If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ve likely gotten used to each new film in the neverending series containing a number of Easter eggs that reference not only past installments, but pop culture as a whole. Spider-Man: Homecoming is no different in this regard, but compared to a film like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which actually didn’t have all that many Easter eggs, the new Spidey film is a treasure trove of cool little details and nods to past films. Here are some of the best hidden details you may have missed!
27. Department of Damage Control (DODC) Woman
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens with two flashback scenes, the first of which is set in the immediate aftermath of Loki’s attack on New York City from The Avengers. We’re introduced to Adrien Toomes (Michael Keaton), who has been contracted to clean up wreckage from the Battle of New York. Then some representatives from the Department of Damage Control (DODC) show up and take over everything, putting Toomes out of a job (and on the path to becoming the Vulture). The DODC is led by a woman in green played by Tyne Daly. This is Anne Marie Hoag, director of the DODC in the Marvel Comics. With Marvel currently developing a comedy television series based on the DODC, we’ll likely be seeing more of Hoag in the future.
26. Classic Spider-Man Theme
This one is hard to miss but still really cool. Following the Marvel Studios, Sony, and Columbia logos, the opening credits are accompanied by a modernized version of the classic 1960s Spider-Man TV show theme tune. You know the one:
25. Photo Cameos
As a place of learning, it only makes sense that Peter’s high school would have photographs lining its walls of some of the nation’s greatest minds. In Peter’s math class, there are a number of photos above the whiteboard at the front of the room with the faces of famous figures like Darwin and Einstein, and right at the end is a photo of none other than Bruce Banner, who is of course a revered figure in the scientific community in the Marvel Universe.
There’s also a mural in the school hallways that features Abraham Erskine (the man who developed Captain America’s super soldier serum) and Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a statue of Tony Stark somewhere on the school grounds too,
24. Loki’s Eyeball Remover?
The film’s villain subplot revolves around the Vulture’s crew building and selling weapons and other high-grade tech, and we see some of it in action early on during the “Avengers” ATM heist. One of the hoodlums uses a tractor-beam device to lift an ATM machine and eventually turns it on Spidey himself. Although it’s a lot bigger, this weapon looks quite similar to the handheld device Loki used in The Avengers to gouge out a museum curator’s eyeball.
23. Silver Age Masks
The aforementioned heist scene features four goons wearing Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk masks but in an interesting twist, their masks are based on Silver Age versions of the characters and not the ones we’re used to seeing in the movies. Another interesting comics nod is that the heist scene feels very reminiscent of a sequence in Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man comics
22. Peter Parker: Mets Fan
I already touched on this in a past trailer breakdown but during the scene where Peter crawls along his bedroom ceiling, you can clearly make out Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame pennant hanging on his wall, indicating that the wall-crawler is definitely a New York Mets fan. There’s also a model AT-AT sitting on a shelf (as well as a C-3PO and X-Wing model in other parts of the room) and when you take into account the giant LEGO Death Star we see him build with his buddy Ned, it’s pretty clear that Peter’s whole “remember that really old movie?” routine from Captain America: Civil War was a ruse to downplay how nerdy he really is — Peter definitely knows what a Star Wars is!
21. Which Comic Character Is Ned Based On?
Jacob Batalon does a fantastic job playing Peter’s super loyal, omg-I-can’t-believe-my-best-friend-is-Spider-Man buddy Ned, who would appear to be based off Ned Leeds, Peter’s Daily Bugle co-worker in the comics. However, Ned’s characterization more closely resembles that of Ganke Lee, a classmate and friend of Miles Morales in the Ultimate universe. Ganke is essentially Miles’ own “guy in the chair,” as like Ned, he’s also really intelligent and hyperactive. Who needs Harry Osborn when you have a friend like Ned/Ganke, right?
20. Betty Brant
Quite a few female characters from the Spider-Man comics show up in Homecoming, but one you may have missed is Betty Brant, who co-hosts a hilariously bad high school news show alongside Jason Ionello, another familiar character from the comics. If you’ll recall, Brant goes on to work at the Daily Bugle and was played by Elizabeth Banks in Sam Raimi’s movie trilogy. Here, she’s played by Angourie Rice.
19. Spider Army
At one point during his intense questioning of Peter’s abilities, Ned asks Peter if he can command an army of spiders. This feels not only like a callback to Ant-Man and his ability to control ants, but a specific gag from the comics. In Marvel Adventures, Peter toys with a bank robber and convinces him to surrender by claiming to be able to summon spiders at will. Of course, given how many different incarnations of Spider-Man there have been over the years, it’s hardly surprising to learn that there was one who could actually communicate with spiders and other insects — Kaine Parker, who would go on to become the second Scarlet Spider.
