One of the most enjoyable things about being a Marvel movie geek is paying close attention to detail and finding ways the movies connect. Besides the obvious recurring characters between movies, there are some hidden gems that show up, connecting the films back to the comics and even to other movies outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
After rummaging through the several awesome facts and trivia surrounding this intricate world, we later managed to hunt down 58 of the best Marvel Easter Eggs all the way back from 2008’s Iron Man to 2019’s Captain Marvel…
1. 1966 Theme Song – Iron Man
The jingle for Iron Man’s 1966 cartoon show crops up a couple of times during the first Iron Man movie. Most notably in the background at the casino and as Rhodey’s ringtone. You could say James Rhodes is a fan of the classics…
2. Fin Fang Foom – Iron Man
Comic book fans would have to be eagle eyed and prepared to freeze their screens in order to spot this hidden Easter Egg. As Iron Man speeds down a road, in the background is a billboard poster of Fin Fang Foom, one of the hero’s enemies from the comics, taking form of a metallic dragon.
3. Christine Everhart – Iron Man
There’s been a Spider-Man connection ever since the MCU began! The Vanity Fair reporter, also known as Christine Everhart in Iron Man, is actually based on the Daily Bugle reporter from the Spider-Man universe. We haven’t seen the Daily Bugle yet, but fingers crossed. You can’t miss that part of New York lore!
4. Roxxon Oil Corporation – Iron Man 1 & 2
This nefarious company, responsible for the death of Howard Stark in the comics, pops up again and again in the MCU. In Iron Man, the Roxxon Corporation building can briefly be seen in the background of Tony’s fight with Obadiah Stane. Roxxon also appears as a sponsor for one of the race teams at the Monaco Grand Prix that Tony Stark joins.
5. Super Soldier Serum – The Incredible Hulk
This label on a canister of serum appears in The Incredible Hulk just before General Ross gives it to pump up Blonsky. It’s labelled “Stark Industries,” likely from a time before Tony swore off weapons. The most interesting detail is the name of the doctor, Doctor Reinstein, who originally administered a similar serum to Captain America.
6. The Leader – The Incredible Hulk
Samuel Sterns (a.k.a Mr. Blue) should ring a few bells for Hulk fans. Especially when some of Banner’s blood starts dripping onto his forehead. Watch closely and you can see his head swelling up, much to his excitement. Was this a teaser for The Leader, one of the Hulk’s most notorious enemies?
7. Purple Pants – The Incredible Hulk
If you’re a fan of The Incredible Hulk comic books, I guess you also yearned to see the beloved green giant in his iconic purple pants. We were treated to a teeny tiny teaser when Bruce Banner held the legendary purple pants when trying on new clothes.
8. Lou Ferrigno – The Incredible Hulk & The Avengers
For most fans, Lou Ferrigno immediately comes to mind when it comes to The Incredible Hulk. He is the original actor, after all. Unless you weren’t paying attention, the iconic star had a cameo or two in both 2008’s Incredible Hulk and The Avengers. In the former, he starred as a security guard and he also lent his voice as the Hulk in The Avengers, too!
9. Captain America’s Shield – Iron Man 2
Needing something to level out his home made LHC-style particle accelerator, Tony asks Phil to slide a very familiar-looking blue-and-silver shield under one of the machine’s sections. This was initially an Easter Egg teasing Captain America: The First Avenger, but also gives clues to Tony’s feelings for the good captain.
10. Map of Superheroes – Iron Man 2
While Nick Fury tells Tony Stark that he’s not a good fit for the Avengers Initiative (yeah, right), there is a map projected behind them that seems to indicate the position of various heroes. One blip is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, suggesting Namor at home in Atlantis, and another blip is in Africa. Turns out Tony is very interested in Wakanda.
11. Captain America Comic – Iron Man 2
This was yet another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the MCU that got fans hyped. When Tony Stark rummages through his father’s belongings, underneath a newspaper is a Captain America comic book. Awesome, right?
12. Asgardian Weapons Vault – Thor
In the first Thor movie, when the frost giants first attempt to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters, we glimpse a few artifacts from the Marvel Universe. The most notable prize is the Infinity Gauntlet, sought out by Thanos during the Infinity War movies. Hela comes back to this one in Ragnarok to loudly proclaim it as fake, though.
