Has it really been 10 years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe first hit the silver screen? To say it’s been quite a ride is an understatement. In honor of this momentous landmark for cinema history, we thought it appropriate to present a bumper-edition Easter Egg and reference list for Infinity War. It seems the Russo Brothers also spent a considerable amount of time cramming as much Marvel lore into two and a half hours as humanly possible.
We’ve done our best to find them all but forgive us if there are far more. Without further ado, we present 32 Infinity War Easter Eggs and references…
1. A Scottish Shout-Out
Not a Marvel Easter egg but one for the books. If you look to the right of Wanda into the Edinburgh chip shop that she and Vision visit, there’s a sign saying “we will deep fry your kebab.” Scotland is known for deep frying all sorts (most famously Mars bars). When several proud Scots saw this they took to Twitter to express their joy.
2. Stan Lee’s Cameo
What’s a Marvel movie without a Stan Lee show-up? Stan appears earlier than usual in these stories, as he is revealed to be the one driving the bus for Peter Parker’s field trip. Upon arrival of one of Thanos’ spaceships, he chides the frantic children saying, “What’s the matter with you kids, you never seen a spaceship before?”. To be fair, most of them are 15-17 years-old and the incident was at least 10 years ago.
3. Keep Calm and Call Captain Marvel
We only got one Marvel post-credit scene this time round, and it didn’t exactly lighten Infinity War’s heavy ending. But Marvel fans could at least leave the cinema with a minor smile as Nick Fury’s final message is sent. We see a star and zig-zag divide that can only belong to one person: Captain Marvel, AKA Carol Danvers. Is she about to save the day?
4. Samuel L. Jackson’s Favorite Word
For Samuel L. Jackson fans, Nick Fury had some very prominent final words. As he disappeared into the ether he said the word “mother” and was cut off. We can’t say what we thought he’d say but anyone acquainted with Jackson and his on-screen reputation can probably guess.
5. Rocket’s Love for Artificial Body Parts
There was not one, but two nods to Rocket’s interest in artificial body parts. The first being the story he told of stealing a guy’s eye after a game. The second is that after he and Bucky team up to slay some of Thanos’ attack hounds, he asks how much for Bucky’s new arm after the latter insisted his gun was not for sale. He really does have a thing for prosthetic body parts…
6. Arrested Development Cameo
To say the Collector’s hobby is a little peculiar is to say the sea is a tad salty. When returning to Knowhere, eagle-eyed Arrested Development fans might have noticed Tobias Funke in his resplendent Blue Man Group getup, sitting all cosy in one of the Collector’s exhibits. If you can recall, the Russo Brothers, who directed a few Arrested Development episodes, also referenced the TV show in Civil War, too!
7. Beta Ray Bill Reference
A new God of Thunder means a new hammer to channel his power. And Stormbreaker packs one heck of a wallop. But that name’s not new to savvy fans. The Stormbreaker has some history in Marvel. In the 1984 comic, Thor #339, alien gladiator, Beta Ray Bill beats Thor and lifts Mjolnir. Odin then forges him a hammer of his own called Stormbreaker. I guess Infinity War took a different route and handed the weapon over to Thor instead.
Vormir, like many places, has turned up in the comics. However, the version we visit in the film is a little more desolate and abandoned from the Vormir under the Kree Empire. In the comics, Thor visited this planet at least once to speak to one denizen – a dangerous red lizard named Star Stalker – about Thanos.
9. Cauldron of the Cosmos
Tony should be a lot more careful about the priceless artifacts he decides to stretch his legs against. As Strange mentions, that giant urn is the Cauldron of the Cosmos. What he didn’t mention was that the good doctor likes to use it to observe all of time and space. So he’s got good reason to take very good care of it.
10. “We have a Hulk”
These immortal words were used to announce the Hulk on the battered ship containing what’s left of Asgard, and originally used by Tony as a counter to Loki explaining he has an army in Avengers Assemble. It must have felt good for Loki to be the one saying that this time around.
11. Bruce and the Silver Surfer
Bruce’s rather visible arrival to Earth has him join an illustrious roster of powerful people who crash-landed on Earth to warn that some cosmic-level threat was coming. Funnily enough, Bruce lands by smashing the Sanctum Sanctorum skylight exactly like the Silver Surfer did when he announced Thanos’ was coming in 1991’s Infinity Gauntlet.
12. The Iron Spider
It may have been teased in Homecoming but when the Iron Spider suit was introduced in Avengers 3, I think a lot of us knew it would mean serious business. Most spectacular of all for the Web-Head is how the suit comes with four mechanical spider-legs. A lot like the ones attached to his comic-book Iron Spider costume when he was Stark’s protégé, funnily enough.
13. A Snap of his Fingers
Throughout the film, we are told that once Thanos has all the Infinity Stones, he can wipe out half the universe with a snap of his fingers, and then at the end he does just that. This is one of the more famous moments in comic history. But as if to darken the tunnel, the original moment was the end of act one.
14. A Kick to the Jaw
The Avengers-Guardians team-up really give it their all in trying to knock Thanos out. Stand-out is when Dr. Strange summons a bunch of portals and Spider-Man jumps between them punching and kicking the Mad Titan between them. He even manages to land a solid kick to the jaw and earlier gives Thanos the old “web to the face” routine. These are two things comic-Spidey did during the 1992 Infinity Gauntlet showdown.
