The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of easter eggs. No, really. It’s crazy. Let’s take a look at some of heroes that have been right in front of our noses all along – and let’s start with the so-called first Avenger.
Now, don’t give me that look – I’m not going crazy. I know all too well that Captain America has been a mainstay of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his first outing in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. But, see, the thing is… he first appeared years earlier.
Even though Thunderbolt Ross is returning in Captain America: Civil War and Tony Stark shows up in a post-credits scene, a lot of people don’t like to consider The Incredible Hulk part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, largely because of the absence of our beloved Mark Ruffalo. This movie is very much canon, however – and apparently originally intended to do a little more universe building. For example, you can see Captain America frozen in ice in the bottom left of this deleted scene, complete with iconic shield.
In Iron Man 2, while Tony converses with Nick Fury, you can see the African nation of Wakanda on the screen behind them. Now, this is, of course, the nation ruled by Black Panther, the African king who is to make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War. The interesting thing about this easter egg is it comes years before King T’challa was ever announced to appear!
Another hero who shows up years before his movie is Ant-Man – well, sort of. In Thor, the group is frustrated that S.H.I.E.L.D. has confiscated all their research. Dr. Erik Selvig says the line, “Let me contact one of my colleagues. He’s had dealings with these people before.” The colleague in question has his name cut from the final movie – but head honcho Kevin Feige has confirmed that Selvig is, in fact, referring to Dr. Hank Pym – who most definitely has had dealings with S.H.I.E.L.D. before.
Now, who’s excited for Doctor Strange? I know I am! I never liked the character, but with Marvel’s track record and Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting chops, it’s sure to be a hit. However, as some of you may recall, the Sorcerer Supreme was first name-dropped in Captain America: The Winter Soldier by newly outed HYDRA agent Jasper Sitwell, when explaining the workings of the Zola Algorithm like a true thriller villain. He claims they know the names of all threats and potential threats to HYDRA, such as Tony Stark, Bruce Banner – and Stephen Strange.
Speaking of Jasper Sitwell in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, remember that time the Winter Soldier threw him out of a moving vehicle at a giant yellow PENSKE truck? This distinct truck is actually seen earlier in the movie, crashing into Nick Fury’s pursuers. This a fan theory and to be taken with a grain of salt, but some fans believe that the truck could be driven by none other than The Punisher. The directors of the movie even fueled the fire in an interview, jokingly stating: “The driver of that truck is very highly trained. He thinks on his own terms. He’s got a plan and a very specific skill set.” With Punisher set to arrive in second season of Daredevil, could this be another hint at an upcoming character, or is it all just a joke?
On the topic of infamous comic characters to be introduced in Daredevil’s second season, famed femme fatale Elektra Natchios is mentioned by Foggy as the Greek girl Matt used to date in college.
At this point, you’re probably thinking – do any superheroes first appear in the movie I thought they did? Of course; my all-time favorite Avenger, The Winsome Wasp, first appears in Ant-Man during a death scene flashback. However, that isn’t the last time she appears, and I’m not talking about Hope van Dyne receiving the new suit…
When Scott goes “subatomic” and starts traversing the trippy Quantum Realm (a fun way of saying “We don’t have the rights to the name Microverse”), we see the helpless trapped Janet van Dyne not once, but twice flashing before Scott’s eyes. Don’t believe that vaguely Wasp-shaped silhouette was intentional? Not only did Marvel instruct viewers to “keep an eye out for a familiar person” in the scene, even the concept art clearly outlined the shape of a winged human.
That’s all I have today. Check back next week! – Jesse