The MCU is famous for its Easter eggs – those hidden clues that the filmmakers put into the scenes that reference Marvel comics, other movies, and, in some cases, some very creative elements. Deciphering all the Easter eggs of each MCU movie has become one of the great pleasures of following the franchise, and the subject of endless scrutiny.
The Easter eggs can show up in any form, and fans have to be sharp enough to catch the references – like those strange heads on the Grandmaster’s tower in Thor: Ragnarok that represent Man-thing, Beta Ray Bill, Ares, Bi-Beast, and Fin Fang Foom, all characters from the comics. Sometimes, though, our favorite superheroes are wearing the Easter egg on their costumes. Here’s a look at 20 of our favorites.
19 Phineas Horton And The Original Human Torch
In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes visit the Stark Expo. As they enter the Expo, they walk by a display case with a red costume labeled "Dr. Phineas Horton Presents The Synthetic Man." Way back in Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, Phineas Horton was the scientist who created the Human Torch.
18 Duran Duran And The Fenris Wolf
In and early scene of Thor: Ragnarok, as Hulk turns into Bruce Banner, he puts on a t-shirt of Tony Stark's sporting the album cover from Duran Duran's album "Hungry Like The Wolf". It's an Easter egg that foreshadows the Hulk's showdown with the Fenris Wolf later in the movie.
17 Cull Obsidian Nods To Captain Marvel In Avengers: Infinity War
Cull is one of Thanos’ sons, and he joins Dad in his quest for the Infinity Stones. Cull is killed in Avengers: Infinity War by Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster suit during the Battle of Wakanda, but not before we’ve noticed his red sash – just like that of Captain Marvel’s, who doesn’t show up until Avengers: Endgame.
16 Who Is Roscoe And Why Is Steve Rogers Wearing His Uniform?
In Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers wears a phone uniform with the name "Roscoe" on it, referencing the original Secret Empire comic series from the 1970s. Roscoe Simons is the name of a junior partner that Falcon takes on while Cap is taking a break from the red, white and blue costume.
15 The African Union Flag In Black Panther
As Okoye, T’Challa, and Nakia look out over the casino from the balcony level in Black Panther, the colors and formation are a subtle reference to the Pan-African flag. Designed by Marcus Garvey, the flag has three horizontal stripes of green, black, and red.
14 The Ten Rings Tattoo In Ant-Man
In Ant-Man, we see one of the villains who is attempting to buy the Pym technology on the black market sporting a Ten Rings tattoo on his neck. It resurrects the Ten Rings group that kept Tony hostage in the original Iron Man movie.
13 Steve Rogers' Tan Jacket
Near the end of Endgame, Bruce Banner, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes wait for Steve Rogers to return from his time travels. He shows up as an old man, having lived his life with Peggy Carter back in the day, and seems to be wearing the same tan jacket he sported in the original Captain America: The First Avenger. And, it fits again!
12 Black Widow Wears A Provocative Necklace
In Captain America: Winter Soldier, you'd have to be pretty sharp to see the Black Widow wearing a necklace with a tiny Hawkeye arrow pendant, which references the relationship the two characters have in the comics. In the MCU, they are good friends, but in the comics, they have a romantic relationship.
11 Korg's Hawaiian Shirt
In Avengers: Endgame, Korg appears in the scene where Rocket comes to collect Thor. Korg is wearing a Hawaiian shirt - just like the one director Taika Waititi (who voices Korg) wore to the San Diego ComicCon when he appeared to promote Thor: Ragnarok back in 2017.
10 Rocket Raccoon Rocks His Classic Costume In Endgame
In Avengers: Endgame, Rocket Raccoon wears the costume he is most known for in the comics, in contrast to the other films he's appeared in. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies have only hinted at the shenanigans and weirdness the character is known for in the Marvel comics.
9 Clint Barton Honors Pietro
In Avengers: Endgame, we get a brief glimpse of a photo of Clint Barton's youngest child on a cell phone, and he is wearing a t-shirt that tells us his name is Nathaniel Pietro Barton. Clint named him after Pietro Maximoff, who saved his life in Age of Ultron.
8 Black Panther's Sneakers And Back To The Future II
In Black Panther, Shuri insists that T'Challa change out of his royal sandals and into a pair of high tech black sneakers. She tells him they are just like the ones from "that movie papa used to watch" It's a reference to Back to the Future Part II.
7 Killmonger's Leopard Print Black Panther Suit
As he battles the Dora Milaje in Black Panther, Killmonger dons an upgraded version of the iconic suit, but it's clearly the Golden Jaguar and not Black Panther suit per se. It has spots, and references the comics, where Killmonger's favorite pet was a leopard by the name of Preyy.
6 The Incredible Hulk's Huge Purple Pants
In The Incredible Hulk, Betty Ross goes shopping to buy Bruce Banner some clothes after they are forced to go on the run. One item is a large pair of stretchy purple pants, which is a nod to the iconic look the Hulkster had in the comics and TV series.
5 Captain America's Shield In Preview
In the original Iron Man movie, where the MCU began more than a decade ago, Captain America's shield appears briefly in the background of a scene where Tony is working in his suit. Howard Stark created the original shield for Steve Rogers back during WWII.
4 Thanos As The Humble Farmer
At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos has completed his mission, and looks to spend the rest of his days as a farmer. Among the crops, we see Thanos' armor serving as a scarecrow in a scene exactly like that in the 1991 Marvel Comics event series The Infinity Gauntlet.
3 Pepper Potts Purple Iron Man Armor
In Avengers: Endgame, Pepper Potts wears blue-purple armor which is similar to how the character was portrayed on the Iron Man: Animated Adventures series. There, she was known as "Rescue" and she was a teenager, just like Tony and Rhodes, and the daughter of Virgil Potts, an F.B.I. agent.
2 Infinity Gauntlet Tease In Thor
When the Weapon's Vault is opened up in Asgard in the original Thor movie, we get a very brief glimpse of the Infinity Gauntlet, long before it becomes part of the MCU storyline. In Thor: Ragnarok, Hela claims that it is a fake, but the hint is still loud and clear.
1 Captain America's Smashed Shield
Captain America's shield gets smashed in Avengers: Endgame, in a reference to the seminal 1991 comic crossover event, The Infinity Gauntlet. While the plot of the comic story differs in some ways from Endgame, it's still Thanos, and his Infinity gauntlet, who is able to break the shield.