This article consists of nothing but massive Avengers: Endgame spoilers. You’ve been warned. We have a completely spoiler free review right here.
Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of 11 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe storytelling. That’s a whopping 22 MCU movies, each of which has been packed with deep lore from the pages of Marvel Comics. That makes for plenty of Marvel Easter eggs that can be hunted down by fans and scholars. And as of right now, it’s exclusively streaming on Disney+.
But Avengers: Endgame is the first of these films not concerned with setting up sequels or even introducing new characters. Instead, it’s a celebration of all that has come before, and a genuine conclusion for the 22 movie saga. It also owes as much of a debt to Marvel’s big screen history as it does to the comics. In general, the MCU is a veritable feast of fan service for Marvel fans of all eras, but it also now boasts a sprawling continuity of its own that is impressive enough that it can spend as much time (or more) calling back to its previous entries as it does the comics.
Here’s how this works. We’re trying to find every single Marvel and MCU reference packed into Avengers: Endgame. But there’s no way we caught ‘em all, right? That’s where you come in. If you spotted something we didn’t, let us know in the comments or on Twitter, and if it checks out, we’ll update this and give you a shout.
WHEN DOES AVENGERS: ENDGAME TAKE PLACE?
Avengers: Endgame takes place 21 days after the conclusion of Avengers: Infinity War (making it 23 days since Thanos first arrived on Earth). An additional day goes by before Carol Danvers rescues Tony Stark and the whole team has their meetup at Avengers HQ. Of course, then we jump five years into the future…
That five year time jump likely won’t mean much for long. With no new Marvel movies (other than Spider-Man: Far From Home, which picks up right after the conclusion of Endgame) until 2020, the real world will catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in no time. Keep in mind, Infinity War took place in 2018, which means the opening of Endgame also takes place in 2018, so that five year time jump is really a four year jump in “our” time. Marvel currently has movies scheduled through 2022 (and of course there will be more) so by the time the next phase happens, we’ll be all caught up.
Whew. Anyway, on to the rest…
We’re kicking things off with Tony Stark because, well, after 11 years, 22 movies, and one heroic, heartbreaking death scene, he deserves it.
– It is cute but not necessarily significant that Tony introduces himself to his father as “Howard Potts.”
– Mungo Jerry was an early ‘70s rock band best known for their hit “In the Summertime.” You can definitely see a little Tony Stark facial hair happening in this pic. That’s Community‘s Yvette Nicole Brown complaining about Tony’s hippie beard. Maybe if Thor had been at Camp Lehigh she would have thought more Bee Gees.
– Howard Stark reveals that Tony’s mother was considering naming Tony “Alphonso” instead of “Anthony.” Al Stark doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?
Morgan H. Stark
As promised in Infinity War, Tony and Pepper have had a child, and Tony named her after an eccentric cousin of his. The elder Morgan Stark has never appeared in the MCU, but first showed his face in Tales of Suspense #68, back in Iron Man’s early days in 1965. It’s…not a super important story.
– Young Morgan is fond of cheeseburgers. We learned that Tony had cravings for them in the first Iron Man movie shortly after he returned from captivity.
– The blue/purple tint to Pepper’s Iron Man armor helmet (and later the armor itself) is a nod to how she appeared as “Rescue” on the Iron Man: Animated Adventures series. If you’ve never seen it, you can find it on Disney+.
Howard Stark and the Agent Carter Connections
– It’s rare to see the television arm of the MCU acknowledged on the big screen, so it’s nice to see Agent Carter’s James D’arcy return as Jarvis, however briefly. Between this and seeing Peggy Carter doing her business as director of SHIELD, this is as close as we’re going to get to a proper Agent Carter reunion.
– That’s latter-day Howard Stark John Slattery here, rather than First Avenger/Agent Carter Howard Stark, Dominic Cooper.
– When we first see Howard Stark in this movie, he is looking for that rat bastard Arnim Zola, who didn’t upload his consciousness to a computer until 1972 (something we see play out in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a movie that also gets plenty of love in Endgame).
