All of the Marvel movies have an easter egg or two lying around somewhere in the background. Only true Marvel fans, especially those who read the comics, would notice them. However, if you’re not one of those, we’ve made it simple for you by providing the top 40 easter eggs to look out for in your favorite Marvel movies.
40. The Foreshadowing Of The Fight With Fenrir in Thor: Ragnarok
In Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk finally comes out of his raged state and returns to being Bruce Banner after (who-knows-how-long) he’s been on Sakaar. He rummages through the ship to find some of Stark’s clothes and puts on a Duran Duran shirt. The artwork is from their album “Hungry Like The Wolf,” which, if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember that they have to face down Fenris the wolf close to the end of the film. Who didn’t see this one coming?
39. The Famous Actors Playing Gods in “Thor: Ragnarok”
Thor: Ragnarok was a pretty memorable movie, not only for its stylistic choices but also for the incredible soundtrack and humor. If you can recall the scene where Thor returns to Asgard initially, he walks in on a play that his “father” is watching. Look more closely, and you might recognize several famous faces playing the Norse Gods. From left to right, you can see that Matt Damon is playing Loki, Luke Hemsworth (Chris’ brother) is playing Thor, and Sam Neill (from Jurassic Park) is playing Odin.
38. The Mother Of Another Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Doctor Helen Cho played a small part in Age of Ultron, working in one of Stark’s labs. She turns down an invite to a party… but still curiously asks if Thor will be there. Those who don’t read the comics may not know that Doctor Helen Cho is actually the mother of Amadeus Cho, who is the Totally Awesome Hulk. Who would have thought that there would be another Hulk tie-in from the comics is an important character who helps bring about the birth of Vision?
After being frozen in ice for decades, Steve Rogers creates a list of things to do in a little book he carries around with him. A way to integrate himself back into society is by learning what this new world offers. However, depending on which country the movie was released in, his list changes. As you can see, one list has him going to The World Cup, while another has him visiting the Berlin Wall. Rogers was given different lists for each country the movie aired in, probably homage to that country’s culture and past times.
36. The Collector’s Collection in Guardians Of The Galaxy
In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the crew is taken through the Collector’s display room of various things and creatures. Many of them are actually references from the comics and other films. For example, one display case has a Chitauri, the alien enemy from the Avengers movies, and another has a dark elf, which was the enemy in the Thor movie. There’s also Cosmo, the space dog from the comics. Hopefully, he might appear in a future Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
When it comes to Bruce Banner, he’s more well-known as The Hulk, and many people don’t give him credit for how smart he is. Well, in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Bruce Banner got to be a part of a wall of pioneering scientists in a classroom scene. Blink, and you might miss it because it’s only up on the screen for a few seconds. At least Bruce Banner is finally getting recognition for something he’s good at… other than smashing things into paste. After all, he does have seven PhDs.
In Black Panther, when Killmonger manages to get his hands on another of Shuri’s transformation necklaces, he gains a panther suit of his own… only it’s not a panther at all but a leopard. It’s definitely a unique change but is also a significant reference to the comic. In the comics, Killmonger actually had a pet leopard named Preyy, which was likely a reference to that little face. Needless to say, the outfit did look cool, and the addition of the teeth to the mask added a nice sinister look.
In the first Avengers movie, Stark Tower is the meeting place for all of the heroes. After a scuffle, many of the letters were knocked off, leaving just the A intact. It is a deliberate foreshadowing for it becoming the Avengers Tower instead, where all the heroes can meet up, relax, or prepare for their next big fight. However, it’s a shame that it took the building getting destroyed for this idea to rise from the ashes.
There is an opening shot in the first Avengers movie where Thor is trying to catch up with Loki, and two ravens are perched on the side. For those who don’t know Norse mythology, ravens are synonymous with Odin since he has two named Huginn and Muninn who watch over the lands for him and bring him news of what is going on in them. The Thor movies do take some liberties with its mythology, but having a nod to the lore is really neat.
When Thor was sent to the prison planet, Sakaar, he had to endure several gladiatorial matches to win his freedom. In the shot of the tower, the one The Grandmaster presides in. You can see several faces constructed out of metal along the sides. They’re famous characters from the comics, including Beta-Ray Bill (who also became Thor), Ares, and Bi-Beast. We’ll never know whether they actually won their freedom or perished in honorable deaths during the matches. Perhaps a few future MCU movies can answer these questions in due time.
