Who doesn’t love a good Easter egg? I’m not talking about the chocolate-coated chicken egg variety, but rather a sly nod hidden in big budget movies. Sometimes they’re obvious, like Stan Lee in any movie featuring capes, and other times directors manage to be a bit more subtle with these little bonuses that only fans will pick up on.
Here’s a quick look at five such Easter eggs which you may have missed out on. Maybe. You guys can give my nerdiness a run for its money lately.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
It’s the end of the world, and Earth’s mightiest mortals aren’t exactly feeling fine in the wake of a battle with Ultron that left the team divided. Tony Stark in particular has a bone to pick with his errant son, but he’s going to have to head into battle without JARVIS as his backup operating system when piloting the Iron Man armour.
Fortunately, ol’ Stark happens to have some other AIs handy, eventually picking F.R.I.D.A.Y to do some heavy lifting before him. But one AI drive that Stark almost chose? A program for JOCASTA, a nod to the AI that Ultron himself created in the comics and was modelled on the mind and body of none other than Janet Van Dyne, the Wasp. Good thing Stark went for his gal F.R.I.D.A.Y instead then.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Ever since Peter Parker began a relationship with Gwen Stacy, comic book fans knew that this romance was doomed more than reviews for the Fantastic Four reboot. After all, nothing good ever happens when a Spider-Man, a Stacy and a Green Goblin cross paths. And in a final battle with his former best friend, the webhead learnt the hard way that even with the proportionate speed, strength and agility of a spider, even he wasn’t quick enough to save the love of his life.
The real kicker comes courtesy of the clock tower itself, as the encounter leaves hands resting on 01:21. The significance there? Issue #121 of the Amazing Spider-Man happens to be the very same issue that Gwen Stacy died in. Don’t worry though. She got better a few decades later.
Batman V Superman
The Man of Steel may be the most prominent super-powered being in the DC cinematic universe, but he’s hardly the only mortal on the planet with extra-normal abilities. In a scene where the dark knight finally discovers that more metahumans are available in a league-sized format, information which he shares with Wonder Woman, viewers got an early look at the origin of one Victor Stone, better known as Cyborg to fans of all things DC.
It’s a gruesome clip, as Silas Stone tries every method possible to save his son, eventually making use of “US GOV object 6-19-82” to rescue his critically-injured offspring. The Easter egg there? Another sly comic book reference, specifically to the June 1982 issue of Tales of the New Teen Titans #1 which detailed the origin of Cyborg.
It’s not easy being small, something that I can personally testify to as my severe lack of height has left me wanting in the biscuit department. But when you’ve managed to shrink yourself to the size of an ant without any experience whatsover, things tend to get a bit hairier. That’s the case in the first Ant-Man movie, as small-time burglar Scott Lang finds himself running for his life from a vacuum cleaner that just so happens to have “Kirby” branded on the side with an Omega symbol.
In this instance, the Easter egg points to Ant-Man co-creator Jack Kirby, who happens to be the co-creator of most of the Marvel universe, as well as of the New Gods in DC Comics and the villain Darkseid who uses Omega Beams as a weapon that can slay Supermen. And that’s the closest that we’ll ever come to seeing Marvel and DC cross paths on the big screen.
Iron Man 3
Sure, Iron Man 3 may have been home to one of the greatest cases of misdirection ever concerning the true identity of the Mandarin, but Tony Stark’s faced more than just a rival from the past or British flatulence during the course of that movie. Dogged by several Extremis-enhanced individuals, Stark had to use all of his wits to stay ahead of the competition.
Which makes his particular encounters even more satisfying when you realise that his opponents where essentially retro villains who had been redesigned for their big screen appearances. James Dale’s Savin was a riff on the cyborg assassin Coldblood, Stephanie Szostak’s Ellen Brandt happens to be a Man-Thing antagonist and Ashley Hamilton’s persistent Jack Taggert is based on Firepower. Another Iron Man villain, Firepower had at one point clashed with the shellhead, donning his own suit of armour in the process before he was forgotten about and left to rot.
Which kind of sheds some new light on his scenes in Iron Man 3, don’t they?