Marvel's Cinematic Universe has done a lot of things really well. They've found the perfect way to string together multiple stories without losing any of their audience's connection. They've created characters we love in scenarios that engage us, and they've done it for almost ten years now. One of the other great things about Marvel movies? They have a knack for hiding brilliant Easter Eggs throughout their films for us to find. Most comic fans will see a Marvel film two or three times in theaters, just so they can watch extra hard for the things everyone else is missing. Marvel has become so good at this craft, that there are still things in their films that even the biggest of comic fans have yet to find. James Gunn still claims the biggest Easter Egg in Guardians of The Galaxy has yet to be found. The movie is two years old and we're still searching for it's hidden secrets.
Through thirteen Marvel Cinematic Universe films there have been a ton of Easter Eggs, some better than others. Let's take a look at the top ten, and see if we can find some more!
10. Donald Blake - Thor
At one point in the comics, Odin decided that Thor needed to learn what it was like to be truly human. To show him, he stripped his son of the mighty hammer and transformed him into a mortal human. The name of this alter ego was Donald Blake. After being returned to his original, Asgardian self, Donald became a real person on his own.
In the movie Thor, there is a scene where the Son of Odin needs to have a fake ID made. When it is examined close-up, it can be seen that the name on the license is non other than Donald Blake. While not super exciting to the casual fan, this nod to the original comics is a great egg for Thor fan boys.
9. Spider-Man Tease - Ant-Man
This is one of those Easter Eggs that everyone in every theater understood. With the news of a Spider-Man in the MCU breaking just before the release of Ant-Man, everyone was wondering when we would get our first glimpse of the web-slinger. While we didn't see him in Ant-Man, he was definitely mentioned.
At the end of the film, Falcon mentions to one of his sources he's looking for "a guy with mad skills." The source responds by saying, "We got a guy show jumps. A guy who swings. A guy who crawls." That's a Spidey reference if I've ever heard one. Of course, Spider-Man appeared in Marvel's next film, Civil War, just eight months later.
8. Infinity Gauntlet - Thor
Since the first Iron Man film in 2008, Marvel has been leading up to the Avengers' eventual encounter with the destructive Thanos. A few movies later, Marvel started teasing the Infinity Stones when they introduced the Aether in Thor: The Dark World. While Thanos' quest for the Infinity Stones has been made more and more obvious with each film, it was actually teased in one of the MCU's earliest movies.
There's a scene in the original Thor film where they are walking through Odin's mighty hall. As they pass different artifacts on display, the Infinity Gauntlet can be seen in the distance. For those who don't know, the gauntlet is a giant gold glove that Thanos wears in order to wield the power of all six infinity stones. It would make sense for Odin to have it by his side for safe keeping.
The only thing we don't know, is how Thanos retrieves it. It was revealed in the Age of Ultron mid-credits scene that Thanos now has the gauntlet and is going after the stones. Could he have had some help from Loki? I guess we'll find out.
7. Cap on Ice - The Incredible Hulk
This is one of the most difficult Easter Eggs to find in the MCU, but it's also one of the best teases of future films.
In an alternate opening/ending on The Incredible Hulk Blu-ray, we see Bruce Banner going off into the middle of the tundra to commit suicide. Upon firing the gun, he is turned into the hulk and goes into a rage causing ice and snow to be flown from the ground. If you look very, very closely at this avalanche, you can see Cap's ship (the one he crashed at the end of The First Avenger) flying with the ice.
This teases Cap being woken up by Nick Fury and SHIELD two films later.
6. Doctor Strange Name Drop - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
This Fall, we're finally getting the Doctor Strange movie we've all been waiting for. Did you notice the MCU drop Strange's name as being part of their plans back in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was an obvious Easter Egg, but it happened quickly.
When interrogating Agent Sitwell on the rooftop, Cap and Falcon inquired about SHIELD's plans. Sitwell admitted that they were keeping close tabs on certain people that could help them build and manipulate the world around them. Tony Stark was the first name, and that surprised no one. But Sitwell followed it up with Steven Strange. It was at that moment all comic fans knew Doctor Strange was coming, and that he would mesh into the MCU with great ease.