The Death of Tony Stark
It appears that right before Tony says “I…am…Iron Man” a nod both to the famed Black Sabbath lyric and his final words from the first film, he seems to be staring off, likely hinting that he is experiencing the kind of cosmic awareness that the Infinity Gauntlet always brings with it, and that is made famous in so many Jim Starlin Marvel comics.
Who is at Tony Stark’s Funeral?
– In attendance at Tony Stark’s funeral you can find all the surviving Avengers, plus a few special guests, including Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, Marissa Tomei’s May Parker, William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross, and Ty Simpkins’ Harley Keener from the immensely underrated Iron Man 3.
– The floating funeral bouquet contains Tony’s first arc reactor, the one that Pepper customized to read: “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.”
We examined the significance of Tony Stark’s funeral (and its attendees) right here.
– We finally get to hear Cap declare the famed “Avengers Assemble!” battlecry, something which we were teased with in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
– Cap’s shield getting shattered in battle with Thanos is a moment right out of the original Infinity Gauntlet comic. It didn’t stop Steve there, either.
– Cap swears multiple times in this movie, something he has been reluctant to do in the past. Can you blame him? Of course, that doesn’t make him any less worthy to wield Mjolnir when the time comes, an event that has been teased since Avengers: Age of Ultron. And goddamn it might just be the single most triumphant moment in MCU history.
– Cap has hoisted Mjolnir on a few occasions in the comics, making him one of the few Marvel characters who have been canonically deemed worthy (not even a few dirty words can change that). The most notable time was during the Fear Itself event, which allowed Cap to use the hammer for maximum world-defending effect.
– Endgame also leans heavily on the entire trilogy of Captain America movies, with their events getting direct references, but also driving smaller moments in the film. For example, Tony and Steve’s trip back to 1970 is one of many things that helps heal the rift between the pair from Captain America: Civil War. But more directly…
The First Avenger
– We hear the main theme from Captain America: The First Avenger when Tony returns Steve’s shield to him.
– The location of New Asgard is Tonsberg, the same Norwegian village from The First Avenger where the Tesseract had been hidden from prying eyes by Odin worshippers until that Nazi douchebag the Red Skull came along and swiped it. You can see why Thor chose this location.
– Steve and Tony go to Camp Lehigh to find the Tesseract in 1970. Camp Lehigh is where Steve first trained to become a super soldier, and was his stateside base of operations during the war. It’s a Marvel Universe landmark that dates all the way back to Captain America Comics #1 in 1940.
– Interestingly enough, Steve’s phony uniform is emblazoned with the name “Roscoe.” This might be a reach, but in the wake of the original “Secret Empire” (not the Nazi Cap one) story from the comics (in the 1970s) by Steve Englehart and Sal Buscema, when Cap temporarily renounced his red, white, and blue costume, the Falcon took on a junior partner by the name of Roscoe Simons to take Cap’s place. It…it didn’t end well for young Roscoe. But Cap wearing Roscoe’s uniform here (yeah, I know, first name/last name…whatever) is a nice reversal of Roscoe wearing Cap’s in the comics.
– “Don’t do anything stupid until I get back/You’re taking all the stupid with you” is a wonderful Steve/Bucky exchange from The First Avenger.
– When Steve is fighting himself, he says to…himself… “I can do this all day,” which is, of course, Steve’s mantra that he first says in The First Avenger and then repeats in Civil War.
The Winter Soldier
– Two of the key dickbags showing up to run cleanup in the aftermath of the Avengers are Jasper Sitwell and Crossbones. Of course, we get a nice nod to that amazing elevator fight scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier at one point.
– Steve saying “Hail Hydra” is more than just another fun nod to The Winter Soldier. In 2016 Marvel took a considerable amount of shit for the infamous “Nazi Cap” story, Secret Empire, where thanks to some cosmic cube (that’s the Tesseract to you MCU fans) related shenanigans, Cap’s history was temporarily rewritten so he was a Hydra agent.
– Getting Robert Redford to return as Alexander Pierce is an impressive feat on its own.