13. Dr. Donald Blake – Thor
Jane Foster’s ex-boyfriend was a good match for concealing Thor’s identity in the 2011 movie. Although not a scientist like Selvig, ‘Dr. Donald Blake’ is the identity Thor takes on when he is bereft of his powers. In the comics, Donald Blake is also, in fact, the name of the human alias Thor uses who has a bum leg and a cane (in the form of Mjolnir in disguise). What’s interesting is, Foster fell in love with the surgeon whilst being linked with Thor at the same time and funnily enough, she didn’t realize they were the same person.
14. The World Exposition of Tomorrow – Captain America: The First Avenger
In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky visit a World’s Fair-type expo sponsored by Howard Stark. Stark himself is showing off his prototype for a flying car that is very reminiscent of Coulson’s car, Lola, from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also on display is a manikin dressed as the original Human Torch, Marvel comics’ first superhero.
15. Cap Punches Hitler – Captain America: The First Avenger
In the Captain America stage show, Steve’s routine is to punch Adolf Hitler in the face. A lot. This is an allusion to Captain America #1, where Cap bursts out of his 1942 debut comic, you guessed it, delivering a fierce right hook right into the Fuhrer’s face!
16. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes -The Avengers
During a conversation with Loki towards the end of the movie, Tony Stark refers to The Avengers as “Earth’s mightiest heroes, that kind of thing”. This title directly quotes the description written on every Avengers comic book since 1963.
17. Project Pegasus & Project 42 – The Avengers
These top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. projects are only seen in screen grabs of files, department labels or heard in the briefest of mentions. P.E.G.A.S.U.S. was S.H.I.E.L.D.’s project to unlock the energy of the Tesseract, as seen at the beginning of The Avengers. It is also the future site of Project 42, a code-name for a super-prison built in the Negative Zone by Tony Stark, which coincidentally required portals to reach.
18. The Shawarma Palace – The Avengers
One of the many Avengers Easter Eggs can be seen during the final fight scene. The idea to grab some Shawarma after the climactic final battle didn’t come to Tony Stark out of nowhere. We actually glimpse the Shawarma Palace behind him during the big fight, inspiring the later down-to-earth post credits scene.
19. Demon in a Bottle – Iron Man 3
Tony’s narration, that a famous man once said “we all create our own demons”, is not just clever foreshadowing for the movie. It’s a reference to the 1979 arc, Demon in a Bottle, a story that made Tony’s problematic relationship with alcohol iconic.
20. Selvig’s Chalkboard – Thor: The Dark World
Remember when Erik Selvig gave a presentation to his fellow mental patients in Thor 2? The scene was played for laughs but the chalkboard was full of goodies for Marvel comic fans. Mentions of the Nexus of All Reality being in a Florida swamp suggests ties to the Man-Thing. Other exciting mentions include The Crossroads, an inter-dimensional space explored by Doctor Strange, and The Fault, a rip in space discovered by the Guardians of the Galaxy.
21. Star Wars Tribute – Thor: The Dark World
Marvel movies are filled with nods to the original Star Wars trilogy by having a character have their arm cut off, just like Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. An example of this is seen in Thor 2 when Loki chops Thor’s hand off in an illusion.
22. Pulp Fiction – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Here’s a Easter Egg that doesn’t exactly reference the MCU, but it’s still super-cool, nonetheless. Look carefully at Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) gravestone in The Winter Soldier, and you’d have noticed the Bible passage written on it. “The Path of the Righteous Man” is a line famously quoted by Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction. Awesome!
23. The Celestials – Guardians of the Galaxy
We get a good glimpse of one of the giant godlike aliens of comic Marvel mythology when one of them uses the Power Stone to eradicate a planet. This particular Celestial, judging by his six-eyed helmet, was Eson the Searcher who’s intriguingly been to Earth a few times.
24. The Collector’s Collection – Guardians of the Galaxy
Similar to Odin’s treasure vault, but with living creatures, we get a good view of the Collector’s holdings in Guardians of the Galaxy. We get a dark elf, a chitauri and Cosmo the Space Dog, a telepath and sheriff of Knowhere in-comics. There’s also a big yellow cocoon that could be Adam Warlock. Crossing universes a little, we also see some slugs from the movie Slither (directed by James Gunn) and finally, Howard the Duck.
