What was the best Marvel movie last year? Easy answer: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Okay so that's a bit of a cheat since that isn't apart of the MCU. If I had to pick the best of the three released in 2018 I think it would be Black Panther followed by Ant-Man and the Wasp followed by Infinity War. Yeah, I know, that is a strange order. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Infinity War and it was a triumphant moment for cinema history. I still can't believe it happened, getting all of those actors to appear in one movie. Wow, what a journey these ten years have been. My problem with it is that same fact. It was perhaps too stuffed with people and plots that didn't connect so well together. The ending was also kind of a downer.
Now that Endgame is here, well, I think I like that movie just a bit more now that I know what happens after. If Marvel wanted to relieve me last year after Infinity War came out all they would have to say is that Endgame would be about a time heist. That's it! As soon as I heard those words in the movie I was in. What a fun idea for a plot that pays homage to so many MCU films. Since there is a lot to pay tribute to, there are a lot of references. Did you catch them all? Let's see how many of these you spotted. And yes, there are SPOILERS.
25 Ratchet & Rocket
This might just be me since I’m a huge Sony fan, at least concerning their games. I didn’t see anyone else report on this reference, so again, maybe I’m off base here, or maybe I’m just that smart. Ha, yeah right. It’s more like I’m that nerdy. Anyway when the team is working on the time travel machine someone, I think Tony, calls Rocket, Ratchet instead. Is this a fun reference to the Ratchet and Clank series? Ratchet is a cat, but is good with gear like Rocket.
24 Hail Hydra
When Tony, Steve, Bruce, and Scott go back to 2012, there is a great callback to Captain America 2: Winter Soldier. Steve boards the elevator with almost the same people as his classic fight in that movie. You expect it to happen again, but instead he plays it coy and pretends he works for Hydra. This is also a reference to the comics when it was revealed that Captain America was a sleeper agent for a Hydra the whole time. It was...a controversial arc to say the least.
23 Which Nebula Survived?
This might just be me, but was anyone else confused what version of Nebula survived? When the scene between both of them and Gamora occurred during the final battle, I thought the 2014 version, aka the evil one, shot the good one. Yet, later on, Nebula shows Gamora to Peter and explains her fate with him. That must mean that the good one did survive after all. It was a very confusing set of scenes and I still don’t know if I’m right, or not.
22 Mysterious Teenager At The Funeral
Did the camera singling out that kid in the back of Tony’s funeral freak anyone else out? I figured it had to be important, but at the time I had no idea who it could be. It turns out it was the kid who helped Tony get his armor fixed in Iron Man 3. In fact, it’s the same actor, Ty Simpkins, only older. Once you look at him up close it’s easy to tell it’s the same actor.
21 Two Captain Americas
Time travel rarely makes sense in fiction, but I followed along with Endgame’s explanation. That is until Steve decides to stay back in what I assume is the 40s with Peggy. That ruins the timeline since he left, right? Well, this took a bit of thinking, but after reading a few more theories, I’m convinced this is the truth. See there are two Steve Rogers in that time period. 2023 Steve went back to be with Peggy, but his frozen version after the battle in his first movie is still there. He just disguised himself real good for 70 years?
20 Avengers Assemble!
There was a lot of emotional stuff in this movie, but the first time my heart swelled with joy was when the team was finally brought back together during the final battle. It was even more amazing when Steve shouts the classic line, “Avengers Assemble!” Now I thought, surely, he said these words before, but this was actually the first time. I can’t believe it took over twenty movies for this to happen. It’s dumb, but it still filled my heart with glee.
19 I Knew It!
Remember the celebration dinner in Tony’s apartment in Age of Ultron when everyone tries to pick up Thor’s Hammer? Besides Vision, which I still don’t get, Steve was the only one to make it budge. People debated whether he was faking it, or not to save Thor’s pride and finally, that debate is over. He was indeed pulling everyone’s leg because he calls Mjolnir to his side during the final battle. When Thor says, “I knew it,” all was confirmed.
