper body, and he also briefly wears a gorilla mask during his ritual battle with T’Challa.
36. Vormir … Really?? (Avengers: Infinity War)
There was a ton of fan speculation leading up to the release of Infinity War as to the whereabouts of the final Infinity Stone, the Soul Stone. There were dozens of popular theories bouncing around, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who correctly guessed that the stone would be on the planet Vormir, with the Red Skull of all people acting as its gatekeeper. Vormir is an incredibly obscure planet in the Marvel Universe, home to a race called the Vorms who travel from planet to planet feasting off its lifeforms.
In an interesting tie to the Guardians of the Galaxy, the history of the Vorms is recounted in Avengers #124 (1974), which also contained the first appearance of Mantis. Fittingly, the very next issue, Avengers #125, marked the first time the Avengers fought Thanos, as part of a crossover story with Jim Starlin’s Captain Marvel series.
35. Flash Gordon (Avengers: Infinity War)
In addition to Doctor Strange, Tony Stark is paired with another arrogant, hot-headed male hero in the form of Star-Lord, whom Stark refers to dismissively at one point as “Flash Gordon.” Star-Lord, a child of the 80s, takes the comparison as a compliment, but what Tony may not have realized is just how closely Peter Quill’s origin story resembles that of Flash Gordon’s.
Like Quill, Gordon is a human who blasts off from Earth into unknown space, only to eventually become a hero and take down an evil alien despot. Unfortunately, Peter Quill doesn’t do Flash Gordon or humanity in general proud in Infinity War, as he sabotages his team’s efforts to steal the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanos when he loses his cool after learning about Gamora’s death and essentially dooms half of all life in the universe in the process. Way to go, Star-Prince.
34. And My Axe! (Avengers: Infinity War)
Although Thor is at his funniest in both Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, the God of Thunder sure has been put through the wringer as of late. As he sadly recounts to Rocket, Thor’s entire family is now dead and he also lost an eye and his trusty hammer, Mjolnir, for good measure. Fortunately, Thor thrives on adversity and picks himself right back up to try and go another round with Thanos, venturing to Nidavellir to convince the blacksmith Eitri to forge him a new weapon capable of killing the Mad Titan.
The new weapon, dubbed Stormbreaker, is similar to the hammer/ax hybrid Thor used in the Ultimate Universe and the name of the weapon is a reference to the hammer that Odin himself has Eitri forge for Beta Ray Bill after the latter proved he was worthy of wielding Mjolnir. Because why have one all-powerful Hammer of the Gods when you can have two?
33. Vision’s New Look (Avengers: Infinity War)
The Avengers came close to putting a halt to Thanos before he can acquire all six Infinity Stones, with Scarlet Witch going so far as to destroy the Mind Stone (and Vision in the process) so that the Mad Titan can’t get his greedy giant hands on it. Unfortunately, Thanos easily remedies this setback by reversing time and ripping the Mind Stone from Vision’s head, rendering the hero colorless and down for the count.
However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Vision this way, as his muted palette bears a resemblance to his appearance in John Byrne’s late 80s/early 90s run on Avengers West Coast. In that arc, Vision is captured and subsequently dismantled by distrustful government forces. When he’s reassembled, Vision is pale and has lost his emotional attachments to humanity. Could this be a clue to where we’ll see Vision go next in Avengers 4 (assuming he’s not dead, of course)?
32. Thanos the Farmer (Avengers: Infinity War)
At one point in the film, Thanos claims that after he accomplishes his mission of wiping out half of all life, he’ll retire and smile upon a grateful universe. True to his word, this is exactly what Thanos does in the final scene of Infinity War, as we see him resting in a cabin overlooking a peaceful-looking valley somewhere with a big, self-satisfied grin on his face.
As it turns out, this is similar to the way the Infinity Gauntlet story closes out, as Thanos settles down for life as a farmer after Adam Warlock and the rest of the Avengers manage to reverse his genocidal actions. We have no idea what’s in store for Thanos next, but we doubt he’s going to be able to relish his “good deed” for long once the Avengers figure out how to undo what he has done.
31. Doctor Strange: Birthday Entertainer Supreme (Avengers: Infinity War)
Luckily for Tony Stark, he’s able to hold his own against Doctor Strange in the insults department and lands a pretty clever one when he asks, “What is your job exactly, except to make balloon animals?” While no doubt meant to draw attention to the fact that Strange’s get-up makes him look like an eccentric magician who might perform tricks at a children’s birthday parties, it’s also a callback to the very real skit Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! back around the time, the Doctor Strange movie was in theaters.
