If you are one of the $1.2 billion reasons Avengers: Endgame is shattering every box office record in the motion picture business, welcome to the club. So are we.
It seems there are about that many Easter Eggs, brand references, allusions, and metaphors in this movie that connect to comic canon, notable stuff, and really inside baseball that are just good for Cards Against Humanity: Geek Style.
Of all of those, here are 20 of the absolute best Easter Eggs, like Cadburys, that force a fan to really pay attention and not go pee just yet. (And yes, Easter Eggs should imply SPOILERS ARE AHEAD… you’ve been warned!)
1. Thanos Scarecrow
There is Big Purple, tilling his field, remembering half of mankind he dusted, and enjoying the sun, when we are met with a Thanos Scarecrow. Of course, he is placing his Titanic armor on a stick so he can stop sweating, right? No, that is deep canon from 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet, which kinda inspired the whole movie.
2. Hawkeye … Bishop?
You may remember this scene in the movie–Clint is giving his daughter archery lessons. Sweet. She nails a bulls-eye (shortly before she is dusted) and Clint is heard saying, “Good job, Hawkeye.”
Now, that name has never been uttered in Avengers films before now, so he may be talking to his daughter. If that’s true, she is none other than Kate Bishop, known in comics as–you guessed it–Hawkeye. Allegedly, we meet Kate in the Disney+ series Hawkeye.
3. Vault 616
There we are, five years later, and Scott Lang gets free from the van, which carries the entrance point to the Quantum Realm. He is trying to get out of there–Vault 616. So? Direct homage to Marvel as “Earth 616” is the established primary universe where Marvel books and titles take place.
You know the reference–Thor, exposing his beer belly for Tony Stark to ridicule. And he calls him “Lebowski,” of course, the pop-culture reference for The Big Lebowski’s “Dude” and his doppleganger from Asgard abiding on the recliner. Only, who played the Dude? Jeff Bridges…who also played Obadiah Stane. Shout out to Iron Man.
5. The Kid from Iron Man 3
Yes! You thought right. The boy you see in Tony’s funeral among all the heroes (e.g., Guardians, Nick Fury, Luis from Ant-Man) was actually the very same kid–Ty Simpkins– from Iron Man 3. In the movie, he was known as Harley Keener, the boy who helped a stranded Tony Stark in Tennessee. Apparently, Pepper hit him up on Insta DM.
6. Jim Starlin
Name not ring a bell? It should. Remember the support group scene featuring a perplexed Steve Rogers discussing the effects of the snap? There’s one older gentlemen sitting by himself and the camera stays on him longer than the others. Go watch Endgame again. That’s Thanos’ baby daddy, the writer of the original Infinity Gauntlet. Without Jim, no Thanos. Without Thanos, no Endgame.
7. What’s Ken Jeong Reading?
That short security guard was Ken Jeong, which wasn’t much of an egg. However, you see his book? Characters with exposed publications or media should always be investigated. The book was The Terminal Beach. J.G. Ballard is well-known for two other screenplay adaptations, Empire of the Sun and Crash. So, why The Terminal Beach? There is a short story in it about a man condemned for execution unaware. It’s called End Game.
8. Professor Hulk
Yeah, it was a little wasted effort making Hulk a nerd instead of having the green goon smash everything in sight, only the effort was digging into canon for inspiration. Professor Hulk is like the perfect balance of Dr. Bruce Banner and the Blue-Green Berserker and it’s been in comics too. I guess Marvel thought that would be cool. Meh.
Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a meeting with the unsnapped and Okoye mentions “there is an earthquake underwater.” Of course, her boss is standing there because that quaking is coming up in Black Panther 2. It has to be the Atlantean Empire of Namor, and if you know comics, you know those two aren’t pals. This is going to be great.
10. Captain Britain
Again, you read that correctly! There’s no doubt this is happening in Phase 4, somehow. Remember when Captain America was sneaking through Camp Lehigh (his veritable birthplace)? He goes in this room and see Peggy. However, while people were gasping in the theater, you may not have heard her line, “Braddock hasn’t checked in.” As in Brian Braddock! Expect to see him, Roma (his daughter), and the warlock Merlyn on screen soon.