25. Excelsior – Guardians of the Galaxy
Not only was one of Stan Lee’s best cameos, it also gave us another sneaky little Easter Egg that only true Marvel fans would have sat and worked out. When Rocket zooms into Lee’s face during a particular scene in Guardians of the Galaxy, a bunch of incomprehensible text is seen layering the screen. If you have spare time on your hands like this particular fan, you’d have realized that the text translates and spells out “Excelsior” – Stan Lee’s infamous catchphrase.
26. Crawford – Avengers: Age of Ultron
Keep your eyes peeled during the Hulk and Hulkbuster fight in Age of Ultron. As they rush through the city, you can spot a truck with “Crawford” labelled on the side. This is a possible allusion to Banner’s mentor, Dr. Geoffrey Crawford, who turned himself into the gamma monster, Ravage and once fought the other two. Imagine if he suddenly crashed the party.
27. Avengers Dropping Cities from the Sky – Ant-Man
Hank Pym is no fan of The Avengers, what with his history with the Starks and all. When things with Cross escalate, he brushes off Scott Lang’s suggestion of calling them in, saying they are probably “too busy dropping cities from the sky”. Not sure if you noticed, but this is a chiding reference to the Sokovia incident in Age of Ultron.
28. Tales to Astonish – Ant-Man
When rumors spread of Pym’s shrinking technology and its resurfacing, Darren Cross brushes them off, calling these moments “propaganda, tales to astonish.” Tales to Astonish happens to be the comic series where Hank as the Ant-Man first appeared. You gotta love a bit of wordplay!
29. The Wasp – Ant-Man
The Quantum Realm that Scott Lang shrinks into is not just an infinite realm smaller than atoms. It is an alternate dimension reached by shrinking, where molecules stand in for planets and there is some kind of life there. Maybe Janet Van Dyne is alive somewhere? Eagle-eyed fans spotted this super-cool Easter Egg which showed the silhouette of someone who looks very much like a wasp. Turns out, these fans weren’t paranoid at all because Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige revealed the theory to be true. “In the first film it was, we got a glimpse of it for people who like to go through frame-by-frame, there was a little silhouette of Janet as the Wasp in there.”
30. Miriam Sharpe – Captain America: Civil War
Civil War doesn’t follow the comic arc exactly but the catalyst is roughly the same. Heroes blow up a building and a distraught woman who lost her son confronts Tony Stark. She never gives a name in the movie but the credits name her “Miriam”, sharing the identity of the mourning mother who blasted Tony after her son was killed during the Battle of Sokovia.
31. Redwing – Captain America: Civil War
In the comics, Falcon has a telepathic link to a falcon sidekick but how does the MCU solve this conundrum? You might have noticed Sam Wilson’s winged remote drone for his suit that he called ‘Redwing’. This was a clear reference to his comic-book sidekick.
32. I Could do this all Day – Captain America: Civil War
Steve Rogers is quite the repeater of words, isn’t he? In both The First Avenger and Civil War, Captain America is heard saying “I could do this all day”. You’d have to know both movies off by heart to notice this Easter Egg…
33. The Futurist – Captain America: Civil War
Here’s yet another nod to something outside the MCU. In Civil War, Clint Barton teases Tony Stark by calling him ‘The Futurist’. This is obviously referring to his future-vision abilities but could it also be alluding to Robert Downey Junior’s debut music album, ironically titled, “The Futurist”?
34. Shamballa – Doctor Strange
The Wi-Fi password for Kamar-Taj (Shamballa) is quite funny if you know your Tibetan mythology. According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shamballa is a mythical paradise kingdom hidden in the mountains that may have inspired the more commonly known Shangri-La. It also happens to be a reference to the Doctor Strange novel, Into Shamballa.
35. Doors of Perception – Doctor Strange
During the fight Mordo and Strange have with Kaicillius, the two collide with the side of a bus. Stan Lee can be seen reading Doors of Perception, an account by novelist Aldous Huxley of his experiences with Mescaline. The LSD-like qualities of it could be an inside joke on the psychedelic imagery that made Strange’s comics so popular in his debut.
