WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Infinity War
It's finally upon us. The launch of Avengers: Infinity War brings the MCU to its biggest climax - and a brand new batch of Easter eggs and franchise. The world's love for the Marvel movie universe only continues to grow, which means the cast and crew of Infinity War now have the chance to bury not only comic book secrets into their films, but MCU connections too. That means twice as many moments of fan service, with Marvel Comic nods, character cameos, shared universe connections and references even the biggest of fans might miss.
The Russo Brothers took every chance to make the arrival of Thanos and the Infinity Stones an all-out celebration of Marvel's Cosmic history for fans. The villain's powers and master plan may be bad news for the Avengers, but it's fantastic news for the audience. We've collected the very best Infinity War Easter eggs, secret backstories, inside jokes, and huge Marvel Cinematic Universe hints that fans could have overlooked - and are breaking them all down here.
So with one final SPOILER warning, let's get started. Here are the 40 Things You Completely Missed In Avengers: Infinity War.
40 Captain America's Original Armor Scales
Fans were able to prepare themselves for disappointment from the beginning, with Captain America: The First Avenger confirming that the classic scale-like armor of Steve Rogers wasn't really a fit for live action. Even so, Cap's official costume has been updated several times over the years, before his Age of Ultron armor became a new standard for his public, Avengers uniform. Civil War saw the Avengers' insignia removed, sadly. And in Infinity War, even the red details and shining star on his chest has been dulled (mirroring his shift to the shadows).
But the directors made sure to pay tribute to the comic books like never before.
After Steve has taken some damage from the myriad enemies lining up against him, the fabric of his suit frays to reveal what's underneath.
It might be missed, but keep your eyes peeled for close-up shots, and you'll see that the classic scales have been providing Cap's protection this whole time.
39 Star-Lord a.k.a. 'Flash Gordon'
Marvel fans realized just what they were in for with Infinity War's team-up when the trailer showed Star-Lord and Tony Stark having to put together an attack plan. Needless to say, Stark was less than pleased to be working alongside someone like Peter Quill (it's... kind of hard to blame him). Their partnership doesn't exactly go off without a hitch in the movie, but Tony's best 'meta' shot taken at Quill is when he refers to him dismissively as "Flash Gordon."
Stark (and Downey, Jr.) have made a habit of quick one-liners and references that soar over much of the audience's heads, and the depth of this one risks doing the same. Most science fiction movie buffs will have heard of Flash Gordon, the campy space adventure. But what they may not know is that its hero was unknowingly rocketed off of Earth into unknown space, and left to take down an evil alien despot-- at which point he was left with no real way of getting home.
Tony may be making a throwaway joke about a human in a squad of alien outlaws, but he got more of Star-Lord's origin story right than he probably knows.
Since Flash Gordon released in 1980, it's also likely that Peter did, in fact, get that reference.
38 Arrested Development's Tobias Cameo
With directors Anthony and Joe Russo first taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans were delighted to see cast members of Community – the Russos’ previous project – pop into the MCU. And it was the cult comedy that the Russos helped launch, Arrested Development, that got the biggest reference in Civil War with the Bluths' famous 'stair car' in the airport battle. But the directors outdid themselves with Infinity War (and we're not even going to mention Thor director Kenneth Branagh's Asgardian cameo).
This time the cameo comes when the Guardians return to the Collector's base in Knowhere. As they pick their way through his reconstructed collection, Arrested fans should look to the left of the screen when Gamora gets to sneaking. Even though the prisoner is blue from head to toe, he's not an alien: he's 'Dr. Tobias Fünke,' the famous Blue Man Group hopeful played by David Cross in the TV series.
It doesn't seem to be David Cross in the flesh, but the sudden appearance of a blue-skinned, mustachioed man looking depressed in a pair of denim cutoff shorts is unmistakable.
37 The Planet Vormir
The theories over the location of the final Infinity Stone considered every single possibility... except the one actually in the movie. To be fair, it would have been hard to predict that the Soul Stone's location was actually part of a much larger, plot-relevant mystery. Or that a famous MCU villain would have somehow wound up guarding it. But what we do know is that the Soul Stone is located on the planet Vormir - which, no surprise, is an existing planet in the Marvel Comics Universe.
