Well folks, I have to keep you interested until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes back, or at the very least until Agent Carter premieres season two. Let’s explore the Marvel characters that you didn’t even know were in the movies!
This first edition will deal with characters related to the 70’s horror comic anthology Adventure into Fear.
The first character we are going to discuss is the dreaded Man-Thing, who took up a third of Adventure into Fear’s run and has the most easter eggs hidden in the MCU.
First, a bit of backstory. Man-Thing was a scientist and professor named Dr. Ted Sallis, who had worked with Dr. Curt Connors (Spider-Man foe The Lizard) and the Mockingbird herself, Dr. Bobbi Morse (From Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!). He was working on replicating the Super Soldier formula that created Captain America. He fell in love with one of his students, Ellen Brandt. As it turns out, Ellen was working for A.I.M. and was merely using Ted to get to the formula. Their scuffle led to a car crash, in which Ted injected himself with the failed formula and escaped into a swamp, becoming the creature you see above. Man-Thing attacked and killed all the A.I.M. agents except Ellen, who fled, seriously scarred. The creature that once was Ted took up residency in the swamp, becoming the guardian of an interdimensional portal called the Nexus of All Realities, which caused all sort of strange happenings in the swamp.
What if I told you that all happened in the movies too, and you just had to read between the lines?
Ellen Brandt is in fact, one of the A.I.M. soldiers that tested the Extremis virus in Iron Man 3, using it to heal after she lost part of her arm. Her face is also all scarred up; I wonder how that happened!
Later, in Thor: The Dark World, Selvig is trying to explain concepts to the gang using his chalkboard absolutely full of comic references. Scribbled near the bottom-right of his board is “Nexus of all reality!”
Lastly, Dr. Sallis mentioned directly in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Maria Hill. In Nothing Personal, the twentieth episode of season one, Hill is on the phone with Pepper Potts. She is discussing the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and how Congress is asking too many questions about the information leak. She mocks them by repeating their questions: “Where is this “Fridge”? What is in there? Who or what is a Man-Thing?“
But wait, there’s even more! I’m sure everyone remembers the Guardians of the Galaxy post-credits scene in the Collector’s collection room on Knowhere starring Cosmo the Spacedog. The anthropomorphic duck voiced by Seth Green was, of course, Howard the Duck, the ill-tempered Quack-Fu expert who first appeared in issue #19 of Adventure into Fear.
Does it get weirder than that? Yes, it does! In the fifth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season, A Hen in the Wolf House, Simmons is still undercover at HYDRA. The current sample she is analyzing is red milk, from a vial marked “Bessie”. This is, of course, a reference to Bessie the Hellcow, a Deadpool character who happens to be a vampire cow sired by Dracula himself. Bessie first appeared alongside Howard the Duck in Giant-Size Man-Thing #5.
Hope you found this an interesting look at the Marvel characters you never suspected were in the movies – because there is more to come!