Those familiar with Marvel films will know by now that the studio are endlessly teasing and toying with fans. Not in a bad way, but that in any given Marvel film or television show, there are knowing nods to other characters in the Marvel Universe, future films, and sometimes real-life people involved within the comic house. Let’s take a look at the smartest and most electrifying Easter Eggs from the Marvel franchise thus far.
Captain Marvel’s origins?
In their latest effort, Dr. Strange, the studio may have sneakily alluded to Captain Marvel’s origins. In one scene, Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is on the phone to his assistant, who tells him about a young women who’s been struck by lightning. Nothing more is made of the call, but some eagle-eyed viewers may have cracked why it’s even in the films.
When asked if the patient is indeed Captain Marvel, who’ll be played by Brie Larson in the upcoming blockbuster, the film’s director Scott Derrickson replied, “remember that Brittany Murphy movie where she goes ‘I’ll never tell…’”, all but confirming the theory. Fans will note that in the comics, this is not how Captain Marvel gets her powers. But earlier this year, Captain Marvel‘s co-writer Nicole Perlman revealed that they might tweak the origin story to do away with the extra-terrestrial element, so could the lightning strike be the answer instead?
If you’ve seen a Marvel film or television act in the last decade, then you will have definitely caught a glimpse of Stan Lee, famed comic book writer and the former president of Marvel Comics. Whether it’s as a hot dog vendor (X-Men), an innocent bystander (Spider Man) or a bartender (Ant-Man), Lee always finds a way to steal the show.
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The post-credit scene certainly wasn’t invented by Marvel, but few have utilised it better than them. Usually, the short scene arrives well after the film has finished and the casuals have emptied the cinema screen – but if you stick around long enough, you usually get a first glimpse at either a sequel or another tie-in film in the Universe. The finest to date, has to be from Iron Man, when Tony Stark returns to his Malibu home and is met by Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson). It’s in this scene that the first seeds are sown for the 2012 film The Avengers, which would soon become the one of the biggest films of all time.
Iron Man (2008) Post Credits Scene Tony Stark/Iron Man and Nick Fury appearing on screen for the first time. I do not own this video. All rights belong to Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures.
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The Lonely Man
In the Hulk’s first on-screen iteration TV show The Incredible Hulk, the closing credits always finished with the solemn tinkling of the piano on the song ‘The Lonely Man’. When the film got rebooted in 2008 with Edward Norton the theme was mashed into the mahoosive soundtrack as a cheeky hat tip to the original.
In memory Bruce Banner
That’s not the only time that Marvel have used some older music in new guises. In Iron Man, attentive listeners will note that as Stark and Rhodey waltz through a casino, you can faintly hear a jazzed-up version of the theme song from the ‘60s TV show for Iron Man.
This fictional organisation is seen and alluded to in several Marvel releases, the goings on are largely kept secret in the films. Its first appearance was on a crate opened by Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, and we get a peek at the HQ in the The Avengers. It plays a crucial role in the Civil War arc in the comics; in the films, less so, so this is the studio’s way of acknowledging it.
The Hitler Punch
Hey, who wouldn’t want to sock it to this guy. In the first Captain America comic appearance, we see Cap’ landing one on the German leader by way of introduction to the character and his ideals. When the character got a big-screen adaptation, there was no chance that the directors would leave out a little nod to comics origins.
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Here’s a biggie. In Thor: The Dark World, Professor Erik Selvig is seen standing in front of a pretty confusing and dense chalkboard. To the average person, it’s all nonsense. But for Marvel fans, it acknowledged several storylines in the MCU and the existing comic books. For example, there’s reference to dimension-crossing gateway ‘The Crossroads’, which features heavily in the Dr. Strange comics and also The Fault, a key component for the Guardians of The Galaxy story arc.
The Star War Nods
Arguably, one of Star Wars’ most iconic moments was Luke Skywalker losing half his arm in his showdown with Darth Vader. As a result, it had a big impact on Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige, who outed himself as a huge fan. “I’m obsessed with Star Wars, and it didn’t start out as intentional, but it became intentional. Somebody gets their arm cut off in every Phase Two movie. Every single one.”
So far, he’s keeping his promise.
You can watch every one below:
Among the Phase 2 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the President of Marvel Studios reveals that each film, “features at least one character having their hand cut off in homage to The Empire Strikes Back, the second act of the Star Wars saga.”