Did Avengers: Endgame Actually Reference Cosmic Ghost Rider?

Minor spoilers for Avengers: Endgame up ahead! At one point in Avengers: Endgame, a few of the heroes gathered together to discuss the rules of Time Travel. It was here the War Machine (Don Cheadle) suggested they go back in time to when Thanos (Josh Brolin) was a baby and strangle him in his crib. Initially thought to be the movie's shot at dark humor, some eagle-eyed Marvel fans were quick to connect imaginary dots to Cosmic Ghost Rider. In fact, some collectors have begun referencing the "Easter egg" in various collecting circles online, presumably in an effort to boost the value of their copy of Thanos #13 (2018), the first appearance of the cosmic character.

So we have to ask the question — was Avengers: Endgame actually referencing the fan-favorite comic series from Donny Cates and Dylan Burnett? After all, the five issue mini-series involved a plot very similar to what War Machine explained. Cosmic Ghost Rider, who is Frank Castle from the future, was tasked with going back in time and killing Thanos as an infant before he became the massive murdering machine.

To make a long story short, Castle was unable to kill the child, so he ended up serving as Thanos' surrogate father as raised the child as his own. As fate would have it, it's eventually revealed that Castle's past as The Punisher is what launched Thanos off his psychotic path.

Synopsis aside, the Cosmic Ghost Rider mini-series launched in July of last year, well after Avengers: Endgame had finished principal photography. Since Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame filmed back to back, it's all but guaranteed that the script for the fourth Avengers film was done long before the mini-series was starting to take to shape, let alone hitting comic shelves. It should be noted, however, that reshoots took place last Fall, and it's certainly possible they added the line in at that point, though unlikely.

Avengers: Endgame is now out in theaters while Cosmic Ghost Rider Destroys Marvel History #4 is due on June 5th.

Have you been keeping up with Cosmic Ghost Rider's antics? Let us know what you think of the cosmic Spirit of Vengeance in the comments below or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt!

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