30. A Single Reference That Stretches Across Many of Marvel’s Stories
In The Incredible Hulk, General Ross decides to dust off a serum that Stark Industries created to give to Blonsky to make the Abomination. The name revealed on the serum is Dr. Reinstein, which is the exact name of the doctor in the Captain America comics who provided Steve Rogers with the Super Soldier Serum. Moreover, the Weapons Plus program is the same one that worked on Wolverine to provide him with his adamantium skeleton. Coincidence or just a clever nod to Marvel Comics’ other works?
29. The Giant Purple Pants Made The Stage In The Incredible Hulk
Betsy Ross goes shopping for Bruce in the very first The Incredible Hulk movie. When she returns with his clothes, he opens the bag to discover an overly large, bright purple pants. It’s definitely a reference to the purple pants that The Hulk is known for wearing in the comics. Although they’re pretty much a staple in the comics, they haven’t many other appearances since in any of the subsequent movies with the Hulk.
People weren’t really excited after the first few MCU movies, and they probably thought they weren’t going to go anywhere interesting. That’s when the directors decided to take everyone for a spin and show Mjolnir during the end credits of Iron Man 2. For those who didn’t know at the time, Mjolnir is the name of the famous hammer that belonged to Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. They weren’t going to pull any stops when it came to their next movie, and they didn’t fail to disappoint.
In the first Iron Man movie, Terrence Howard is the one who plays Rhodey before Don Cheadle takes the role. In one scene, he’s talking to an Iron Man suit and utters the words “next time, baby.” After that, Rhodey has donned the War-Machine suit in all of the movies he’s appeared in. The small scene was definitely a prediction of what was in store for the character in the future, and it’s a good thing it did. Stark obviously needs a level-headed guy at his side to keep him from making some bad choices, in and out of combat.
26. How Crossbones From The Comics Came To Be In The MCU
During the Winter Soldier movie, a mercenary called Brock Rumlow shows up to stir up trouble. By the end of the film, he’s been burned to a crisp. The straps across his chest are reminiscent of his comic counterpart: Crossbones. Little is known as to whether Crossbones or Rumlow will make an appearance in the future, but the fans can only hope so. It would definitely add more conflict to the MCU, creating some excellent dynamics.
If you’re familiar with The Hulk tv show from the 1970s, then you would know the household name of Lou Ferrigno. Nevertheless, did you know that he was in The Incredible Hulk movie? He had a tiny part, and if you didn’t recognize his face, you might have missed him, but he worked as a security guard at the front desk. In fact, he has also gone on to provide the voice of the Hulk in other MCU movies, too, all the way up to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Before the Infinity Gauntlet had even been talked about or Thanos was an idea, the famous piece of armor made an appearance in the first Thor movie. It was locked up in the Asgardian weapons vault for safekeeping. The purpose of the Gauntlet is to unite the Infinity Stones, which each made an appearance afterward in each of the MCU films, including Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengersmovie, and Dr. Strange. To think that the idea had been birthed that early on in the MCU movie history is a little mind-blowing. Of course, it was then explained in Thor: Ragnarok that it was a fake and Thanos had the real one.
23. The Birth Of Adam Warlock in “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2”
Adam Warlock isn’t a character that many people know about unless they’ve read many comics growing up. If you remember, the movie consisted of the Guardians working with a race of gold people at the beginning of the film, and they made an appearance at the end when they showed a gold cocoon of some sort. This is going to be the birthplace of Adam Warlock in the next Guardians movie. Whether he’ll be a good guy and join the team or be a bad guy and give them hell will remain to be seen.
22. Howard The Duck Making An Appearance In Guardians Of The Galaxy
If you’ve learned by now, it’s crucial that you stick around for the post-credits scenes of any Marvel movie. That’s because they tend to reveal much information in only a few seconds about what will take place in the next film. At the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Howard the Duck makes an appearance. If you don’t know who that is, he’s a famous duck character who has appeared in several of Marvel’s comics, including Civil War, Generation X, and Spider-Man. This is strange because Howard has no actual powers of his own.
Rhodey and Stark have a pretty strong friendship that seems to withstand the tests of time and conflict. Every time Stark gives his friend a call, you’ll hear a cute little ringtone coming out of his phone. The significance? It’s the theme song from the 1966 Iron Man cartoon show. Whoever thought to include that little jingle in the movies is either a genius or knew to do their homework. You can actually hear the theme song sprinkled around in other parts of the movie’s soundtrack.