First, the good news. The planet Vormir is located in the Kree Galaxy, the dominion of the blue-skinned aliens of which Ronan the Accuser is a member. The planet is home primarily to a species of reptilian, transforming creatures that first crossed paths with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers #123 (1974). The creature was mistaken as a dragon until the next issue, when its true alien heritage was revealed as the species known as Vorms. The bad news? The planet doesn't have any greater role to speak of. Still, a deep pull for Avengers lore fanatics.
36 Infinity Gauntlet Attack Callbacks
One of the oddest powers granted by the Stones in the original Infinity Gauntlet comic is the ability to re-write reality. That allows Thanos to turn Wolverine's metal skeleton to rubber, to suddenly conjure an airtight box around Cyclops's head... the list of zany twists goes on an on. Infinity War gives a taste of that when the Guardians encounter Thanos in Knowhere, and the villain turns Star-Lord's blaster shots to bubbles.
The Guardians last a total of a few seconds in battle against Thanos, as he instantly shows off the reality-bending powers now at his disposal. First he subdues Drax by transforming him into a series of cubes - and then takes Mantis out of the fight by turning her into ribbons. That's a recreation of the attacks he simultaneously let loose on Nebula and his brother, Starfox in the original comics.
35 The Famous Thanos Snap
The promise of a famous comic book moment being adapted to screen was made when Gamora claimed in the Infinity War trailer that "the entire time I knew him he only ever had one goal: to wipe out half the universe. If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with a snap of his fingers." That's exactly how the villain did it in the comics, and the mention wasn't just a tease for comic fans-- it was a tease of how Infinity War really would end.
In the comic book version of the Infinity War story, Thanos was completely motivated in his gathering of the Infinity Stones by his mission to erase all life.
It was the request of Lady Death, whom he loved, and wasted little time in making it happen (it actually concludes the first issue of the Infinity Gauntlet series). The movie spends a bit more time making the losses extra heartbreaking, too. In the comics the snap of Thanos's fingers was given a bit more spectacle - but the lifeforms erased simply blinked out of existence.
34 Thor's New Hammer, The Ultimate Mjolnir
The subplot starring Thor may be a bit confusing for fans coming off of the most recent Thor: Ragnarok, where the god of thunder came to realize that his powers never really came from his hammer, Mjolnir. So his need to return to the hammer's forge and create a new one is a bit suspicious. Either way, the secret of Thor's new weapon ended up being revealed long before the movie thanks to tie-in toys, concept art, and collectible figures. But the weapon forged by Thor isn't a new Mjolnir... well, not from his own comic book universe, anyway.
One look at the new weapon is all comic fans will need to see that it's based on the Ultimate Mjolnir, so named because it is the weapon held by Thor in Marvel's Ultimate Universe.
Its main feature is the half-hammer, half-axe blade design with his faithfully recreated for the movie (with some help from Groot to make a handle).
33 Beta Ray Bill's 'Storm Breaker' Reference
Sadly, fans are still counting the days until the Marvel movie universe gives a version of Beta Ray Bill, the alien creature who possessed - against all odds - the worthiness to claim the mantle of Thor. He may look like a humanoid horse, but Bill proved his might when he defeated Thor in combat for the right to wield Mjolnir as the god of thunder. Ever one to make the peace, Odin stepped in to honor Bill by having his very own mystical hammer forged by the same Dwarves who created Mjolnir. The hammer's name? Storm Breaker.
The weapon endowed Bill with the same Asgardian powers and costume as Thor, looking a bit more like an actual oversized ball-peen hammer than the sledgehammer of Thor. The pair of heroes would go on to be lasting friends and allies, with the MCU even lifting the name of Beta Ray Bill's hammer for Thor's new weapon.
32 Star-Lord's Zune Music Easter Egg
The soundtracks of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies played a sizable role in the story, delivered fictionally in the form of cassette tapes left to Peter Quill by his mother, Meredith. But the formula for the music changed at the close of Guardians Vol.2, when Peter was gifted music from another parental figure: Yondu Udonta. The tunes came delivered on a Zune, of all things (good for a laugh) but also cranked the future song count up to over 300. And in Infinity War, it seems audiences get their first track.
