With so many of us eager to see how and if our favorite superheroes would make their return in Avengers: Endgame, we may not have been paying too much attention to the incredible details the film entailed. While some may only be noticeable to the avid Marvel comic book fan, there were a few cameos and callbacks to previous MCU films that any fan can appreciate.
In honor of the film’s one-year anniversary, check out 10 of our favorite Endgame Easter eggs below!
1. “Hail Hydra”
When Captain America travels back to 2012, fans were quick to recognize the callback to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s the same elevator with almost the exact same people. However, instead of repeating the epic fight scene, Cap quietly says “Hail Hydra” to pretend that he works for the organization. Unless you’re an avid Marvel comics fan, you probably didn’t catch the reference where it was revealed that Captain America was a sleeper agent for Hydra the entire time. Talk about a controversial storyline.
2. Mysterious teen at Tony Stark’s funeral
Not many people made sense of the movie catching a glimpse of a mysterious teen at Tony Stark’s funeral. Once you realize who it is, it’s easy to recognize him. In Iron Man 3, there’s a young boy who helps Stark fix his armor. It’s the same kid played by the same actor, only older.
3. “Avengers assemble!”
Avid Marvel fans probably picked up on this one, but if you’re not a die-hard, this may have gone unnoticed. While it seems like Captain America yelling “Avengers assemble!” may not be a big deal, it is. It really, really is. Marvel fans have been waiting through the entire Infinity Saga to hear these words, which were never spoken until Avengers: Endgame.
4. Camp Lehigh
Some may not have recognized the military base that Steve Rogers and Stark traveled to in 1970. It is, in fact, Camp Lehigh, where Rogers endured some crazy training and received the serum that turned him into Captain America. The camp is also shown in Winter Soldier, where Rogers and Natasha Romanoff discover Arnim Zola is a computer. He’s mentioned in the film, suggesting he’s still human in 1970.
During the film, Stark calls fat Thor “Lebowski,” a reference to “The Dude” in the 1998 cult favorite The Big Lebowski. What does this have to do with Marvel? Jeff Bridges, who played the protagonist in that film, also portrayed the first-ever MCU villain in Iron Man.
6. Captain Britain
After Rogers infiltrates Camp Lehigh and spies on Peggy Carter, you can hear her whisper something about Braddock not checking in. Those familiar with the comics may consider this a teaser for Brian Braddock, aka Captain Britain. He’s essentially the U.K. version of Captain America, who first appeared in the late ’70s. Does this mean we can expect to see Captain Britain in the future?
During Endgame, we see Clint Barton, formerly known as Hawkeye, go on a sword-wielding murder spree under a dark new alias after losing his family to “the snap.” Barton’s plunge into darkness is clearly a reference to the comic character Ronin, despite the name never being used in the film. Could we end up seeing more about Ronin in Hawkeye’s Disney+ series?
8. “I love you 3,000”
Yes, it’s a heart-tugging reference that all Marvel fans have frequently used after the film’s debut. However, some think there’s a hidden message behind this emotional statement. If you were to add up all the MCU movie runtimes, including Spider-Man: Far From Home, they amount to (roughly) 3,000 minutes, although the Russo brothers explained that it’s “absolutely coincidental.”
Unless you’re a massive Marvel comic book fan, you probably didn’t catch this one. While most of us were paying attention to the rat during Ant-Man’s return to Earth from the Quantum Realm, if you caught sight of the container number, you noticed “616.” This is a shorthand for Earth-616, otherwise known as the main Marvel universe in the comics. There’s also Earth-1610 from Ultimate Marvel and the Shakespearean superhero from Earth-311, but 616 is where the majority of the comic books take place.
10. Missing superheroes
The Avengers: Endgame intro sure was lonely after Thanos' snap. 😢 pic.twitter.com/QMz814o0IA
— IGN (@IGN) July 30, 2019
We appreciate this quiet and clever switch. If you weren’t paying attention right from the start, you may not have noticed a big change to the Marvel Studios opening. The logo rolls out like normal, with a few changes. Black Panther, Scarlet Witch and all the other featured heroes who disappeared from the snap have also vanished from the logo opener. It’s a genius way to introduce the now-empty world right from the get-go.