20. Whiplash Making An Appearance in Iron Man and Iron Man 2
In the first movie, Iron Man is chased by a jet fighter named Whiplash on the side. This is a reference to the comic character that is one of Iron Man’s main villains. It was also foreshadowing for Whiplash in the second movie, as he was written in and was portrayed by Mickey Rourke. He really gave Tony Stark a run for his money by creating his own Arc Reactor and armor to battle the billionaire playboy.
19. The Real-Life Actor Appearing In His Own Movie
In Iron Man 3, there’s a scene at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which is the Hollywood Walk of Fame location, where celebrities place their handprints in cement. The movie’s villain kneels in front of the theater and on the ground right next to him, yes? It is Robert Downey Jr.’s handprints and stars. No one knows if the directors chose to do this or if it was R.D.J.’s idea, but it was definitely a clever joke you might have missed if you weren’t looking closely enough.
The Lonely Man was a famous song from the Hulk television series from the 1970s. People, especially fans, loved it so much that it was incorporated into the movie. It became part of the score when Bill Bixby wrote it, memorializing the humble beginnings of a Marvel character that not many people paid attention to. It’s nice to see how specific material from the past has been recycled and incorporated into today’s new media.
Readers of the comics would be familiar with who Hank Pym and his daughter Hope Van Dyne were. The latter of the two has been The Wasp in the comics, but she isn’t the first. That would go to Janet Van Dyne, Hope’s mother, who hasn’t even been talked about in the first Ant-Man movie. However, when Scott Lang is shrinking down into the Quantum Realm, you can see a very vague outline of The Wasp’s suit, wings and all. Of course, in the second Ant-Man movie, Hope gained the Wasp suit and reunited with the original Wasp, her mother, by the end of the film.
16. An Iconic Scene Replayed in Captain America: Civil War
Civil War seemed like the beginning of the end for the Avengers. The team was divided into two sides: one for the Sokovia Accords and the other against. What played out was an iconic scene that was taken right out of the pages of Avengers #223. This was a scene that involved Ant-Man climbing onto Hawkeye’s arrow so that he could be shot towards his target. The scene almost puts the Fastball Special to shame.
15. The Wife That Never Came To Be in Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Tony Stark has many ideas roaming around in his head, so much so that he has a hard time keeping track of them all. He has an artificial intelligence system called Friday, which you can see him loading up in the movie. However, in the background, there seem to be other A.I.s, too, each with their own names written on the top. One of them is “Jocasta,” which is actually the name of the “bride of Ultron” from the comics.
In the first Iron Man movie, the Ten Rings appear as a terrorist organization, making threats and even kidnapping Tony Stark himself. The Ten Rings are a nod to the Mandarin, an infamous Marvel villain known for foiling the Avengers time and time again. Unfortunately, he was reduced to a comical role, played by Ben Kingsley, so MCU fans likely don’t take him as a serious threat anymore for the future. However, it goes to show that the writers know how to incorporate the same evil agencies throughout several of their movies.
If you saw the first Iron Man movie, you might have become aware of the terrorist organization called the Ten Rings. One man showed up in the first Ant-Man movie to try and buy some Pym particles from Darren Cross (the main antagonist), who was sporting a Ten Rings tattoo on his neck. It was definitely a callback to the first movie and demonstrated that the organization hadn’t been beaten after all and was still very much alive. Who knows if they’ll show up in the future MCU movies.
This is another Easter Egg from the comics, where Aldrich Killian runs A.I.M. It stands for Advanced Idea Mechanics and, in the comics, is actually a vast criminal organization that is often affiliated with HYDRA. Of course, none of those ties came out in the movie itself, but it’s neat to see how the writers are pulling from the source material to create new and unique stories that could lead somewhere in the future if moviegoers are following the story threads properly.
11. Doctor Samson Being Reference In The Incredible Hulk
Given Banner’s troublesome alter-ego, Betty Ross and Bruce Banner were never really destined to be together. So in the movie, Ross falls into the arms of another man, Doc Samson. He’s a character from the comics who sported long, green hair after being exposed to some of Banner’s radiation after being cured of being the Hulk. This caused him to gain super strength and to become more durable, but these powers were tied to the length of his hair, just like the Biblical character he was named after.