One of the most popular and most useless post-credit scenes was during The Avengers. There’s the team following the nuclear disaster huddled in this diner post-Apocalypse and Tony gets a hankering for shawarma (it’s a Turkish buffet kabob thing). During Endgame, Sec. Pierce (Robert Redford) asks Thor and Loki where they are headed. “Lunch, then Asgard.” Shout out to Shawarma.
12. That Logo Tho
Marvel doesn’t miss a thing. If Marvel was a girlfriend, you guys who cheat wouldn’t stand a chance. This woman would catch everything. Take the opening logo. Did you notice they messed with the characters in the letters — the only people visible are the ones who survived the snap. So cool.
13. Ant-Man Old School
No bootleg photos here, but a fitting homage. When the time heist took us back to Hank Pym’s office, did you catch the funny helmet with antennae? That was Ant-Man circa 1962 as Jack Kirby envisioned him. Fitting since he pretty much saved the day getting everyone thinking about the Quantum Realm. There’s your 15 minutes, Scott.
14. Iron Man Honors
This was Robert Downey, Jr’s swan song, without question. Payoffs everywhere. He got to finally fight with Pepper (the outfit was known as ‘Rescue’ in comics), the tribute post-credits reminding us of MCU’s beginnings, and this: “I am Iron Man.” Yes, a nice “suck it” to Thanos before he snaps, but that’s also a call back to the original Iron Man when Tony broke that out at the press conference. It all comes back to Tony.
That’s what he looks like? I guess Marvel couldn’t let DC have all the fun with unveiling the favorite servants of the comics. With Pennyworth coming out soon, Marvel sneaks a cameo for the faceless Jarvis–now live in person–picking up Howard Stark. If you remember, we heard Jarvis wasn’t always A.I. on the Agent Carter ABC series that was booted way too early. Oddly enough, Jarvis was played by James D’arcy, who played him in the defunct series. Nice symmetry Marvel.
16. Howard the Duck
Seriously, what is Marvel’s romance with this friggin’ duck. Can’t we just forget the colossally failed ’80s reject? This Anas Platyrhynchos actually got his anus in the movie. Everyone travels through Strange portals to kick Thanos’ anus, and look who is there behind Wasp? In the name of Stan Lee, why?! Hilarious.
17. Girl Power Meets A-Force
Of course, you saw every heroine gathered together harnessing their own bravado to whoop up on Thanos. While some have argued Captain Marvel tried hard with the “girl power” focus, this scene was easy. It was perfect…and it was a nod to something else. As the Infinity Gauntlet is making its way through the crowd, Carol Danvers is coupled with her newest pals. If you keep up with more progressive Marvel comics, the A-Force is an all-girl team certain to squash any dude around. And, they may be coming in Phase 5?
18. The Dance
At the risk of breaking out a Garth Brooks tune, the lost dance between Peggy and Steve has been an longstanding, infrequent line of chatter in the MCU movies. Steve mentioned to Peggy he wanted a dance in The First Avenger, then he kinda freezes up for 70 years. We finally got the payoff. Again, Marvel doesn’t miss the details.
19. Asgardians of the Galaxy
When Thor was chubby, everyone was laughing. And, in the festivities, you may have missed a classic but obscure comic callback. There’s Thor with “Quail” and “Rabbit” and he calls the team the “Asgardians of the Galaxy.” Yes, that was a thing. Google it. Only one problem: Thor the god of thunder wasn’t there. He was a frog, so there’s that. (Don’t ask.)
20. And Cap Makes Three
Without question, the most stand-up-and-cheer-like-a-schoolgirl-at-a-Bieber-concert was Mjolnir getting hurled at Thanos’ mush by… Captain America. Oh, that was so dope! Remember, he tried to lift the thing off a table and wasn’t worthy enough at the time. It was destined to happen because it is canon after all (see?), but let’s not forget Vision was worthy enough to smack Ultron around with it. What a super troika that is, all united with something you can buy at Home Depot.