In that bit, Strange is invited to Kimmel’s home but instead of battling demons, Kimmel hires him to entertain a kid’s birthday party. Strange initially refuses, until he finds out that there’s $150 in it for him and proceeds to start making balloon animals for the kids. The skit ends with one of the kids insulting Strange’s balloon animal skills, prompting the Sorcerer Supreme to teleport him to a demonic dimension. In other words, Doctor Strange left a kid to die a horrible death in another dimension, but don’t think on it too hard – he’s still one of the good guys (we hope)!
30. Squidward Maw (Avengers: Infinity War)
When Ebony Maw comes to New York to try and take the Time Stone from Doctor Strange, Tony Stark gets a nice dig against him when he tells him, “God away, Squidward. Earth is closed!” For those unfamiliar with the brilliance of the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants, this is a nod to the character Squidward Tentacles, Spongebob’s irritable next-door neighbor whom Spongebob believes is one of his best friends. Squidward is kind of a jerk, which is something that can also be said of Ebony Maw, but Tony made the connection due to Maw’s face resembling Squidward’s big, oddly-shaped one.
29. Eccentric Uncle Morgan (Avengers: Infinity War)
Infinity War picks up from where Spider-Man: Homecoming left off with Tony Stark’s relationship with Pepper Potts. Now engaged and while planning their wedding, Tony confesses to Pepper that he hopes they will have a child someday and mentions that they could name their kid after her eccentric uncle, Morgan. Morgan, as it turns out, is a character from the comics, albeit with a bit of a different relation to Tony.
Introduced in Tales of Suspense #68 (1965) by Al Hartley and Jack Kirby, Morgan Stark is Tony’s cousin and is framed as the counter to Tony. Whereas Tony is born rich and is a self-made billionaire, Morgan was born rich but ended up losing it all, to the point where he tries to sell out his cousin to help cover his debts. Tony ends up forgiving him, but let’s just go ahead and assume that Morgan Potts is a slightly better class of person if Tony wants to name his kid after him.
28. Mephisto = Ebony Maw (Avengers: Infinity War)
Another character who plays a major role in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline that couldn’t be used by Marvel is Mephisto. Originally a chief foe of Silver Surfer who has since gone on to become one of the Marvel Universe’s biggest villains, Mephisto essentially serves as Thanos’ lackey during the Infinity Gauntlet series (but only because he is secretly plotting to steal the Gauntlet for himself). In Infinity War, Thanos’ lieutenant from the Black Order, Ebony Maw, essentially occupies the same role as Mephisto, only without the whole backstabbing part.
Maw even goes so far as to repeat an exact line of Mephisto’s from the comics, when he tells Thanos that “my humble personage bows before your grandeur.” It’s too bad Ebony Maw is dispatched rather quickly by Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, as “Squidward the Space Wizard” is easily the best Child of Thanos featured in Infinity War.
27. Return of the Zune (Avengers: Infinity War)
One of the best gags in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was easily the Zune MP3 player gifted to Peter and the Milano crew, giving them access to over 300 new classic tunes in the process. We get our first taste of what the Cool Mix Vol. 3 will sound like during the Guardians’ introduction scene in Infinity War, as they are singing along to the song “The Rubberband Man” by The Spinners (fun fact: the track was featured during the mud wrestling scene in Stripes (1981)). Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear any other songs on the Zune but assuming Star-Lord (and every Guardian not named Rocket) is brought back from the dead in Avengers 4, we’re sure to hear more by the time Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 rolls around in 2020.
26. Egghead (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
The true identity of Ant-Man and the Wasp’s mysterious villain Ghost is revealed early on to be Ava Starr, daughter of Dr. Eilhas Starr, a deceased former colleague of Hank Pym and Bill Foster. Dr. Starr isn’t a character created specifically for the movie, however, and is even more significant in the comics. A scientist-turned villain, Dr. Starr adopts the name “Egghead” and becomes a regular villain for Ant-Man, using his genius-level intellect and skills in the robotics and engineering fields to create a variety of weapons to make up for his lack of actual superpowers. So in a way, he’d probably be proud of his daughter following in his footsteps!