10. Quicksilver Lives On In Avengers: Age Of Ultron
The Maximoff twins, Pietro and Wanda, made their first debut in Age of Ultron, and people were intrigued by what they could do. Unfortunately, before the end of the movie, Pietro loses his life in order to save Hawkeye. It’s hard to consider the reasons why he would be removed from the same film he first appeared in, but it can’t be changed now. The writers did continue the legacy of his name: Hawkeye decided to give his newborn Pietro’s middle name as a way to remember him.
Ant-Man is one of those Marvel characters that isn’t taken that seriously. He’s been in the comics for a while, but he’d never made it onto the television screen until 1979. This wasn’t his own show; instead, it was a Saturday Night Live skit that involved some superheroes. Ant-Man was played by Garrett Morris, who ended up having a cameo in the Ant-Man movie when Ant-Man lands on his car and scares him. What a great way to honor the first guy who played him on T.V.!
8. The Creation Of The Leader in The Incredible Hulk
In the first movie, the Hulk is injured and dripping his radioactive blood onto the head of Dr. Samuel Sterns. In the comic, this character becomes The Leader, a big nemesis for The Hulk. He’s known for having quite a large head, which begins to swell at the end of this scene. Perhaps the writers will sit down and be able to flesh out a much better Hulk movie in the future, but for the time being, it seems The Leader will just remain in the comics.
7. The Original Human Torch Outfit In Captain America: The First Avenger
There were a lot of memorable scenes in the first Captain America movie, but one of the most striking could be when Rogers and Barnes entered a Stark expo to see all of the inventions he was showing off to the rest of the world. In the middle of the room seems to be a bright red jumpsuit. This is supposed to be the outfit for the Human Torch, a member of The Fantastic Four. What’s even more hilarious is that Chris Evans, the actor who plays Steve Rogers, also played that role in the first Fantastic Four movie.
In the first Avengers movie, you can see Stark overlooking blueprints for rebuilding his destroyed tower by the end. However, instead of rebuilding it for himself, he realizes the importance of what he needs to do, knowing what’s coming. That’s why when he’s rebuilding, he decides to give the other Avengers their own quarters to stay in so that they can always be on call whenever danger arises. Their own symbol on the blueprints represents each Avenger, probably so he can keep them separate and ensure that each Avenger gets precisely what they need according to their expertise and powers.
5. When Comic Lore Comes To Reality In More Ways Than One
In the original Captain America comic, his best friend Bucky remained dead for decades. Nevertheless, one writer brought him back, and his name is Ed Brubaker. Moreover, he got to do so not just once, but twice. In Captain America: Winter Soldier, when Bucky is in the chair with a contraption on his head, Brubaker is the one that is “bringing” Bucky back to life. The little cameo is definitely a nod to the work he put into creating one of the most exciting storylines in Marvel’s history, especially involving Captain America.
4. Black Widow’s Necklace in Captain America: Winter Soldier
Many of the Avengers movies feature scenes with Hawkeye and Black Widow together. It’s probably because they’re not super-powered people like the rest of their team; they’re just good at what they do being normal humans. Although they have a few meaningful conversations together, Black Widow can be seen wearing a small arrow necklace that could hint at some romantic involvement between the two. Of course, by now, you’ve probably noticed that heart-wrenching scene at the end of Endgame, so it’s unlikely that there will be a rekindling of any flames between the two.
Black Panther was such a fantastic movie and was the breath of fresh air that the MCU needed. When T’Challa, Okoya, and Nakia, a member of the Dore Milaj, head to a casino to discover more information about Klaue, they’re sporting fancy outfits to blend in with the rest of the crowd. Not many people know this following detail. However, when they line up against the balcony and look down, the colors of their outfits represent the Pan-African flag. That was a neat detail that you more than likely missed.
Fin Fang Foom is actually a dragon alien who was a known nemesis of Iron Man in the comics. He was known for being a shapeshifter so that he could take any form that he liked. However, he’s also pretty strong, durable, and can live for thousands of years. So, where was he in the Iron Man movie? If you pause it when Iron Man is flying through the streets, you can see a poster of him in the background, staring down at the cars driving by. Who knows, this may be a potential villain in the future, or it could just be a nod to the comics. Only time will tell.
If you’re really picky about Easter Eggs, then this might be one you have to keep an eye out for because you could miss it. Furthermore, even if you do find it, you may not even know what it means. In every single movie, you’ll see “A113” somewhere in the background of every MCU feature film. So what does it stand for? A113 is the number of the classroom that all of the Pixar employees shared when they attended CalArts. A little homage to the class brought them all together to work on these fabulous projects.