The song "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners can be heard playing in the Milano when the Guardians' story overlaps with that of Thor, and it's not a coincidence. For those eager to see if Yondu's songs pack the same emotional punch as Star-Lord's mother, "The Rubberband Man" may be particularly meaningful. The story goes that producer Thom Bell wrote the song with Linda Creed for his own son, whose weight made him a target for school bullies.
But if we had to guess, the fact that the track was used during a mud wrestling scene in Stripes (1981) may be the real reason behind its inclusion here.
31 Ebony Maw vs Doctor Strange Scene Brought to Life
Doctor Strange gets a particularly harsh treatment over the course of the film, thanks to the Infinity Stone around his neck. He gets an early win thanks to protection spells placed on the Eye of Agamotto, but eventually winds up being attacked aboard one of Thanos's ships by Ebony Maw, the most eerily twisted of the Children of Thanos.
The spikes used to torment Strange into giving up the Time Stone are new, but Marvel Comic fans will remember this very scene being played out in the comics.
The miniseries that centered on Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet may be the best known of such stories, but it's not the only time the Infinity Stones have caught Thanos's eye. More recently, Jonathan Hickman crafted a story from which most of the Children of Thanos are actually inspired (along with some larger story beats). And wouldn’t you know it, that comic story includes Ebony Maw messing with Doctor Strange’s mind to get information, too.
30 Rocket Raccoon's Running Eye Joke
We can't say exactly why it is that Rocket Raccoon seriously has a thing for prosthetic limbs and eyes, but he decided long ago that there really is nothing better to built a practical joke around. First, Guardians of the Galaxy had Star-Lord sent to barter for an artificial leg just for the fun of it. Later in the same film he attempted the same gag, taking a shot at getting the fake eye of one of Yondu's Ravagers. In the sequel the joke continued, with a mix-up seeing Baby Groot fetching a prosthetic eye from... well, it was never actually explained where he got it.
So naturally, the arrival of Thor - a one-eyed Asgardian King - aboard the Guardians' ship provides yet another opportunity for eye-based humor. The eye offered up for Thor to use as a replacement doesn't seem like a perfect match for the one Groot found in Vol.2, but at this point, Rocket could have an entire collection and we wouldn't be surprised.
29 Bucky Barnes, The "White Wolf"
When Steve dropped Bucky Barnes off with T-Challa at the end of Civil War, it wasn't clear just how long he would spend back in suspended animation - or how Wakanda's science and technology could actually help him along the way. But Bucky was reintroduced to the Marvel movies in the end credits scene of Black Panther, awaking to find that he really was back to being his old self again, and living in solitude outside of the hustle and bustle of Wakanda's capitol. The local children had even given him a nickname: White Wolf.
The name was more important than casual fans realized, suggesting (in a major way) that it wasn't the role of Captain America that actually lay in Bucky's future (as it did in the comics).
Instead, White Wolf was the name given to T'Challa's adopted brother, a Caucasian boy abandoned in Wakanda who was welcomed, eventually rising to the highest position in Wakanda's security. Hard to know if Bucky will eventually fill that role, but the continued use of the "White Wolf" title in Infinity War is no accident.
28 The Smashed Sanctum Sanctorum Callback
Considering how massive an audience is expected for Infinity War, it's safe to assume that most moviegoers won't have read the actual Infinity Gauntlet story upon which it is loosely based (and not many more will be casually familiar with it).
It's worth knowing that the Infinity Gauntlet story begins for the heroes of Earth when Silver Surfer brings the cosmic conflict to their front door... well, technically, smashing through Doctor Strange's skylight.
This was one of the first comic book moments confirmed to be lifted for the film, albeit with Bruce Banner taking the role of Silver Surfer. Since Hulk is the one who first collides with Thanos before being rocketed away to Earth, it's his turn to go slamming through the very same window. A nice touch, even if Banner's role in the final fight isn't quite as large as Surfer's in the original.
27 Captain America's Nomad Suit Reference
There was plenty of talk about Steve Rogers making the shift from his Captain America persona to that of Nomad, the identity he adopted when he grew disillusioned with his home country in the comics. The fallout of Civil War has more to do with personal politics than national politics, but the darkening of Steve's uniform to almost completely black makes the visual throwback to his Nomad look obvious. Even if it's lacking the flowing cape and plunging neckline. He has also gotten rid of any kind of cowl at all, relying on his beard and hair to do the job of a helmet.