Sam Wilson, The Falcon, and the New Captain America
– Following Thanos’ snap, Steve seemingly becomes a grief and trauma counselor, which was Sam’s job when we first met him in The Winter Soldier.
– When Falcon makes his big return he says “on your left” which is another nice nod to The Winter Soldier when we first met him and he first met Steve. It shouldn’t be a surprise that TWS looms large in this movie, as it’s the one that put the Russos on the MCU map.
– Sam Wilson has spent time in the comics as Captain America. Cap has a habit of handing off the shield from time to time. The first real time was to John Walker, although Steve had no say in choosing him. Then there was the time Bucky spent as Cap (and he did an excellent job). The thing is, Cap didn’t really get a say there, either, as he was quite dead at the time.
But Sam is the only guy to wield the shield who was actually given Cap’s blessing right out of the gate, and rightfully so. Coincidentally, it happened at a time in the comics when Steve had also been “aged up” to his “actual” elderly state, much like what we see at the conclusion of Endgame. He also gets a ridiculously cool costume out of the deal…
– The fact that The Falcon and Winter Soldier are slated for a team-up series on Disney+ indicates that it’s going to take some time for him to get used to the idea of being the man with the shield, and don’t be surprised if that series deals almost entirely with the buildup to Sam finally deciding to accept the responsibility and wear the red, white, and blue. It’s interesting (and a little concerning) how little Steve and Bucky interact in this movie, though.
The Final Fate of Steve Rogers
– Cap’s quest to return the stones leaves the door open to a series of Captain America movies in different time periods. Maybe. Probably not. Don’t hold your breath. Still, there’s always a chance that Steve Rogers (even if he isn’t Captain America anymore) can still be a part of the MCU in some capacity.
It’s also worth noting that the Russo Brothers say that Cap created an alternate timeline by doing this, and figure since they directed the damn movie, they would know.
– Elderly Steve appears to be wearing the same tan jacket that pre-super soldier serum Steve wore in Captain America: The First Avenger. It fits again.
– The song playing as Steve and Peggy dance is “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” a 1945 hit with lyrics that are really, really appropriate. This appears to be the version with Kitty Kallen on vocals with the Harry James band.
Set all your worries about paradoxes aside and just enjoy the moment. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go weep for a bit.
We wrote more about the implications all of this might have for Agent Carter continuity right here.
– This is our first look at “alternate” versions of Thor in the MCU, although Jason Aaron’s spectacular run as writer in recent years has treated us to younger and far older versions of the character. None have this particular version of Thor’s particular traits or hangups, but there is some precedent for time-slid, weird Thors in Marvel Comics.
– The movie makes a valiant attempt to redeem the generally unloved Thor: The Dark World, with Thor and Rocket sneaking around in the background of recognizable scenes, plenty of references to the Dark Elves and Jane Foster’s predicament, and the touching reunion between Thor and Frigga (other than her “eat a salad” crack…Jesus, mom!) shortly before her death.
– Aside from New Asgard’s connection to The First Avenger, the idea of Asgard having a place in Midgard really stems from J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel’s time as creative team on the God of Thunder, where Asgard spent some time hovering 12 feet off the ground near Broxton, Oklahoma.
– Thor turning New Asgard over to Valkyrie isn’t a thing from the comics, but it does feel very much like a set-up for future Valkyrie adventures in the MCU proper.
– So, based on assorted time travel weirdness and Loki making his escape during The Avengers portion of the time heist, does this mean that Loki can once again be alive in MCU continuity? It would seem that way. This would certainly help clear things up for the Disney+ Loki series that Tom Hiddleston is set to star in. Though it’s been reported that the Loki series might follow Loki as he interferes with moments throughout history. We went into more detail about whether Loki is now alive again in the MCU right here.
– When Rocket goes to collect drunk Thor, Korg, voiced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is hanging out playing video games and wearing a pineapple-covered Hawaian shirt that he has busted through with his rock shoulders. It is probably a reference to the excellent possible romphim (that’s a romper for men – get it?) Taika wore to SDCC while promoting Thor. It could just be a coincidence because Taikia loves pineapples and insisted his character wear a pineapple shirt. Either way, rad casualwear for Korg.