18 Loki’s Tesseract Misadventures
In case you didn’t know, Loki is getting his own show via the upcoming Disney Plus downloadable service. Since he perished at the beginning of Infinity War, and is still seemingly gone at the finale of Endgame, many wondered when this would take place. Well, wonder no more ladies and gentlemen because I have a theory. Showing Loki run off with the Tesseract during the botched 2012 time heist was all I needed to see. The show is obviously going to take place in a parallel timeline, right? That means it might not be canon, but we’ll see.
17 Far From Home Lies
Here’s something crazy to think about. Peter was stuck in the dust world, or whatever, for five years meaning he, and anyone else that vanished, didn’t age. That means that some of his classmates from Spider-Man Homecoming have presumably already graduated. Based on the end we can at least confirm that his best friend Ned was also in the dust world, but this has me curious about the trailers for Far From Home. Marvel has faked footage in trailers before so were the scenes with his other classmates faked as in did MJ already graduate? Now that would be a twist.
16 Pepper’s Rescue Armor
As soon as I saw that helmet on Morgan’s head, which Tony reveals is a rejected suit for Pepper, I knew she was going to wear it at some point. It also probably means Morgan will wear it someday too, but that’s just a guess. Anyway did you know her armor actually has a name? Pepper took on the role of Rescue in 2009 in the comics. She, however, usually isn’t depicted having weapons like in this film. Think of her more like a fire truck in armored, human form.
15 Camp Lehigh’s Importance
Did you recognize the military base Tony and Steve traveled to in 1970? Of course, it had to be a reference! You should recognize it because that was Camp Lehigh. This was where Steve became Captain America after vigorous training and a healthy dose of vitamins, aka the superhuman serum. This is also the sight in Winter Soldier where he and Natasha discover Zola is a computer. They mention him offhand in this movie presumably making a point that he is still a human in 1970.
14 The New Captain America
Since Bucky was introduced in Winter Soldier I thought this whole time it was building up to him taking over the mantle of Captain America someday. He did do it in the comics after all. However, also in the comics, Sam Wilson took over the job when an aged Steve gave it up in 2014 just like in this movie. It’s a straight up iconic scene ripped from the pages of the comics. Now that was a surprise. Sam is currently still Captain America although that is about to change soon apparently.
13 I Don’t Do Triangles
This is probably a stretch, but I saw it reported a few other places so I have to agree that this next one is indeed a reference. Remember when Fury tells Carol that if a sandwich is cut into triangles he won’t eat it? That’s a pretty obscure thing to bring up in a movie, right? Well, when Natasha makes her PB&J before Scott shows up she cuts it diagonally. Did she learn to do this to prevent Fury from eating her stuff at work? What was the fridge situation like back at SHIELD?
12 Namor The Sub-Mariner Teaser
So if you follow comics than you probably know that for every Marvel hero there is a DC equivalent. Who came first isn’t important here. What I do want to mention is that Marvel’s version of Aquaman is called Namor the Sub-Mariner and yes he also lives in Atlantis. Remember the scene where Natasha gets a report on the underwater activity? I think that was a small clue that Namor is getting introduced soon otherwise them mentioning that activity was just random.
11 I Love You, Dad
Disney’s first attempt at de-aging someone digitally was in Tron Legacy. It looked good then but is super noticeable now. Through time Marvel Studios perfected this technology. When young Tony is seen talking to his mom and dad in Civil War, I thought it was a flashback, but it was merely a holographic projection. The de-aged Robert Downey Jr. looked so good! Anyway, during his talk, he lamented that he wasn’t able to say “I love you” to his dad, which he finally got the chance to do at the army base in 1970.
10 The Bad Captain America
Captain America's shoes are a big pair to fill, but many have tried. Some succeeded while others had a more, let's say short-lived career like Roscoe Simons. He took over in the 70s when Steve decided to become the Nomad. Roscoe was almost immediately taken by Red Skull and put on display. What does this have to do with Endgame? Steve's army uniform says Roscoe on it at Camp Lehigh. This is a weird and dark nod to the comics.