15. White Vision
A more upsetting Easter Egg in Avengers 3 but cool for comic fans, nonetheless. After Thanos kills Vision by removing the Soul Stone, he does something that could be his equivalent of going pale. His bold red and green becomes an almost monochromatic grey, with maybe a few tinges of his original color. This has happened to him before, when he was dismantled by shady elements and put back together completely emotionless and white as fine porcelain. For a few seconds, we got to see Vision with his iconic grey/white comic-book look.
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16. Thanos’ Victory Rest
As discussed, Infinity War switched a few things around from the Infinity Gauntlet comics. When Thanos decides to rest, feeling like his is mission accomplished, his closing gaze reflects the same moment in the comic. Albeit he’s proud he’s finally won rather than the original who eventually settled down to enjoy the universe he tried so desperately to change.
17. The Soulworld
Where Thanos goes when he snaps his fingers remains unknown. Is it introspection? Or is it related to the Soul Stone? Given the orange hue and surreal environment, we’re guessing it’s the latter – something of a cage for the souls taken by the stone and, conveniently, a way to ensure certain heroes aren’t actually dead. We saw a young Gamora there – is this suggesting her return in future films?
18. A Lady Death Cameo?
Unfortunately, in Infinity War, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of Thanos’ feelings for Lady Death, the cosmic aspect of death in the Marvel Universe and character whom he falls in love with. But we do come close when Red Skull makes his return. Dressed in a tattered cloak and bearing a skull for a head, he doesn’t look too far off from the Grim Reaper, Lady Death’s most popular form. Could this resemblance have been a minor tribute to Thanos’ love interest?
19. Settle Down Flash Gordon
Tony Stark’s pop culture savvy was on top form here. Adding to the list of pop-culture based nicknames he stares down Peter Quill by calling him Flash Gordon, the dashing cosmic adventurer stranded from Earth. Given Peter’s backstory, it seems he hit a name that’s more apt than he thinks it is.
20. Eccentric Uncle Morgan
The name of the child Tony dreams about having with Pepper – Morgan – has something of a history. In the comics, Morgan is actually Tony’s cousin, who is famous for becoming the giant death robot Ultimo after failing to steal Stark’s company. His name is never good news.
21. Captain America the Nomad
Captain America has once again changed his look, folks. All black and lacking the signature elements that make him the Captain, he takes on a role Steve adopted as “Nomad” in the comics. Thankfully, his improvised outfit is a lot more practical than the jet-black Siegfried-and-Roy style outfit he wore as Nomad. But at least they kept a homage to the rounded buckles on the shoulders.
22. Ebony Maw and Strange
Another comic-book callback! Dr. Strange’s imprisonment and torment by space wizard and prophet Ebony Maw didn’t involve floating needles but it did involve Maw messing with Strange’s head.
23. The Really Old ‘Alien’ Movie
Peter’s solution to getting rid of Ebony Maw is inspired by “another really old movie”, this time it’s James Cameron’s Aliens. Not only does it involve flushing the monster into space, we see Maw fly away from his ship in an almost exact replica of the Alien queen’s flight at the end of the movie.
24. Reality Stone Comic Callback
We finally get an idea of what the Reality Stone does and boy is it a mind-screw. The way Thanos deals with Mantis and Drax at Knowhere has been seen before, way back In the Infinity Gauntlet arc. In the comics, Thanos turned Nebula into ribbons, as he did to Mantis in the film and turns Thanos’ brother Starfox into cubes, as he did to Drax in Avengers 3.
25. Saving the World like Kevin Bacon
Stuck on Titan and trying to figure out a plan, it is here where Tony learns of the time Star Lord was able to take on Ronan the Accuser in a dance-off. Not only is this a callback to the references of Footloose in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Peter recognizes the plot. How many old movies has that kid seen?
26. Captain America’s Armor Scales
For eagle-eyed viewers, this is a nod that’s also been several years in the making. We finally get to see at least a glimpse of Steve Roger’s iconic ‘fishscale’ armoring under a battle-damaged outfit, which makes it look like a bullet-resistant underlayer.
27. A McDonald’s Reference
Who is big, purple and a big meanie? Not Thanos, but the milkshake-sealing Grimace – one of McDonald’s’ marketing mascots. Peter Quill uses the name on the bad guy and it isn’t odd though. If “Smurf” can be used as an insult for blue people, a purple man being called Grimace isn’t too far a stretch.
28. Outrider Army
Thanos has no shortage of warriors for his army. Prominently seen are the four-armed monstrosities that try to overrun Wakanda. Called “Outriders” in the comics, these monsters exist for one purpose – to complete the mission or die trying, which explains why so many of them killed themselves.
29. A’lars the Mentor
While guiding Thanos to the Soul Stone, Red Skull mentions Thanos’ father, A’lars, who is one of Marvel’s Eternals. This is quite the punch, as we’ve so far not heard of any family or history beyond the rumors of Thanos as a mender of worlds. Could it be a nod to rumors of Marvel creating a series for the Eternals?
30. Strange Spells
While not called out by name, two iconic spells in Strange’s arsenal make a prominent appearance – The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, red ribbons he uses to bind and grab powerful foes, and the Images of Ikonn, where Strange creates about a thousand copies of himself. Both spells were also shown their respective historical effectiveness.
Infinity War feels like a celebration not just of the Cinematic Universe, but absolutely everything Marvel. The Russo Brothers certainly didn’t make this a brief list so some might have slipped under our radar. Did you spot any Easter Eggs in Avengers: Infinity War that we didn’t? Let us know in the comments…
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