– Bruce Banner says he started thinking about the Hulk as “a cure” rather than as “a disease” which is why he is able to be the “best of both worlds,” Banner’s smarts and sensitivity paired with Hulk’s raw power. He said he spent “18 months in a gamma lab” to merge the two halves of himself. That isn’t exactly how it went down in the comics, but it’s reasonable comic book logic.
– There’s plenty of precedent for “smart Hulk” in the comics, as well. Perhaps the pinnacle of “smart Hulk” stories came, coincidentally enough, during the era that brought us the original Infinity Gauntlet story, the early 1990s. That Hulk was rather fond of stretchy, tracksuit-lookin’ monochrome outfits, too. There’s a whole stretch of Incredible Hulk written by Peter David that you should check out if “smart Hulk” is your thing.
– Amusingly, Banner turning his Hulk into a positive role model, complete with spouting platitudes like “listen to your mother,” feels like the 1980s persona of legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan. Of course, Hulk Hogan turned out to be a total asshole in real life, but whatever.
Thanos retreats to Planet 0259-S, which is the world we glimpsed at the conclusion of Infinity War. There’s no additional Marvel Comics connection to that planetary designation, BUT…
…apparently Thanos referred to it as “the Garden.” In the Thanos Quest series that led up to the original Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos had to claim the Time Gem from an Elder of the Universe known as “The Gardener” who had created his own “garden” on the Blue Area of the Moon (home to the Inhumans…of whom we shall never speak again after that dreadful TV series). Anyway, all of that seems like a bit of a reach, as Thanos sees himself as a god and “the garden” is his own personal eden, but hey, whatever.
– “I am inevitable.” I can’t recall any instances of Thanos uttering these specific words in the comics, but he sure says stuff like it all the time, sometimes referring to himself in the third person like the jerk he is.
– The constant references to killing baby Thanos are far more than just the old “killing baby Hitler” thought experiment, as that’s more or less the plot of the current Cosmic Ghost Rider series from Marvel Comics.
– At one point, Tony and Natasha are talking about Doctor Strange, and Pepper misidentifies his address as Sullivan St, which Tony corrects to the correct (and close by) Bleecker St. For you Marvel obsessives, Strange’s sanctum is located at 177A Bleecker St in NYC’s West Village. Don’t try to find it, as it’s well hidden by assorted mystic spells. Cool neighborhood, though. Amusingly, Tony also dismisses Strange as a “Bleecker St. magician” as if Stephen is some hippie who wanders around the Village doing card tricks for tourists and not the frakkin’ Sorcerer Supreme.
– Fans who felt shortchanged by the lack of Hawkeye in Infinity War get plenty to work with this time around. Indeed, the filmmakers find Clint’s journey so essential to Endgame that they used his “snap” moment as a “pre-credits” scene, the first of its kind in Marvel Studios history. Here, we see Nathaniel Pietro Barton (so named for the fallen Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron), Lila Barton, and Laura Barton all vanish into dust.
– Clint even tells young Lila, “great job, Hawkeye.” Clint will definitely be teaching more archery in the near future, as Disney+ has a Hawkeye TV series planned, where Mr. Barton will pass on his mantle to Kate Bishop. We have more info on Kate Bishop here.
– Clint’s midlife crisis/revenge spree brings him a new costume. In the New Avengers comics, he was known as Ronin in this garb, and the reasoning behind it was completely different. We wrote more about the history of Ronin right here.
– The man we see him fighting is Akihiko, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, making his first (and last) MCU appearance. In the comics, Akihiko led the Shogun Reapers, an armored science division of the Yakuza. He appeared in the recent (and very cool) Nick Fury comic book series by James Robinson and ACO.
– In the pages of Marvel Comics, Clint’s mother’s name was indeed Edith.
– When Natasha goes to Vormir, the Red Skull calls her “daughter of Ivan,” a detail about her own history that even Natasha didn’t know. Which is so sad.