The smallest nod to his unforgettable (if dated) Nomad costume comes with the accents planted on Cap's shoulders.
Without his signature shield, it doesn't even make sense for Steve to require the straps, let alone the buckles tightening them under his arms. The only reason the buckles remain - now larger, more golden in color, and completely rounded - is a clear wink to the audience at the one part of Nomad's suit that could work on screen.
26 Steve Rogers Gets His Comic Book Beard
The fact that Steve Rogers has been forced to toss the title of Captain America, along with his shield, his allies, and his reputation as a 'good guy' should probably be the most notable change. But from the very first trailer for Infinity War, it was the long hair and thick beard boasted by Chris Evans that dominated the Cap conversation. Apparently, sliding into the shadows and avoiding detection was aided with more hair than America's poster boy. And just like the Nomad persona, this is also a change originally seen in the pages of Marvel Comics.
It was after Steve's time away from his country as Nomad that the storyline called "Captain America No More" arrived, starting in Captain America #332. Steve gave up the title and costume to a hero named John Walker... and things only went off the rails from there. We won't dive into the details, but when Steve finally decided it was time to come back and reclaim his rank, he also noted that time off the superhero beat meant the chance to grow some serious "facial foliage."
25 Captain America & Black Panther Reunion
Not every detail worth spotting has to do with a vague connection to Marvel Comics mythology, or even MCU films of past or present. Sometimes, it's the artistry of the actual movie-making that deserves to be called out. Like the unforgettable shot in the post-credits scene of Captain America: Civil War of Steve Rogers and T'Challa standing side by side, gazing out into the fog - a pretty meaningful bit of symbolism, now that we know how unpredictable the days ahead really were for both men.
That same shot gets a callback when Steve is equipped with his new Wakandan shields, and once again takes his spot at T'Challa's side (although they're now looking out on a clearer, if more menacing battle ahead of them). The echo of the shots will be missed by most, but for the fans who enjoy the glimpse back through time - to when Steve was so recently the clean-cut Captain America, and T'Challa not yet crowned as King of Wakanda - it's a moment to treasure.
24 The Aliens Homage
Peter Parker's love for "really old movies" may not be the most subtle bit of generational humor that Marvel movies have to offer, but they at least pay off with satisfying action. In Civil War, it was his recollection of the Battle of Hoth that brought the giant Ant-Man down like an Imperial AT-AT. This time around, it's Peter's callback to James Cameron's Aliens that saves him and Tony Stark from Ebony Maw.
Recalling the final battle, in which Ripley sends the Xenomorph Queen out of the ship's airlock (basically the same trick that was used in the first Alien movie, as well), Tony does the same to Ebony Maw.
But the real loving homage comes after Maw is sucked out of the hole Tony blasts in the hull of his ship. As the villain is shown curled up, frozen, and drifting off into space, the similarities to the Xenomorph Queen's own send-off become too exact to miss.
23 The Solar Forge Sunbeam
Marvel fans curious enough to do some digging into the origin story of Mjolnir, Thor's hammer know that there is actually more than one. In the original version of the story, Odin requested the creation of a hammer that would eventually be named Mjolnir and entrusted to his son, Thor. At the time, the Thor comics were more anchored in fantasy than later versions, meaning the dwarves who made the hammer did so thanks to harnessing literal "rays of sunlight" that pierced down into their forges.
In the more modern versions, just as the films, Mjolnir is said to have been "forged in the heart of a dying star"... while rarely explaining exactly what that means. The movie makes sure to pay some homage to both versions, with the dwarven forge of Eitri advanced like the modern origin story, but relying on Thor to open massive shutters to create his new hammer. He must open the shutters, in effect, so that rays of sunlight can enter it dark forge and see Storm Breaker created.
22 Thanos Web Shot Comic Callback
The trailers may have left enough of Infinity War's plot ambiguous to assume the final fight would be close to the comics, but in the finished film, it's not at all. Instead of fighting all of the world's heroes in the middle of space, Thanos and his forces are divided up to tackle two fronts at once. But that doesn't mean some memorable moments aren't adapted for these new circumstance.
The most obvious homage to the final comics fight is Spider-Man announcing his presence by flinging a hefty dose of web directly into the face of Thanos, the Mad Titan.