5. Ten Rings - Ant-Man
Back in the first Iron Man, Tony was attacked and captured by a terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings. In the comics, this group is led by Tony's arch nemesis, The Mandarin. Once it was revealed in Iron Man 3 that the Mandarin was just a ploy, we thought we had seen the end of the Ten Rings. In the Marvel One-Shot titled All Hail The King, we learned the Ten Rings was alive and well, but weren't quite sure how they would work themselves back into the MCU. Enter, Ant-Man.
Towards the end of the film, Darren Cross is escaping onto a helicopter with the briefcase containing Pym Particles. There was a bodyguard waiting for him on the helipad. So? Bad guys have henchmen, big deal. If you looked closely at the man, you saw that he had a neck tattoo protruding from his collar. If you looked even closer, you noticed that the tattoo was the insignia of the Ten Rings. Showing that specific man with that tattoo means we haven't seen the last of the evil organization. It also gives us hope that the real Mandarin may still make an appearance.
4. Bucky and the Shield - Captain America 1, 2, & 3
Bucky fought by Cap's side in the first Captain America, against him in the second, and a little of both in the third. Long time best friends, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes have been through it all together. While it may not seem like a big deal for Bucky to pick up Cap's shield a time or two, it's actually telling way more than you might realize.
In the comics, Steve Rogers isn't Captain America forever. Who takes up the mantle the first time Steve isn't there? That's right, Bucky Barnes has been Captain America a time or two. While most don't think anyone but Chris Evans will don the mantle in the MCU, I'd beg to differ.
Chris only has a couple more movies left on his Marvel contract, as do most of the Avengers. You know who has many more than that? Sebastian Stan has eight movies left on his contract after Civil War. There aren't that many more movies featuring the Winter Soldier, which can mean only one thing.
These shots of Bucky with the shield are setting up the scenario that one day, down the road, we will have a new Captain America.
3. The Human Torch - Captain America: The First Avenger
This one isn't really teasing an upcoming film, as much as it is a great not to the rich history that these movies are born out of.
When Steve and Bucky are exploring the Stark Expo and the beginning of The First Avenger, there are several different technologies on display. Front and canter, you see a prototype of a man who can turn himself to fire. It doesn't come right out and say it's the original human torch, because it wasn't allowed to.
Fox still owns the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men franchises. Since the two studios don't get along well, this might be the extent of us enjoying a Human Torch in the MCU.
2. S.H.I.E.L.D. Map - Iron Man 2
This is the one that really set the Internet on fire, and showed us there is way more to Marvel on Earth than we initially thought.
When Tony is meeting with Nick Fury at SHIELD, there is a hologram map of the world with orange icons placed in certain areas. Upon further investigation, it can be concluded that this is SHIELD keeping tabs on the heroes scattered around the planet. There's one circle over Nevada, where we know Thor's hammer is located. The two on the map that got people the most excited? One over central Africa, announcing that Black Panther and Wakanda existed, and another over the middle of the Atlantic ocean. The casual fan might not understand that reference, but comic-lovers know that is the MCU nod to underwater hero, Namor.
We've got Black Panther included in the MCU nowadays, could this mean we will see Namor soon?
1. The Collector's Museum - Guardians of The Galaxy
There are enough Easter Eggs in this room alone to compile a top ten, so we just mentioned the Museum as a whole.
First seen in the mid-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World, The Collector's museum houses beings and artifacts collected from all over the universe. When Guardians rolls around, we get a much more extensive look at his collection.
The biggest egg hidden here, as seen in both films, is Adam Warlock's cocoon. A fan favorite character in the Marvel space comics, Warlock is a powerful character that was re-birthed from a giant cocoon, and the comic cocoon bears an uncanny resemblance to the one featured in the film. This could mean we will see Adam sometime in the MCU.
Along with the cocoon, we get glimpses of Cosmo the Space Dog, the creatures from Slither (James Gunn's first film), a dark elf, a chitauri soldier, Howard the Duck, and so many more.
What are some of your favorite MCU Easter Eggs we missed? Let us know in the comments below!