– “We’re a long way from Budapest” Hawkeye cracks to Natasha when they’re flying the Milano, a reference to a conversation they had in the first Avengers film. We’re never going to learn what happened there, are we?
– Steve and Natasha’s friendship, which was a foundational part of The Winter Soldier, is still strong here. She has been urging him to “get a life” since The Winter Soldier when she was constantly trying to set him up, although it appears that in the time since Infinity War she has lost any semblance of a life of her own.
– Anybody else notice that Natasha cuts her bread in a manner that Nick Fury would not approve of?
– The hug between Peter and Tony is a reversal of that funny moment in Spider-Man: Homecoming when Peter thinks he’s getting a hug in the car and…most certainly is not. This hug, however, is one of the purest, most touching moments in MCU history.
– We also get to see the hideous Iron Spider armor in all its “glory.” Hopefully for the final time.
– While the age difference is too great for this to ever be a thing in the MCU, Peter Parker did indeed date Carol Danvers (briefly) during her Ms. Marvel days in the comics.
– In the aftermath of the snap, Carol Danvers cut her hair short to her iconic ‘do with what was a rather unfortunate wig, since this was filmed before her solo movie. It was controversial when she got it in the comics insofar as some fanboys hate it any time she doesn’t have long hair. Expect those who ship ValCap to love it. It’s anyone’s bet when in the timeline any possible future Captain Marvel movies may be set and therefore what hair she’ll have. The similarity to Annette Benning’s Mar-Vell hair is probably no accident, too.
We wrote much more about the significance of Captain Marvel’s haircut right here.
– Rocket razzing her about the short hair is perfect, because Carol spent some time with the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, much of which they spent teasing each other. Once Carol was in charge of the space station Alpha Flight (which incidentally was the kind of global shield Tony laments at his cabin that they should have built – it didn’t work because Nazi Cap was the one who orchestrated it) Rocket steals a bunch of stuff from her fancy space station.
– Carol spends much of the movie in outer space doing…outer space stuff? She’s quick to remind that there are other planets in the universe, which is true, but it does seem like a very long errand for some medicine to heal Tony, at the expense of getting to see their great comics chemistry. Space is usually where Carol goes when things get heavy and she always does help people – maybe a future movie will give her more time with whoever is still an Avenger and then they can call her out for running away.
Judging by glowy appearances and the end of Captain Marvel, it seems we’re getting the Binary version of Captain Marvel without having to deal with the torture or the white hole business, which is convenient when it comes to a souped-up powerset with no emotional fallout too early in her story.
– Carol’s costume during the finale looks slightly more like the Mar-Vell version of the suit, with a nod to her Ms. Marvel sash, as well.
– The five year time jump aging Cassie Lang up to her teenage years bodes well for the prospects of some kind of Young Avengers property down the road, as Cassie has taken on the superheroic identities of “Stinger” (when small) and “Stature” (when giant) in the comics.
– Visible on young Hank Pym’s desk in 1970 is a vintage, comic book accurate Ant-Man helmet. Presumably a prototype.
WANDA AND VISION
– Vision isn’t really mentioned in the final third of the film, although he is alluded to when Wanda absolutely loses her shit with “you took everything from me.” In the comics, Wanda has been known to go off the deep end from time to time, and the intensity on display in this movie certainly feels like it could lead to something like that down the road.
Since Vision requires the mind stone to exist with free will (as established in Age of Ultron), when Cap goes back into the Quantum realm, does he return the mind stone to its rightful place and bring Vision back to life? Does that make the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision a prequel?
– At Tony’s funeral, Hawkeye tells Wanda he wishes he could let Natasha know it worked. “She knows,” Wanda tells him. “They both do.” She is seemingly talking about Vision here.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
– Rocket Raccoon is wearing his classic costume from the comics for most of the movie, which is a little more swashbuckling and old-school sci-fi than what we’ve come to know from the movies. We have some more info on the weird-ass history of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel Comics right here.