9 Shattering The Shield
There are many recreations of iconic scenes from the comics in Endgame. One of the most striking images during the Infinity Gauntlet saga was when Thanos breaks Captain America's shield. In the comics, it completely shatters more so than what happened in the movie. Even so, just like the movie, Captain America stands tall, facing Thanos shield, or no shield. He's one cool cucumber. That does make me curious what Thanos' double-blade is made out of though. What's stronger than Adamantium?
8 Asgardians Of The Galaxy
Asgardians of the Galaxy isn’t just a fun pun Thor makes to Peter at the end of the movie. That's a real team in the comics, but it doesn’t include Thor, or any of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They were super recent too, with the first issue premiering in September 2018. The team consisted of Angela, Valkyrie, Thunderstrike, Throg, Executioner, and Destroyer. Valkyrie is probably the only name you recognize there and yes, it is the same character as Tessa Thompson's portrayal.
7 Young Avengers
In the film, we see a much older version of Scott Lang's daughter, Cassie, portrayed by Emma Fuhrmann. Since there is that five-year gap, of course, she has to be older, but there could be another reason for having her be one of the non-vanished characters. Making her into a teenager gives Marvel the ability to introduce, at some point, the Young Avengers. In that team, Cassie is known as Stinger and yes, she too can shrink and get big.
6 Quicksilver Homage
If I didn't read about this, I wouldn't have even known this was an Easter egg. In fact, I didn't even catch this name in the movie to even think about it. Anyway, Clint's youngest son is named Nathaniel Pietro Barton. Nathaniel pays homage to his best friend, Natasha, while his middle name, Pietro, is for Quicksilver. You know, the guy who saved Clint's life, sacrificing himself in Age of Ultron. Yeah, that guy. Now there's a guy who had a short lifespan in the MCU.
5 Captain Britain Teaser
When I watched Endgame, I did not hear this whispered, but apparently, this is said. When Steve infiltrates Camp Lehigh and spies on Peggy through that glass, you can hear her asking about Braddock not checking in, or something like that. This is probably a reference to Brian Braddock aka Captain Britain. Yes, there is a UK version of Captain America that first appeared in the late 70s. Wouldn't that be crazy to see him appear in Spider-Man: Far From Home? He is going to London after all. It could happen!
4 A-Force Teaser
Let's face it. The girls of the MCU have kind of been given the shaft. Yes, there are strong females, but only one has gotten her own film and that was Captain Marvel this year. It took over ten years for that to happen! That's why I loved when nearly every female fighter appeared in that triumphant pose after Captain Marvel took the gauntlet from Spider-Man. Sure, it could be taken as pandering, but maybe, just maybe, it was a tease for something bigger to come. In the comics, there is the A-Force, which is composed only of female heroes.
3 Queen Of New Asgard
Did anyone else think Thor appointing Valkyrie as the new ruler of Asgard weird? It was out of left field. We never really see her be a leader to her people. The only thing different is that she doesn't sit in a house all day drinking and playing Fortnite. In order to get him to join the cast, presumably, of Guardians of the Galaxy 3, something had to happen. In the comics Valkyrie never becomes the ruler by the way. Just thought I should clarify that this is new.
2 Akihiko And Ronin
Does anyone else want to see a movie taking place in that five-year time gap featuring Ronin going after the Japanese Yakuza? I know I sure do. Clint is actually the second person to take on the identity of Ronin, but her story is for a different time. Anyway, while he is definitely this character, no one actually calls him Ronin in the movie just like Captain America is never called Nomad in Infinity War. As for Akihiko, well, he's the leader of the Shogun Reapers. One time they tried to build a canon on the moon. Fun stuff.
1 Morgan Stark And Ultimo
So did Tony and Pepper have a kid named Morgan in the comics? No, but it is a reference to a cousin of his. A cousin that injected himself with a melted down robot called Ultimo in order to become Ultimo reborn in a human shell. So the original Mandarin was a big Iron Man villain before Iron Man 3 turned him into a joke for the MCU. Ultimo was a giant robot he built to take Iron Man down. Later on, again, it was melted down to create some weird serums. Yeah, the comics are weird.