18. Sokovia Accords
The events of Civil War figure pretty heavily into Homecoming — in fact, one of the opening scenes is a home video of Peter’s trip to Germany to battle Cap — so much so that it’s now become a part of Peter’s education. During one of the classroom scenes, there’s a history droning on about the Sokovia Accords, the set of legal documents that set off the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man in the first place. And even though Cap only shows up in a set of delightful education videos, his presence is still felt when Hannibal Buress’ Coach Wilson casually remarks “I’m pretty sure that guy’s a war criminal now,” while introducing Cap’s Physical Education Challenge video.
17. Where’s Uncle Ben?
Thankfully, Spider-Man: Homecoming resists the urge to feature yet another scene of Peter’s Uncle Ben dying and giving the “With great power” speech, but it’s surprisingly how little the character’s presence is felt in the film given how significant a role he plays in Spider-Man lore. He’s never once mentioned by name, but it does seem like Peter alludes to him when he says “everything that she’s been through” in reference to his Aunt May. Perhaps the next movie will touch a little more on Peter’s relationship with his deceased uncle but for right now, it seems like the writers aren’t concerned with exploring this aspect of the character.
16. Shocker = Crossbones?
It’s no secret that Shocker is in the film; in fact, there’s two of them! While neither Jackson Brice (Logan Marshall-Greene) or Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz) bear much resemble to the character from the comics, they do share similarities to another villain who’s popped up in the MCU. The gauntlets that Shocker uses are the same ones used by Crossbones in Captain America: Civil War, which implies that the Vulture and his gang operate internationally as well as domestically. Clearly, Crossbones doesn’t need them anymore, but it’s nice to see his weapons recycled in such a cool way.
15. Spidey’s Day Off
I mean, you’d have to either be blind or have never seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (come to think of it, there’s probably a correlation there) to not have noticed Homecoming’s homage to the classic 80s high school movie, but it’s still worth bringing up. During the house party scene when Peter bails to try and catch a couple of the Vulture’s goons, his pursuit takes him through a number of backyards. Just when you’re thinking “Hey, this feels like a pretty faithful recreation of that Ferris Bueller scene …”
You know, this one:
… we see the exact scene playing on a TV screen. Not exactly the subtlest cinematic nod, but it works!
14. The Scorpion
At one point in the film, Phineas Mason — AKA The Tinkerer — discusses with the Vulture some of the gang’s available options for making more money. While Mason repeatedly brings up his desire to design a high-altitude sealant for the Vulture’s suit, he also mentions having enough raw materials to design the “Gargan tail.” This is no doubt a reference to Mac Gargan — AKA the Scorpion — who we later meet in person during the ferry scene. He’s played Michael Mando of Better Call Saul fame and if his future turn as a Spidey villain wasn’t clear enough, the mid-credits scene brings him back and this time you can clearly make out a scorpion tattoo on his neck.
13. Freaks and Geeks Connections
Spider-Man: Homecoming is more focused than any previous Spidey movie on Peter Parker’s high school experience, so it’s fitting that it has some connections to one of the best high school TV shows ever made. Martin Starr (Silicon Valley’s Gilfoyle), who played Bill Haverchuck on Freaks and Geeks, has a small role here as Mr. Harrington, the academic decathlon coach. However, Starr isn’t the only Freaks and Geeks alum involved with Homecoming as John Francis Daley, who played Sam Weir, actually co-wrote the film.
12. The Prowler
Donald Glover was once in the running to play Spider-Man before Andrew Garfield was cast in the previous series (it’s getting hard to keep track of all these Spider-Men), so it’s understandable why his casting in Homecoming was met with much fanfare and speculation. He’s first introduced as a small-time crook named Aaron Davis but like most minor characters in the MCU, his comic origins are much more interesting than they first appear. One of Davis’ known aliases is the Prowler, a former criminal turned masked vigilante who eventually becomes an ally of Spider-Man. A potential Prowler appearance down the road is cool enough, but it’s Davis’ nephew who deserves the real attention …
11. Miles Morales Nod
During the scene where Peter (poorly) interrogates Aaron Davis, the later brings up his nephew and his desire for him to grow up in a safer neighborhood. Why is that significant? Well in the comics, Davis’ nephew is none other than Miles Morales, AKA the Ultimate universe Spider-Man. This basically confirms that Morales is part of the MCU and could potentially show up in a future installment. Considering how popular Morales is, it’s hard to imagine Marvel not doing this!
10. Sylvia Plath Shirt
We learn pretty early on that Peter’s classmate Michelle (Zendaya) is quite the bookworm, so it’s fitting then to see her wearing a shirt featuring a photo of poet Sylvia Plath during the Washington Monument rescue scene. Plath was a twentieth century poet known for her dark, confessional works … and for tragically committing suicide at the age of 30. In other words, she’s the exact kind of literary figure we’d expect the rebellious Michelle to adore.
