Through all the messy press the movie has had on the road to release, it’s a huge relief that Captain Marvel was a pretty good romp. Not only was it a great tribute to the one-woman force of nature, Carol Danvers, but it also honored and referenced its fellow MCU movies, Marvel comic books and other notorious films, too.
Buckle up and get ready for blastoff! Here are 21 Captain Marvel Easter Eggs we managed to hunt down whilst watching the very first female-led Marvel superhero blockbuster…
1.”The Last Time I Trusted Someone I Lost an Eye”
After some ten years of seeing him creep through the shadows, we finally get an answer as to how Fury lost his eye. He once told Steve Rogers in Winter Soldier that it related to the last time he “trusted someone”. Well, he kind of had it coming being obsessed with Goose the cat, and all. Cats are notoriously fickle creatures, especially this alien-infested one. You might have had your eye scratched, but I wouldn’t take it personally Nick, Carol’s cat happens to hate everyone.
2. The Right Stuff
Landing in a Blockbuster video store (talk about landing in the nineties!), Carol picks up a VHS copy of The Right Stuff, a 1983 movie about the astronauts of the Mercury Programme. She also blows up a True Lies (1994) standee which kinda clarifies this movie takes place in 1995.
3. Classic Costume Colors
With Monica Rambeau cycling though possible colors for an ideal style, Carol tries colors she’d historically wear in the comics. Starting with a green-and-grey outfit originally worn by Captain Mar-Vell, then a hint at her classic black “Warbird” number. The multicoloured neon one was mostly a fun experiment.
4. Dr. Walter Lawson
The only thing that really changed about Dr. Lawson (a.k.a. Mar-Vell) is that a man is now a woman. This, right down to their position in a top-secret facility, was the identity of the first Captain Marvel. Originally a male Kree, Mar-Vell went to Earth as a spy before becoming somewhat of a hero and mentor to Carol Danvers. In the movie however, Walter Lawson is embodied by Wendy Lawson.
5. “Only if you Learn to Glow Like Your Auntie Carol”
Be careful what you wish for, darling! You might recall the moment Nick Fury tells young Monica, that she can go off to space “only if you learn to glow”. Funnily enough, in the comics, Monica Rambeau had a similar encounter with cosmic energies like Carol. She does indeed become an energy-channelling superhero with glow-y powers, the ability to fly just like her auntie and she even takes the name Captain Marvel for some time.
6. Monica AKA Photon
Maria Rambeau’s air force call-sign, “Photon” is pulled straight out of the comics. This just happened to be the superhero name of Monica Rambeau after she got empowered by cosmic energies (and after she was named Captain Marvel). Gotta love a cheeky comic book reference!
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7. The Protector Initiative
Another great part of this movie was witnessing the moment Nick Fury decides to launch The Avenger Initiative. Back in the 90’s, he chose to name it “The Protector Initiative” after being inspired by Carol Danvers’ fighter pilot call sign. But this placeholder title for what would be The Avenger Initiative actually has its heritage in another Kree superhero named Noh-Varr. He called himself The Protector and, for some time, Captain Marvel (indeed, several Marvel heroes took on this title throughout the history of the Universe).
8. Fury Down in Vietnam
While the original Nick Fury starred among the Howling Commandos in World War II, this Nick is far too young for that. So instead of WWII, the movie has this Nick cut his teeth in ‘Nam. Something Nick Fury did quite a bit of in his stories during and after the 1960’s.
9. What Happened in Budapest Stays in Budapest
Take it back to The Avengers when a reference is made about a mission in Budapest gone wrong for Black Widow and Hawkeye. Could it be the same one Nick Fury mentions in Captain Marvel? We’re not quite sure what went down in Budapest but for Black Widow, Hawkeye and now a mid-90’s Nick Fury to mention it (several times, but who can blame him?) – whatever went down really was messy…
10. What the Flark?
Nick Fury’s PG-13 use of Samuel L. Jackson’s trademark curse isn’t out of place in the Marvel universe. It sounds like Flerken (Goose’s species), but the words “flark” “flarking” and so on have been used as a commonly-uttered profanity across the universe. Rocket Raccoon is particularly fond of the word.