25. Young Goliath (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made a habit of using special effects to make actors look younger in flashback scenes, as seen with Michael Douglass in the original Ant-Man, Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War, and Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For the flashback showing the catastrophe that turned a young Ava Starr into Ghost, you would expect that Laurence Fishburne was digitally de-aged but it’s not even him playing Bill Foster in the scene. Instead, it’s his son Langston Fishburne, an actor and ballet performer best known for his recurring role on the web series Vanessa & Jan.
24. Writing on the Chalkboard (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
Yet another chalkboard Easter Egg, this one comes during Scott and Hope’s humorous infiltration of Cassie’s school. When the pair are in the classroom, there’s a lesson written out on the chalkboard instructing students on how to modify a list of phrases to include plural possessives. One of the sentences, which includes the line “the flowers that my aunts grow” is a nice little ant pun that proves the film’s set decorators are in on the Easter Egg train.
23. Hints at Cassie Lang’s Future (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
When Cassie Lang gives her father a bedside pep-talk and tells him that she hopes to grow up to be a superhero like him someday, it plays off like something you’d hear any child say if one of their parents was an Avenger (wait, was Ant-Man ever technically part of the team? It’s hard to keep track). However, this is no throwaway line, as Cassie does indeed grow up to become a full-fledged superhero.
In the comics, Cassie exposes herself to Pym Particles in the hope that they will imbue her with super abilities (this occurs after Scott Lang has already passed away). After an argument with the Young Avengers, Cassie’s superpowers manifest themselves by causing her to grow enormous in size and strength, just like her dad. Fortunately, things quickly settle down and Cassie eases into her role as Stature, a selfless hero who ends up fighting alongside the Initiative against the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion event.
22. Quantum Realm Easter Eggs (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
There’s so much going on visually in the Quantum Realm that it’s no surprise that the filmmakers would include hidden details in the background. Viewers spent hours examining the original Ant-Man’s Quantum Realm scene hunting for Easter Eggs and they found a big one in the form of a superhero silhouette. It was later confirmed that this was indeed a cameo from the original Wasp, who we learn in the sequel has survived at the subatomic level for decades.
Considering we spend even more time in the Quantum Realm during Ant-Man and the Wasp, we can only imagine what Easter Eggs are hidden within it this time out. Since Marvel hasn’t spilled the beans yet and we don’t have a copy laying around to closely inspect, we’ll likely have to wait until the film is released on home video to find out what secrets the Quantum Realm contains.
21. Agents of Atlas (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
Scott Lang’s relationship with his FBI handler Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) is played up for laughs in Ant-Man and the Wasp, with the pair having mutual respect and admiration for each other even though Woo is technically playing an antagonistic role. However, much like most of the minor character roles in Marvel movies, Woo is much more significant than many will realize.
Introduced way back in 1956 as a secret agent seeking out “The Yellow Claw”, Woo has generally been portrayed well over the years despite suffering from some familiar Asian stereotypes in his early days. More recently, Jimmy Woo has adopted a role similar to Professor X and his Xavier School, working as the Headmaster of the Pan-Asian School For The Unusually Gifted in Mumbai.
20. Centurion Tease (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
When it comes to villains, Ant-Man and the Wasp’s two most prominent antagonists are Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) but the film arguably has a third in the form of the FBI. While the Feds are just trying to do their job in enforcing Scott Lang’s house arrest, one member stands out due to his speedy connections.
Hoping to get Scott and Hope out of the picture, Sonny reaches out to his contact in the FBI named Geoffrey Ballard (played by Sean Kleier). That name probably doesn’t mean much to the average viewers, but Marvel Comics readers will recognize it as the alter-ego of Centurion, an enemy of heroes like Iron Man and Goliath.
19. Earth-616 (Avengers: Endgame)
When Scott Lang returns from the Quantum Realm through the entrance of his X-Con van, some fans might not have noticed the vehicle was located in vault 616, a reference to Earth-616, the version of Earth the majority of heroes in the MCU belong too.
The ‘616’ number has been referenced in previous films as well, most noticeably in Thor: The Dark World when Erik Selvig writes ‘616’ (pictured below) on the blackboard while at the psychiatric hospital and again in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse when we’re introduced to the Multiverse.
