Now that Avengers: Endgame has been in theatres for a few weeks, it gave us an opportunity to examine the record-breaking movie in more detail. In doing so, we uncovered all sorts of Easter eggs and cameos carefully placed throughout the film. From Howard the Duck’s short cameo during the hero’s final stand against Thanos to a throwback shot of Ant-Man’s ‘Golden Age’ helmet on Hank Pym’s desk, here is every hidden detail we could find while watching Endgame. Enjoy! If you know of an Easter egg we forgot, let us know in the comments below.
(WARNING: ENDGAME SPOILERS AHEAD)
Only The Living
During the opening credits the Marvel Studios logo, which usually highlights various Avengers and iconic scenes from past films, featured only characters that hadn’t been wiped out by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
This is by no means the coolest Easter egg we found, but much like Captain Marvel‘s opening credits, which paid tribute to comic book legend Stan Lee, its small details that has Marvel Studios a cut above the rest.
Witnessing Clint Barton’s family fall to dust at the start of the film was an incredibly emotional moment that not only set the tone for everything to come but also the reason Hawkeye becomes Ronin. During that opening scene, Barton was helping his daughter Lila with her archery skills before she was turned to dust along with her mother and brothers.
We already know Disney+ is planning to release a Hawkeye series, but other than that, not much else is known at this point. What we do know is that Kate Bishop will be introduced, which makes a lot of sense since she is his eventual successor in the comics.
Joe Russo’s Cameo
It’s not uncommon for directors to play a small role in their own movie, M. Night Shyamalan does it all the time, but Joe Russo’s Endgame cameo took it one step further, playing the part of a grieving man from Steve Rogers’ grief support group and the first openly gay character in the MCU.
Although it might come as a surprise to some, Endgame was actually not Joe Russo’s first cameo in the MCU, back in 2014 Joe played the part of Nick Fury’s surgeon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Jim Starlin Cameo
Jim Starlin, the creator of Thanos and the Infinity Stones, also made a cameo as one of the grieving men from Steve Rogers’ support group. Unless you’re a comic book fan Starlin’s cameo likely went unnoticed, but for those that did recognize the iconic comic book artist and writer, it was a cool moment.
Stalin is also known for creating and co-creating such characters as Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Shang-Chi, and is largely responsible for revamping both Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock.
When Scott Lang returns from the Quantum Realm through the entrance of his X-Con van, some fans might not have noticed the vehicle was located in vault 616, a reference to Earth-616, the version of Earth the majority of heroes in the MCU belong too.
The ‘616’ number has been referenced in previous films as well, most noticeably in Thor: The Dark World when Erik Selvig writes ‘616’ (pictured below) on the blackboard while at the psychiatric hospital and again in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse when we’re introduced to the Multiverse.
Jarvis Makes His Non-AI Debut
While back in the 1970s, after Tony and his father finished saying their goodbyes, Howard walks towards his vehicle and calls his driver, Jarvis, by name. This marked the first time Jarvis has appeared in the MCU, other than as Tony’s AI assistant that is.
James D’Arcy, the actor who played Jarvis in Endgame, also portrayed Jarvis in the Agent Carter series, a show most would agree was canceled far too soon.
Korg’s Pineapple Romper
During the scene where Professor Hulk and Rocket are attempting to convince an overweight and depressed Thor to help them bring back the fallen, Korg, voiced by Taika Waititi, is playing Fortnite with Miek and can be seen wearing a pineapple romper. This happens to be a nod to the time the Thor: Ragnarok director wore the romper while at the 2017’s Comic-Con in San Diego.
Initially brought up during Avengers: Infinity War when Wong mentioned it was his preferred flavor of ice cream, Hulk-A-Hulk-A-Burning-Fudge by Ben &Jerry’s makes its return during a somber moment. During the scene where the remaining Avengers are discussing their plan of action, Profesor Hulk can be seen eating a massive tub of the Hulk-inspired dessert and dishing out scoops to nearby Avengers.
Captain Marvel’s New Look
When Carol Danvers saves Tony Stark and Nebula from space and returns them to Earth at the start of the film she has long hair, but following the five-year time jump, Captain Marvel returns with a whole new look. Although many fans hated the change (for whatever reason), it was actually a nod to writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, well known for writing and reinventing Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel.
In order to get his hands on the Infinity Stone and knowing the agents in the elevator secretly worked for Hyrda, Captain America leaned in and said “Hail Hydra,” so that they would believe he was on their side and hand over the sceptre.
For those less familiar with the Secret Empire comic book storyline, Steve Rogers is revealed as Hyrda sleeper agent, a decision that not only came as a massive surprise but one that was met with immediate hate from fans, so much so that it almost lead to it being retconned.