9. Suit Lady’s Voice
After unlocking the true potential of his Stark Industries suit, Peter discovers that his outfit has a built-in AI whom he initially refers to as “Suit Lady” before landing on the name Karen. What you may not have realized is that Suit Lady/Karen is voiced by Jennifer Connelly, making this her second appearance in a Marvel movie after playing Betty Ross in Ang Lee’s Hulk.
8. Good to see you again, Jim Morita
In a cool callback to the first Captain America movie, Peter’s school principal is played by Kenneth Choi, who also played the Howling Commando Jim Morita in The First Avenger. The elder Morita is Principal Morita’s grandfather and we even see a picture of the former in full uniform on the Principal’s desk during the scene where Peter visits his office.
7. License Plate Easter Egg
When Spider-Man confronts Mac Gargan on the ferry, there’s a car in the background with a registration number that reads SM2-0563. This is actually a reference to the Vulture’s first comic book appearance, in Amazing Spider-Man #2, published in May 1963.
— Mike Sampson (@mjsamps) March 28, 2017
6. Spidey Among the Ruins
When Peter goes to confront Toomes after discovering he’s Liz’s father, he becomes unwittingly trapped under a pile of rubble after Toomes causes the roof to cave in. Peter manages to muster up enough strength to push the rubble off himself, in a manner that recalls a specific Spider-Man cover: The Amazing Spider-Man #33. In that issue, Spider-Man faces a similar challenge when he finds himself trapped under machinery. He manages to escape by motivating himself to save Aunt May and the scene ends, much like in the movie, with Spidey hoisting the weight above his head in a triumphant manner.
5. The Cargo
When the Stark Industries cargo plane that the Vulture ultimately tries to steal from is being loaded up at Stark Tower, Happy Hogan lists off a number of items on the manifest, including the Hulkbuster armor we saw in action back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, a prototype shield for Captain America (which is weird considering he’s on the run and basically Tony’s enemy at this point) and perhaps most intriguing of all, a magic belt for Thor called Megingjörð (no wonder Happy can’t pronounce it). Once Toomes is on the plane, we don’t see much in the way of cool weapons or gadgets besides some Iron Man armor pieces and a bunch of mini arc reactors.
Yes it’s incredibly obvious, but it’s still interesting that after months of speculation, it turns out that Zendaya’s Michelle is a new version of MJ after all. She tells everyone near the end of the film that her friends call her “MJ” and then proceeds to give Peter a look that suggests romance may be in the cards at some point. To further hammer home the point that yes, a woman without red hair can still play the character, there’s a tiger mascot in the background during her revelation, a nice callback to MJ’s famous first words to Peter in her comic book debut: “Face it, Tiger. You just hit the jackpot!”
3. Pepper Potts
In a surprise cameo (well, unless you read the Homecoming marketing material that spoiled her casting), Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Pepper Potts, making this the first time we’ve seen her in a MCU film since 2013’s Iron Man 3. It’s pretty clear from the way they interact and the kiss she plants on him that Pepper and Tony are back together and this point is hammered home by Happy’s reveal of the engagement ring he’s been keeping in his pocket “since 2008,” the year the first Iron Man was released. Happy’s just a big ol’ sweetheart, isn’t he?
2. Sinister Six Tease?
Spider-Man: Homecoming’s mid-credits sequence finds Michael Keaton’s Adrien Toomes in prison, where he runs into Michael Mando’s Mac Gargan, who is eager to get revenge on Spider-Man for injuries he sustained during their encounter on the ferry. Gargan says he’s heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s true identity (which he does) and informs him that he has some friends on the outside who would be very interested in that kind of information. Could this be a tease for the Sinister Six?
It’s clear that Mando will reprise his role in some capacity in the next Spidey film and it’s likely that Keaton will be back too if he decides to join up with Scorpion, which leaves four other spots open for villains. The Sinister Six has taken many different forms over the years, but some of its core members include Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Electro, and Kraven the Hunter, so there’s a chance we could see some or all of these villains in the next film.
1. Cap Goes Meta
How great is that post-credits stinger? Chris Evans once again appears as Captain America, this time to deliver a PSA about the virtues of patience. Really though, it’s basically a giant troll job for the audience, as Cap’s complaint about being asked to sit and wait patiently for something that ultimately proves to not really be worth it can be read as him taking aim at post-credits scenes as a whole and how they’ve changed the way we’ve digested movies (which is ironic considering Marvel essentially invented the practice). It all ends perfectly with Cap turning to someone off camera and muttering “how many more of these …?” which is probably what some jaded moviegoers are wondering about Marvel movies as a whole? The answer: a lot.