18. Jarvis Makes His Non-AI Debut (Avengers: Endgame)
While back in the 1970s, after Tony and his father finished saying their goodbyes, Howard walks towards his vehicle and calls his driver, Jarvis, by name. This marked the first time Jarvis has appeared in the MCU, other than as Tony’s AI assistant that is.
James D’Arcy, the actor who played Jarvis in Endgame, also portrayed Jarvis in the Agent Carter series, a show most would agree was canceled far too soon.
17. Korg’s Pineapple Romper (Avengers: Endgame)
During the scene where Professor Hulk and Rocket are attempting to convince an overweight and depressed Thor to help them bring back the fallen, Korg, voiced by Taika Waititi, is playing Fortnite with Miek and can be seen wearing a pineapple romper. This happens to be a nod to the time the Thor: Ragnarok director wore the romper while at the 2017’s Comic-Con in San Diego.
16. Stan Lee’s Last Cameo (Avengers: Endgame)
The late Stan Lee makes his final cameo during Endgame, playing the role of an antiwar hippie from 1970s New Jersey. The comic book legend appears driving past the Camp Lehigh military base while shouting “make love, not war” in a car sporting “Nuff Said” bumper sticker, a favorite slogan of his. The license plate also says 420, which is both hilarious and fitting given it’s the 70s.
15. Cap’s Shield Is Destroyed (Avengers: Endgame)
Thanos slowly chipping away and eventually breaking Captain America’s shield during the final battle was not only an awesome scene but also a nod to the Infinity Gauntlet comics, where Cap’s shield is broken by Thanos in an extremely similar fashion. Surprisingly, the Mad Titan isn’t the only villain to break the Cap’s iconic shield, both Molecule Man and Ultron have done so in the past.
The scene also reminded us of Tony’s dream had in Age of Ultron, where he pictures Captain America laying on the ground beside a broken shield.
14. Captain America Has Always Been Worthy (Avengers: Endgame)
Captain America lifting Mjölnir and hitting Thanos was by far the coolest scene in the film. If you’re familiar with the comics, it shouldn’t come as much of surprise as he’s lifted it on several occasions, the first being in The Mighty Thor # 390 (1988). That said, seeing him pick up Mjölnir in the comics doesn’t hold a candle to watching it on the big screen.
Thor yelling “I know it” after realizing Cap was worthy of lifting Mjölnir was a reference to the moment in Age of Ultron when Cap almost lifted it off the table. Interestingly enough, the Russo brothers recently confirmed that Rogers has been worthy all along.
“In our heads, he was able to wield it. He didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up. But Cap’s sense of character and humility and, out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to.”
13. Standing Toe-To-Toe With Thanos (Avengers: Endgame)
Watching Captain America stand toe-to-toe against Thanos during the final stand was a thing of beauty and the perfect call back to the Infinity Gauntlet comics. Although Endgame‘s interpretation of the iconic scene differed from comics, watching Thanos’s army funnel in behind him and the Avengers arriving through magical portals was an outstanding visual I’ll never forget.
12. The ‘Iron Man 3’ Kid Got Big (Avengers: Endgame)
During the tearful scene where all the Avengers and characters show up to pay their respects at Tony’s funeral, a familiar face shows up but he looks a lot older than we last saw him. The young man in question is none other than Harley Kenner, the young boy who helps Tony after being stranded in Tennessee in Iron Man 3.
11. Asgardians of the Galaxy (Avengers: Endgame)
Nearing the end of the film Thor decides to join the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard the Benatar, so he leaves new Asgard in the control and protection of Valkryie, making her Queen of Asgard.
Following that scene, while on the Benatar Thor teases Star-Lord by referring to the Guardians as the ‘Asgardians of the Galaxy,’ a way of upsetting Quill but also a reference to a comic book storyline that’s roster included Valkyrie, Throg, Destroyer, Thunderstrike, Skurge, Thor’s sister Angela, among others.
10. Passing Of The Torch (Avengers: Endgame)
One of the best and most heartwarming moments of the film was when Steve Rogers passed the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson, a fitting conclusion to Cap’s MCU arc, as well as Chris Evan’s time playing the iconic character.
The decision to have Rogers live out the rest of his days with Peggy Carter was the perfect sendoff, as well as the perfect way to introduce Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. This might lead to Disney’s Falcon & Winter Soldier series, which is scheduled to release of the Disney+, being renamed Captain America & Winter Soldier. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if that was their plan all along.