Golden Age Ant-Man Helmet
During the scene when Captain America brakes into Hank Pym’s office after traveling back in time, a prototype Ant-Man helmet can be seen on Pym’s desk. The shiny prototype might not appear like much at first, but if you’re familiar with Ant-Man’s first appearance in Tales to Astonish #35 (Sepember 1962), you likely recognized the similarities between it and the version Pym debuted in the comics.
Was that Howard The Duck?
Howard the Duck made his third MCU appearance in Endgame‘s epic final stand against Thanos, showing up behind the Wasp in the scene where all of the heroes and characters wiped out by the snap return through the magical portals to help Captain America and the remaining Avengers defeat the Mad Titan.
Will Namor Be In Black Panther 2?
Even though Namor the Sub-Mariner wasn’t mentioned by name, Okoye referring to “underwater earthquake” reminded us of the history of bad blood between Atlantis and Wakanda. Which begs the question, will director Ryan Coogler introduce one of Marvel’s oldest heroes into the MCU in Black Panther 2?
Sadly, Universal Pictures owns the rights to the character and has since 2001, so unless Disney strikes a deal, which is possible, the chance of Namor taking on Black Panther in the sequel is highly unlikely (as of now).
Professor Hulk Makes His Debut
Bruce Banner and Huk becoming one in Endgame was an awesome surprise that likely caught a lot of people off guard, but it also happens to be a throwback to The Incredible Hulk #377 (1991), where Professor Hulk made his debut. The two agreed that by combining Hulk’s size and strength with Banner’s wit and smarts, Professor Hulk would be the ideal transformation and compromise for both.
Hawkeye Becomes Ronin
When Hawkeye was left out of Infinity War it felt strange, but now having seen Endgame his absence makes a lot of sense. Much like Scott Lang was in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hawkeye was on house arrest during Infinity War, but after witnessing his entire family turn to dust, which is revealed at the beginning of Endgame, Hawkeye becomes Ronin, a samurai-inspired persona Barton adopts in the comics following the events the Civil War storyline. Much like in Endgame, Ronin’s costume is black and yellow and rather than his bow, Ronin wields a samurai sword, among other various weapons.
During Infinity War Tony reveals a dream in which he and Pepper already have a son and they named him after her eccentric uncle, Morgan. In Endgame the dream comes to fruition, only rather than having a son, Tony and Pepper have a daughter, which they named Morgan.
In the comics, Morgan Stark is actually the name of Tony’s disreputable male cousin, who made his debut in an issue of Tales of Suspense back in 1965. Although Morgan started off as nothing more than a bad seed, he eventually became so jealous of Tony, that he became the supervillain known as Ultimo.
Time For A Cheeseburger
Following her father’s funeral, Morgan tells Happy she’d like a cheeseburger, which brings a smile to his face because that was Tony’s favorite too. It was a touching moment and also a reminder of first Iron Man film when Tony escaped captivity and upon his return to the United States, wanted one thing and one thing only, a cheeseburger.
One of my favorite Easter eggs of the film came when Tony referred to the now overweight and laid-back Thor as “Lebowski,” a reference to the Dude, a role Jeff Bridges made famous in 1998 film, The Big Lebowski.
Coming full circle, back in 2008 Jeff Bridges played Tony Stark’s former mentor and friend Obadiah Stane a.k.a. the Iron Monger, which turned out to be the MCU’s first ever villain and one of our favorites.
Pepper To The Rescue
Pepper Potts first adopted the superhero identity Rescue in the comics back in 2009, but in Endgame Potts’ armor looks slightly different, appearing to be modeled after her look in cartoon series, Iron Man: Animated Adventures. In that series, Potts’ Rescue armor is blue, a strong contrast to Tony’s red and yellow suit.
Welcome To New Asgard
In Endgame we learn Thor made good on his promise and set up a new Asgard for his people on Earth, in the city of Tønsberg, Norway. Believe it or not, this happens to be the same place where the Tesseract was hidden in the opening scene of The First Avenger, as well as the same Norwegian village Odin referred to as home, right before he passed away in Thor: Ragnarok.
Community Cameos – Ken Jeong and Yvette Nicole Brown
Prior to jumping into the MCU, the Russo brothers actually worked on and directed several episodes of the hit comedy series Community, which explains why Ken Jeong and Yvette Nicole Brown landed small cameos in the film. Jeong plays a security guard at the storage unit where Scott Lang returns from the Quantum Realm and Brown play a suspicious employee at the military base during the 1970s.
