Since the early days of Marvel Cinematic Universe, well-hidden easter eggs have been an exciting feature for fans to parse. These carefully selected details usually pay homage to the story’s comic book origins or other projects within the franchise. While some callbacks are obvious to fans, others are so quiet or subtle that they’re easy to ignore.
As the MCU continues to grow, Easter eggs have become an expected part of every new TV show or movie. These secret details make the experience of rewatching MCU projects even better, as some Easter eggs are hidden so well that even the franchise’s most diehard fans can miss them on their first viewings.
ten WandaVision pays homage to the Avengers comics
In the first episode of the series, Wanda Vision gives a secret nod to its comic book origins with an easily missed Easter egg. The opening credits feature Wanda and Vision as newlyweds moving into their first home together. On the sales sign outside their new home, the listed phone number ends in “0125”.
The numbers may be a reference to Avengers #125 where the Avengers team up to battle Thanos. Wanda Vision is a direct result of Thanos’ actions in the MCU, as Wanda’s grief over Vision’s death sets the series’ plot in motion. Additionally, the pair are featured prominently on the cover of the issue.
9 Iron Man includes another hero’s iconic armor
Easter eggs date back to the very first entry in the MCU – 2008 Iron Man. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that Captain America’s shield makes a brief appearance in the film.
When Pepper Potts encounters Tony Stark struggling to remove his Iron Man armor, a deconstructed version of Captain America’s iconic red, white, and blue shield is visible behind Tony. The shield’s appearance in the workshop is also a subtle nod to the item’s history in the MCU, as Steve Rogers’ original shield was created by Tony’s father, Howard.
8 Avengers: Endgame incorporates a poignant parallel
The Infinity Saga, which encompassed the first three phases of the MCU, came to an emotional end with Avengers: Endgame. The film also bids farewell to Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, who sacrifices himself to defeat Thanos.
In a touching reminder, the final assembly of the original Avengers provides a parallel image to a key part of Tony’s character. As the Avengers clasped their fists together before launching into the Time Breaker, their hands, as well as the floor design, mimic Tony’s Arc Reactor design. The Arc Reactor appears later in the film after Tony’s death when it is placed with flowers and sent into the water as a tribute to the fallen hero.
seven Captain America: The First Avenger Gives a Human Torch Wink
Captain America: The First Avenger pays homage to a Marvel Comics character at the 1943 Stark Expo stage. A brief shot of a model wearing a red suit inside a clear tube, referred to as “The Burning Man”, has been identified by MCU fans at the eagle eyes like the human torch.
The original iteration of the character was a quasi-human android, but the mantle was later passed on to Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. Notably, Chris Evans portrayed Storm in Fox’s The Fantastic Four movies from the early 2000s.
6 Spider-Man: No Way Home Honors Its Comedic History
Spider-Man: No Coming Home pays a subtle tribute to the co-creator of Spider-Man. At the start of the film, Peter and MJ are hanging out on the roof of their school. A wide shot of the roof reveals graffiti bearing the name “DITKO”.
Comics artist Steve Ditko co-created the Spider-Man character with Stan Lee in the 1960s. Ditko was also responsible for creating many of the other characters featured in No coming homeincluding Dr. Stephen Strange and Spider-Man villains Electro, Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, the Sandman and the Green Goblin.
5 Natasha always kept Clint close
A touching Easter egg shines a light on the close relationship Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton shared before his death in Avengers: Endgame. Natasha is first shown wearing a necklace with an arrow on it in Captain America: The Winter Soldierapparently paying homage to her friend’s archery prowess.
Natasha’s Arrow Necklace is featured in two other MCU movies – Black Widow and Avengers: Endgame. Although Clint does not appear in The Winter Soldiertheir friendship is mentioned in Black Widow as Natasha reflects on exactly what happened in Budapest. Their bond occupies a central place in End of Game as the pair battle to decide who will sacrifice themselves on Vormir.
4 Xialing’s musical taste pays homage to Tony Stark
In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the wall of Xialing’s room is covered with posters. One of the posters shows his love for the rock band AC/DC. The group is particularly notable within the MCU due to the use of their song “Back in Black” in Iron Manwhich served as something of a theme song for the iconic titular character.
The song is featured again in Spider-Man: Far From Home as Peter Parker plays with Tony’s technology. Peter expresses his love for the song but misidentifies the band as Led Zeppelin.
3 What if…? Presents an alternative career for Steve Rogers
The last episode of What if…? the first season sees a victorious Ultron cause destruction across the multiverse. A brief glimpse into another universe features Ultron in front of a jumbotron, playing footage of Steve Rogers being sworn in as President of the United States.
The quick Easter egg is a reference to a comic book storyline for the character. In What if…? #26Steve wins the presidency as the candidate of the New Populist Party, and he also served as president of the Ultimate universe.
2 Marc’s Missed Calls Hint at the Comics
In the first episode of Moon Knight, one of Marc Spector’s comic book friends is subtly referenced. Steven Grant flips through Marc’s phone, noticing a long list of missed calls. Amid the many notifications from Layla, Duchamp’s name pops up as another missed call on Marc’s phone.
Jean-Paul Duchamp worked as a mercenary alongside Marc Spector in comics. Duchamp and Spector worked together during the mission that resulted in Spector becoming the avatar of the Egyptian god Khonshu, which is a major storyline featured in the TV adaptation.
1 Brief Moment Recognizes Uncle Ben In The MCU
Spider-Man: Far From Home revolves around Peter Parker’s school trip to Europe, which goes off the rails when the villainous Mysterio begins to wreak havoc. In preparation for the trip, the film gives fans a quick look at Peter’s suitcase, which bears the initials “BFP”. This is understood as a nod to Ben Parker, Peter’s uncle from the comics.
Uncle Ben isn’t featured in Peter Parker’s MCU story, other than in an episode of What if…?. Aunt May fulfills the role of Ben in the hero’s origin story, which is highlighted in Spider-Man: No Coming Home when she says the famous Uncle Ben quote, “With great power, there must also be great responsibility” before she dies.
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