36. Mindless Ones – Doctor Strange
As a cost for gaining immortality, Kaecillius and his zealots are drawn into the Dark Dimension where they transform into black-skinned cyclops-like creatures. Strange should watch out as in the comics, these beings are known as the Mindless Ones – silent and evil beings that are resistant to pain and fire lasers from their eyes.
37. Adam Warlock – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
During one of the most intriguing post-credits scenes at the very end of Guardians 2, a defeated Ayesha looks upon a golden cocoon she calls “Adam”. We had an Adam Warlock cocoon in the last Guardians movie but it looks like this one is the real deal. Will we finally meet him in the next edition of GotG?
38. David Hasselhoff – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
All throughout GotG Volume 2, Quill mentions how he used to tell everyone that David Hasselhoff, the Knight Rider was his father. Well not only does he make an appearance at the end of the film, he also sings as lead vocalist in the end-credits song, Guardians Unite.
39. The Watchers – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
It’s official – Marvel’s big-headed all-powerful aliens who do nothing but observe the events of the Marvel Universe make a special appearance in GotG 2. The cosmic Marvel mythos characters can be seen with Stan Lee who plays their informant during a brilliant post-credit scene.
40. Scorpion – Spider-Man: Homecoming
One of the thugs and weapon buyers in Spider-Man: Homecoming could very well be Mac Gargan, AKA the Scorpion, one of Spidey’s most notorious enemies. Fans noticed the Scorpion tattoo on his head, leading many to believe the infamous villain will have a major role in Marvel movies to come. At this stage, it’s hard to tell if this Gargan was always crazy or if he’s already had the supercharging that made him insane.
41. The Enforcers – Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Criminal muscle trio get a short-lived nod in Spider-Man’s adventure. Well, one of them does, anyway. Jackson Brice (Montana) calls himself “The Shocker” thanks to his shock-gloves. He’s soon accidentally killed by Toomes when trying to figure out an alien cannon. There’s no sign of Fancy Dan or the Ox though.
42. Miles Morales – Spider-Man: Homecoming
Once he clears things up about his intentions with Spider-Man, Aaron Davis mentions to the Web-Head that he’s got a nephew living in the neighborhood that he wants to keep Toomes’ guns out of. In the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, that nephew goes by the name of Miles Morales, one of the most popular successors of Spider-Man.
43. The Mighty Throg – Thor: Ragnarok
While waiting for Loki’s return from falling endlessly, Thor tells a story to Strange about the time Loki turned him into a frog. This wasn’t a random story Strange wanted to tell, but an Easter Egg that only true comic lovers would have cracked open. Did you know that the Mighty Throg is real and he is indeed a frog imbued with the power of Thor? In the comics-world, he’s part of a group called the Pet Avengers.
44. Panther’s Rage – Black Panther
What’s a standalone superhero story without a moment taken straight from a debut comic? For Black Panther, it comes late. The scene where Killmonger tosses T’Challa over a cliff is a direct parallel to the famous scene from the 1971 reinvention story, Panther’s Rage, where Killmonger is introduced.
45. Back to the Future Sneakers – Black Panther
Only the richest of Marvel heroes can afford shoes like these! When T’Challa’s sister shows her brother a new pair of sneakers, she hints that she got the idea from “an old movie” that T’Chaka loved watching – AKA, Back to the Future. Shuri didn’t just come up with the self-assembling shoes out of nowhere. There’s no doubt that daddy Panther was a Marty McFly fan.
46. White Wolf – Black Panther
As a post-credits scene for Black Panther reveals, Bucky Barnes is currently in hiding in Wakanda and he’s given the codename “White Wolf”. This name sounds pretty apt for HYDRA’s former hit-man. It’s unknown who the original White Wolf was, as he spent most of his life in Wakanda, but he was a foreigner stranded there who became chief of the War Dogs – does this hint at Bucky’s future?
47. Eccentric Uncle Morgan – Avengers: Infinity War
One of Tony’s name suggestions for his unborn baby is “Morgan”. Is it a coincidence that in the comics, there’s a certain “Morgan” who’s known as Tony’s cousin? This particular cousin is quite the troublesome and scheming douche-bag, who’s after Stark’s company and who ends up turning himself into a giant death robot called Ultimo.