9. Was that Howard The Duck? (Avengers: Endgame)
Howard the Duck made his third MCU appearance in Endgame‘s epic final stand against Thanos, showing up behind the Wasp in the scene where all of the heroes and characters wiped out by the snap return through the magical portals to help Captain America and the remaining Avengers defeat the Mad Titan.
8. Will Namor Be In Black Panther 2? (Avengers: Endgame)
Even though Namor the Sub-Mariner wasn’t mentioned by name, Okoye referring to the “underwater earthquake” reminded us of the history of bad blood between Atlantis and Wakanda. Which begs the question, will director Ryan Coogler introduce one of Marvel’s oldest heroes into the MCU in Black Panther 2?
Sadly, Universal Pictures owns the rights to the character and has since 2001, so unless Disney strikes a deal, which is possible, the chance of Namor taking on Black Panther in the sequel is highly unlikely (as of now).
7. Professor Hulk Makes His Debut (Avengers: Endgame)
Bruce Banner and Huk becoming one in Endgame was an awesome surprise that likely caught a lot of people off guard, but it also happens to be a throwback to The Incredible Hulk #377 (1991), where Professor Hulk made his debut. The two agreed that by combining Hulk’s size and strength with Banner’s wit and smarts, Professor Hulk would be the ideal transformation and compromise for both.
6. Hawkeye Becomes Ronin (Avengers: Endgame)
When Hawkeye was left out of Infinity War it felt strange, but now having seen Endgame his absence makes a lot of sense. Much like Scott Lang was in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hawkeye was on house arrest during Infinity War, but after witnessing his entire family turn to dust, which is revealed at the beginning of Endgame, Hawkeye becomes Ronin, a samurai-inspired persona Barton adopts in the comics following the events the Civil War storyline. Much like in Endgame, Ronin’s costume is black and yellow and rather than his bow, Ronin wields a samurai sword, among other various weapons.
5. Morgan Stark (Avengers: Endgame)
During Infinity War Tony reveals a dream in which he and Pepper already have a son and they named him after her eccentric uncle, Morgan. In Endgame the dream comes to fruition, only rather than having a son, Tony and Pepper have a daughter, which they named Morgan.
In the comics, Morgan Stark is the name of Tony’s disreputable male cousin, who made his debut in an issue of Tales of Suspense back in 1965. Although Morgan started as nothing more than a bad seed, he eventually became so jealous of Tony, that he became the supervillain known as Ultimo.
4. Time For A Cheeseburger (Avengers: Endgame)
Following her father’s funeral, Morgan tells Happy she’d like a cheeseburger, which brings a smile to his face because that was Tony’s favorite too. It was a touching moment and also a reminder of the first Iron Man film when Tony escaped captivity and upon his return to the United States, wanted one thing and one thing only, a cheeseburger.
3. Pepper To The Rescue (Avengers: Endgame)
Pepper Potts first adopted the superhero identity Rescue in the comics back in 2009, but in Endgame Potts’ armor looks slightly different, appearing to be modeled after her look in cartoon series, Iron Man: Animated Adventures. In that series, Potts’ Rescue armor is blue, a strong contrast to Tony’s red and yellow suit.
2. Welcome To New Asgard (Avengers: Endgame)
In Endgame we learn Thor made good on his promise and set up a new Asgard for his people on Earth, in the city of Tønsberg, Norway. Believe it or not, this happens to be the same place where the Tesseract was hidden in the opening scene of The First Avenger, as well as the same Norwegian village Odin referred to as home, right before he passed away in Thor: Ragnarok.
1. Post-Credits Explained (Avengers: Endgame)
Marvel is known for including post-credit scenes, but Endgame didn’t happen to feature one and the reason makes a lot of sense. Endgame marked the culmination of a 10-year journey spanning 22 films. Even though Marvel has a plan for Phase 4, teasing them at the end of an emotional rollercoaster like Endgame wouldn’t have felt right. Plus, that’s what Spider-Man: Far From Home is for.
Although we did just finishing saying there was no post-credit scene, if you happened to wait to the very end of the credits as we did, you’ll hear a hammering sound gradually getting closer. The hammering noise is a throwback to Tony forging his very first Iron Man armor in a cave during the first Iron Man film, a reminder of how far the franchise has come.