– Tony misidentifies Rocket as “Ratchet” at one point, and somebody needs to make an appropriate “Ratchet Raccoon” meme/parody ASAP.
– The Asgardians of the Galaxy are absolutely a thing in the comics, albeit with a different lineup to what we have here. However, that lineup is profoundly different than what we’re going to get here, as it consists of Valkyrie (who is remaining in New Asgard in the MCU), Thunderstrike (the replacement Thor from the ‘90s), Angela, Throg (yes, the Frog Thor), the Executioner, and Kid Loki. Don’t expect to see most of these characters ever show up in the MCU.
– Nebula does indeed briefly pick up the Infinity Gauntlet here, and for a moment it felt like we were going to get that classic moment from the Infinity Gauntlet comic, where Nebula becomes a god and Thanos is forced to work with the heroes to put shit right.
– Witnessing the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (notably Peter Quill’s dancing antics) from the perspective of people who don’t get to hear the soundtrack is a wonderful storytelling trick.
Does this mean that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is going to be about trying to rescue Gamora? Is it possible her story actually did end in Infinity War? The idea of having to deal with a less well-developed Gamora in Guardians 3 seems somewhat less than appealing, but perhaps its best to just trust the MCU vision. Maybe.
We wrote much more about what happened to Gamora in Endgame right here.
THE STAN LEE CAMEO
Stan Lee is driving a car with a “‘nuff said” bumper sticker. That was, of course, one of the many, many catchphrases that he often signed off the Stan’s Soapbox column with. Also, the um…the license plate says 420. We wrote much more about what seems like an otherwise minor Stan Lee cameo and its implications for the wider MCU right here. “Hey man, make love not war!”
– There are, of course, plenty of references to the Back to the Future trilogy throughout Endgame, from “no betting on sporting events” to the crack about not losing Scott in the 1950s. No need to lay them all out here, right?
– Rhodey suggests killing Baby Thanos, a reference to the much-discussed ethical question: if you have the ability to travel through time, should you go back and kill Baby Hitler?
– There doesn’t seem to be any wider MCU or Marvel Comics significance to the April 7, 1970 date when Tony and Steve make their journey back to Camp Lehigh, but if anyone has any info that I don’t, please let us know.
– Tony references three bits of physics logic when discussing the difficulties of time travel. The Planck Scale is (ummm…forgive the mangling of this) an attempt to reconcile issues of relativity with problems of absolute measurements of things like units of measure in relation to time.
“The Deutsche Proposition” appears to refer to David Deutsche, a quantum physicist who has done some work with multiversal theory. If anyone can explain this to me, ummm…please do.
I’m not going to even attempt to pretend to understand what the EPR Paradox’s relation to Endgame and this movie’s time travel laws might be, however, given that it appears to be vaguely related to quantum entanglement/”spooky action at a distance” which um…I dunno, if two characters in the MCU have ever been entangled at the quantum level it sure would seem to be Steve and Peggy, wouldn’t it? Anyway, crying again…
We tried to explain all of the Avengers: Endgame time travel rules right here.
In addition to boasting what might be Alan Silvestri’s best, most evocative work in the MCU, Endgame features a surprising number of deep cut needledrops, the kind you might normally associate with Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
It’s a bold move to use Traffic’s mournful “Mr. Fantasy” to kick things off, with lines like “do anything take us out of this gloom” that seem particularly appropriate for the way things open for our heroes (and everyone else). Later, they digs deep into The Kinks catalogue to bust out “Supersonic Rocket Ship” during their trip to New Asgard. With lyrics like “My supersonic ship’s at your disposal/If you feel so inclined/We’re gonna travel faster than light” that are appropriately sci-fi, but also “Nobody needs to be out of sight/Nobody’s gonna travel second class/There’ll be equality/And no suppression of minorities” it seems like it anticipated the internet’s army of babies who constantly scream about how Marvel and Star Wars are “suddenly” mixing politics with their grand epics. Lol at those clowns forever.