48. Bruce’s Landing – Avengers: Infinity War
The way Bruce Banner fell through the skylight of the Sanctum Sanctorum mirrors the way the Silver Surfer crashed through the window to warn Strange of Thanos’ approach in the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet arc. This Easter Egg nails the scene right down to being pretty-much naked and lying over broken furniture.
49. Rocket’s Love for Artificial Body Parts – Avengers: Infinity War
Not once, but twice does Rocket’s interest in collecting robotic body parts appear. First, being the eye he gives to Thor, which he stole from some guy. And second, when he asks Bucky how much his arm costs after he realizes his gun is not for sale. Being told no, our raccoon still plans to get that arm anyway.
50. A Kick to the Jaw – Avengers: Infinity War
In the showdown on Titan, Classic Spidey says hi to Thanos with old “web to the face” routine and later double-teams with Strange to jump between portals, punching and kicking the Mad Titan between them, including a solid kick to the jaw. These are two things Spidey got famous for doing during the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet showdown.
51. Cassie Lang – Ant-Man and the Wasp
This awesome movie of 2018 had a few great comic book references. Cassie Lang isn’t just any regular young girl who wants to “help people like my dad”. Comic book fans know that Cassie’s inspiration for her father goes a little deeper – in fact, she ends up becoming a superhero known as the size-changing Young Avenger, Stature.
52. The Matrix – Ant-Man and the Wasp
Most moviegoers recognize Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus from The Matrix. It seems Ant-Man 2’s producers wanted to add a little more humor to their movie by writing the word ‘Matrix’ on the chalkboard behind Bill Foster’s lecture.
53. Pulp Fiction – Captain Marvel
Although jam-packed with several teasers and hidden references, one of the greatest Easter Eggs in Captain Marvel has to be the Pulp Fiction nod! Whether Samuel L. Jackson had a say in it or not (considering he starred in the Tarantino movie), this sneaky reference to the 1994 movie was epic indeed.
54. That Monica Rambeau Teaser
Dedicated comic and Captain Marvel lovers would have recognized little Monica Rambeau. In the comics, Monica grows up to be yet another Captain Marvel, also known as Photon with cosmic energy powers just like Carol Danvers’. Funnily enough in the movie, her future as a hero is teased when Nick Fury tells her that she can only go off to space “if [you] she learns to glow”.
That may be all when it comes to our list of MCU Easter Eggs but fear no more, because we’ve got a little treat for you Marvel-maniacs – despite it not being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we still managed to hunt down a few awesome Deadpool eggs as well!
Continue reading if you dare to go to the ‘other side’…
55. Spider-Man Connection – Deadpool
Deadpool and Spider-Man. Best friends forever! Deadpool clearly admires Spider-Man which might have been the influence for telling a guy he was bitten by a radioactive Shar-Pei, a tiny wrinkly dog in the 2015 movie. We’re pretty sure this is a callout to how Peter Parker was bitten by another radioactive animal.
56. Stewart or McAvoy? – Deadpool
When Colossus invites Deapdool to come to the X-Mansion and mentions Professor X, Deadppol asks the tin titan whether we’re talking the Patrick Stewart or James McAvoy version of Xavier. This not only refers to the two different actors but Deadpool also throws a little jab at the way Days of Future Past effectively rewrote history and how consistency of events were really confusing by adding “these timelines are so confusing…”
57. Helicarrier – Deadpool
The final fight of the movie takes place within what looks like a disused helicarrier. We could call it a day and say this is just another regular helicarrier but the way the whole thing blows up at the end is surely a take on how SHIELD’s Helicarrier is almost required to crash in a fireball whenever it appears. Perhaps Deadpool is connected to the MCU in some weird, obscure way.
58. Zip It Thanos – Deadpool 2
Talking of MCU connections, check this egg out! It’s no secret that Josh Brolin played characters in both Deadpool 2 and Infinity War. Deadpool linked Cable to the Mad Titan himself during the movie by saying, “Zip-it, Thanos”.
These superhero Easter eggs are often hard to spot, making it all the more rewarding when you find a new one. Keep us up to date with your favorite Marvel movie Easter eggs by leaving the ones you notice in the comments below…
There are sections of this article that were written by Kasey Rubenstein.