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11. The Stan Lee Cameo
How can we not mention this one? Stan had a special tribute this time around, having passed away last November. So, along with a cameo here (where he’s reading a script for Mallrats, a movie where he played himself), he gets his own tribute in the Marvel Studios logo reveal and a loving “Thank you Stan” afterwards. Excelsior, Stan! Wherever you may be now.
12. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Cameo
Getting off the subway, Carol passes a woman with bright red hair and stylish glasses. This is none other than comic writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick, who wrote for Captain Marvel between 2010 and 2015. She is the woman who got Carol to take up the title of Captain Marvel in 2012 and was a driving force behind the persona we all know today.
13. Top Gun References
Ace fighter pilots, a cat named Goose, an airfield and even Tom Cruise’s ‘call me’ sign. It’s a no-brainier that this nineties Air Force show would throw in more than one nod to that most iconic of air force movies, Top Gun. Feel the need, the need for speed!
14. A Star Wars Nod?
‘Veers’ sounds a lot like the Empire officer who led an attack on Echo Base in the Empire Strikes Back. You know, that “really old movie” Spider-Man mentioned one time. We’re going to count this as a sneaky Star Wars Easter Egg because Carol is quite fond of the galactic franchise (so is Marvel, as seen by these awesomely hidden Star Wars references). She named her cat, Chewie in Chewbacca’s honor after all (the movie just decided to honor Top Gun instead, by changing the kitty’s name to Goose).
15. Further, Higher, Faster!
The promotional slug-line and later, Carol’s own mention of “Higher, Further, Faster” is an easy reference to the Kelly Sue DeConnick comic arc, Higher, Further, Faster, More. This just so happens to be one of the definitive Captain Marvel stories of the 2010’s.
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We never got to see much of Torfa, the planet where the Skrull are hiding, but in the comics, it’s got a lot more significance. Bit of a one-shot, but by the look of things, Torfa is not much better than it was in Carol’s adventures. The original Torfa was a haven colony populated by refugees from a war between the Avengers, the universe and an ancient, all-powerful race known as the Builders. It also happens to be a planet full of Vibranium!
17. Pulp Fiction Easter Egg
Talos slurping Cola in Maria’s house is strongly reminiscent of Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules who done the exact same thing back in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. That’s not the only noticeable Pulp Fiction Easter Egg – one would say that Fury and agent Phil Coulson’s car ride looks very familiar and ever so similar to Jules’ and Vincent’s cruise from the Tarantino movie.
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18. “Leave the gun, take the Cannoli”
With the Starforce chasing them down, a decision is made to split Carol and Nick up. Carol takes the Fonz lunchbox saying “leave the lunchbox, take the Tesseract,” which sounds a lot like one of the more famous lines by Godfather hitman, Peter Clemenza, “leave the gun, take the cannoli.”
19. The Starforce
It’s an odd thing, but the galactic empires of the Marvel Universe don’t have special forces departments so much as their own personal superhero groups. The Kree Starforce is no exception, bringing to the silver screen some famous Captain Marvel villains including Captain Atlas, Minerva and Korath.
20. Hannibal Lecter
In order to stop Goose from eating everyone, the Kree give Goose a tiny facemask that as Fury points out, looks remarkably like the mask given to none other than Hannibal Lecter to stop him from biting people. Funnily enough, in the comics, Chewie has been forced to wear this kind of mask by captors at least once to stop her eating any of them.
21. Endgame Teaser
You can always rely on Marvel’s post-credit scenes for awesome Easter Eggs. The after-credit scene in Captain Marvel teases Endgame and Carol’s team up with the Avengers. Taking place right after Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War, Carol turns up at the Avengers compound, joining the likes of Captain America, Hulk and Black Widow.
We found quite a few awesome Easter Eggs, but we’re pretty confident there are several we missed, as like Carol we are only human. Are there any other hidden Marvel references or nods you noticed? We’d love to hear what you might have spotted in the comments below…
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