Interesting enough, this isn’t the first time Community alum has made an appearance in the MCU; Danny Pudi made a small cameo in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Jim Rash made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
‘The Terminal Beach’ By J.G. Ballard
The book Ken Jeong’s character is reading is The Terminal Beach, a collection of short science fiction stories written by English novelist J.G. Ballard. One of those short stories, in particular, is called “End Game.” Read the synopsis for “End Game” below, courtesy of Wikipedia.
A psychological match between a person on death row, who lives with his executioner in a comfortable house, and does not know the time and day of his execution. To pass the time, they are playing chess and at the same time the death candidate tries to win a game of persuasion.
Stan Lee’s Last Cameo
The late Stan Lee makes his final cameo during Endgame, playing the role of an antiwar hippie from 1970s New Jersey. The comic book legend appears driving past the Camp Lehigh military base while shouting “make love, not war” in a car sporting “Nuff Said” bumper sticker, a favorite slogan of his. The license plate also says 420, which is both hilarious and fitting given it’s the 70s.
Cap’s Shield Is Destroyed
Thanos slowly chipping away and eventually breaking Captain America’s shield during the final battle was not only an awesome scene but also a nod to the Infinity Gauntlet comics, where Cap’s shield is broken by Thanos in an extremely similar fashion. Surprisingly, the Mad Titan isn’t the only villain to break the Cap’s iconic shield, both Molecule Man and Ultron have done so in the past.
The scene also reminded us of Tony’s dream had in Age of Ultron, where he pictures Captain America laying on the ground beside a broken shield.
Captain America Has Always Been Worthy
Captain America lifting Mjölnir and hitting Thanos was by far the coolest scene in the film. If you’re familiar with the comics, it shouldn’t come as much of surprise as he’s lifted it on several occasions, the first being in The Mighty Thor # 390 (1988). That said, seeing him pick up Mjölnir in the comics doesn’t hold a candle to watching it on the big screen.
Thor yelling “I know it” after realizing Cap was worthy of lifting Mjölnir was a reference to the moment in Age of Ultron when Cap almost lifted it off the table. Interesting enough, the Russo brothers recently confirmed that Rogers has been worthy all along.
“In our heads, he was able to wield it. He didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up. But Cap’s sense of character and humility and, out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to.”
Standing Toe-To-Toe With Thanos
Watching Captain America stand toe-to-toe against Thanos during the final stand was a thing of beauty and the perfect call back to the Infinity Gauntlet comics. Although Endgame‘s interpretation of the iconic scene differed from comics, watching Thanos’s army funnel in behind him and the Avengers arriving through magical portals was an outstanding visual I’ll never forget.
The ‘Iron Man 3’ Kid Got Big
During the tearful scene where all the Avengers and characters show up to pay their respects at Tony funeral, a familiar face shows up but he looks a lot older than we last saw him. The young man in question is none other than Harley Kenner, the young boy who helps Tony after being stranded in Tennessee in Iron Man 3.
Asgardians of the Galaxy
Nearing the end of the film Thor decides to join the Guardians of the Galaxy aboard the Benatar, so he leaves new Asgard in the control and protection of Valkryie, making her Queen of Asgard.
Following that scene, while on the Benatar Thor teases Star-Lord by referring to the Guardians as the ‘Asgardians of the Galaxy,’ a way of upsetting Quill but also a reference to a comic book storyline that’s roster included Valkyrie, Throg, Destroyer, Thunderstrike, Skurge, Thor’s sister Angela, among others.
Passing Of The Torch
One of the best and most heartwarming moments of the film was when Steve Rogers passed the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson, a fitting conclusion to Cap’s MCU arc, as well as Chris Evan’s time playing the iconic character.
The decision to have Rogers live out the rest of his days with Peggy Carter was the perfect sendoff, as well as the perfect way to introduce Sam Wilson as the new Captain America. This might lead to Disney’s Falcon & Winter Soldier series, which is scheduled to release of the Disney+, being renamed Captain America & Winter Soldier. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if that was their plan all along.
Marvel is known for including post-credit scenes, but Endgame didn’t happen to feature one and the reason actually makes a lot of sense. Endgame marked the culmination of a 10-year journey spanning 22 films. Even though Marvel has a plan for Phase 4, teasing them at the end of an emotional rollercoaster like Endgame wouldn’t have felt right. Plus, that’s what Spider-Man: Far From Home is for.
Although we did just finishing saying there was no post-credit scene, if you happened to wait to the very end of the credits as we did, you’ll hear a hammering sound gradually getting closer. The hammering noise is a throwback to Tony forging his very first Iron Man armor in a cave during the first Iron Man film, a reminder of how far the franchise has come.