MISCELLANEOUS COOL STUFF
– All of the women of the MCU coming to back up Carol Danvers is not just a great moment in its own right, but feels like a little nod to A-Force, G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett’s all woman Avengers team. While there isn’t a ton of crossover between the comic book lineup and the one we see on screen here…who cares? It’s still awesome. Maybe there’s still hope for the #WomenofMarvel poker games Carol Danvers has in the comics (yes she really calls them that).
– Howard the Duck is apparently visible during the final battle, just to the right (our right, not her right) of Wasp when she shows up. Keep an eye out! Howard rules. He should run for President again.
– During the group therapy session, Steve is talking to none other than Joe Russo, one half of the Russo Brothers directing team. Joe is playing the MCU’s first canonically gay character on the big screen for Marvel (there have been a handful on TV), it seems. That…that can’t be right, can it?
– One of the other members of that therapy group? None other than Jim Starlin, the creator of Thanos!
– There are not one, but two shout outs to the New York Mets in this movie. The first is, of course, the flyover of a deserted Citi Field. Of course, that could basically be Citi Field during any number of Mets Septembers when the team has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The other is, of course, Joe Russo’s anecdote during the group therapy scene. I point these out because Peter Parker is canonically a Mets fan, both in the comics and in the MCU, and also because even though it is never actually stated, we can pretty much assume that Steve Rogers is a Mets fan by default, as he would have been rooting for their spiritual fathers (and similarly Steve Rogers-esque perpetual underdogs), the Brooklyn Dodgers, back before he went into the ice in the ’40s. In fact, it was a Brooklyn Dodgers game playing on the radio when Steve woke up at the end of The First Avenger.
The main theme from Captain America: The First Avenger plays when Tony gives Steve his shield back, which makes for one final (albeit roundabout) New York Mets connection. When beloved Mets third baseman and team captain David Wright retired in 2018, he left the field for the final time to that very piece of music. David’s nickname for most of his career? “Captain America.”
– The security guard watching over the warehouse where Scott Lang’s van is being stored is reading a collection of JG Ballard short stories called Terminal Beach. One of the stories contained in that volume? A little number called “End-Game.” We’re sure it is as uplifting and bouncy as the rest of Mr. Ballard’s catalogue. Oh, and the security guard in question? That’s Community‘s Ken Jeong.
– The earthquake under the sea, “we handle it by not handling it.” On the one hand, this a perfectly normal bit of pragmatism. On the other, you have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, this is a hint at the existence of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Assuming he does indeed exist in the MCU (and to be clear, there are some confusing rights issues surrounding the character, Marvel Studios, and Universal), he’s the kind of character who would be able to concern himself with this. Probably not, as Endgame is admirably focused on the here and now of its characters and the MCU, but it would be Easter egg malpractice not to at least mention it here.
– Vormir is described as “the center of celestial existence.” This could be a coincidence, but the Celestials are ancient, godlike cosmic beings who are central to the mythology of Jack Kirby’s Eternals, who coincidentally are set to get an MCU movie of their own soon enough. Two Celestials have already appeared in the MCU, Knowhere, from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, is the severed head of a Celestial, and later in the movie you can see Eson the Searcher on a monitor screen.
– Rhodey’s worries that skeletons on spikes are gonna start jumping out is, of course, a generalized reference to the kinds of shenanigans that Henry Jones, Jr. gets up to in the Indiana Jones trilogy. What, there was a fourth one? Never heard of it. Anyway, during this scene, while the score certainly isn’t quoting from any of John Williams’ iconic themes from those films, it does kind of do an appropriately adventurous swell there.
DOES AVENGERS: ENDGAME HAVE A POST-CREDITS SCENE?
No. Instead, we get the pre-credits scene with the Barton family becoming “dust in the wind” (that musical cue would have been far too on-the-nose). But if you listen very carefully, as the music in the end credits fade out, you can hear a faint clanging…the sound of Tony Stark forging the Mark I armor in the cave from the very first MCU movie in 2008. We wrote a little bit more about the significance of this right here.
“I’m fine. Totally fine.” – Tony Stark, speaking for all of us.
Spot something we missed? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!