It's not the only moment, either. The change from comic book panel to filmed scenes and action sequences means comparing specific moments is difficult. The moment that Thanos catches Spider-Man in his palm and slams him down to the ground makes it clear Spidey is best keeping his distance from the supervillain. That moment has the same impact in the Infinity Gauntlet comic, although it's Thanos's newly created lover Terraxia who does the grabbing and slamming... and brutal beating shortly after. Thanos gets that privilege this time around.
21 Spider-Man's Iron Spider Legs
When it was first rumored that Spider-Man would be joining the MCU in time for Civil War, fans hoped it would mean he could play a similar role. In the comics, Peter chose to take the side of Tony Stark - and won a new, advanced suit of Stark technology to remake him as the Iron Spider (apparently Iron Man was hoping to expand his brand). The suit was red and silver, but the biggest change was the addition of a set of robotic spider legs deployed from Peter's back to help him in all aspects of superheroics.
Peter got a new suit in Civil War, but it was a long way away from the official Iron Spider armor. However, the metallic suit offered up to Peter in the movie's final scenes was a much closer match. In Infinity War Peter finally accepts the Iron Spider armor - and the robotic legs that help him scurry along the ground, and anchor his teen-sized frame when he needs to make the most of his superhuman strength.
20 Strange's 'Crimson Bands of Cyttorak'
As faithful as the Doctor Strange movie may be to the comic books, there isn't much time spent diving into the names, rules, and science of sorcery. It's understandable, since such lore works better on the comic book page than in a two-hour movie. But the spells and source material are all there for the super fans to spot - and the same goes for Infinity War.
When the final battle pits the heroes against the combined might of Thanos and his Infinity Stones, Doctor Strange turns to one of his most iconic magical weapons: The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.
Aside from being a terrific magically-tinged shout of frustration or amazement, the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are highly effective at wrapping and subduing even superpowered enemies. They've been used plenty of times in the comics, and while not named in the movie, the red bands that envelop Thanos when the heroes surround him are impossible to miss.
19 Strange's 'Images of Ikonn' Spell
The Crimson Bands aren't the only identifiable spell used by Doctor Strange for the first time on film. For all his magic, Strange never overlooks the fact that Thanos can crush him, or any of the other heroes if he gets a clear enough shot, based on brute strength alone. So to give himself an edge, Strange creates multiple copies of himself to confuse and distract Thanos. The spell doesn't work for very long since Thanos is far too powerful by then... but it's a great nod to the comics, nonetheless.
The spell being used by Strange here is the Images of Ikonn, able to suddenly create countless copies of himself.
The spell was first used in Doctor Strange #42, and was actually bested in about as much time. Granted, in the comics it was a dragon who simply spewed fire at all of the Doctor Strange doppelgangers. So maybe the movie version of Strange just had to learn the same lesson the hard way?
18 Peter's First Spider-Sense
Fans of Marvel's resident wallcrawler can take special joy in Infinity War, as the movie finally sees Spider-Man dubbed an official Avenger for the first time on film. But Peter Parker gets to partake in another first long before that scene, even before he leaves his school bus to go swinging into danger. Even before the spaceship is spotted by the heroes in the Sanctum Sanctorum, Tony Stark can sense its arrival. He's even farther away, but Peter senses it just as quickly - thanks to his Spider Sense.
The moment is small enough for some fans to miss it, but its history-making nature means audiences should keep their eyes peeled.
It's not the classic approach of having tingling lines or sound effects used to trigger Pete's perception here, simply an instant raising of all the hairs on Peter's arm. It happens before even he can make sense of what it means, making it the first use of the power in this MCU-integrated incarnation.
17 Stan Lee Cameo as Peter's Bus Driver
Every Marvel moviegoer knows that it's bound to arrive at some point, and be impossible to miss - yet the sudden appearance of comic book legend Stan Lee still takes viewers by surprise. But ever since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 revealed that Lee's cameos are actually all the same character - working for the cosmic Watchers to monitor superhero activity on Earth - the cameos have been imbued with more meaning than ever.
In Infinity War, Lee makes his appearance as the driver of Peter Parker's school bus. When Peter notices the spaceship hovering over New York City, he relies on the shocked reactions from his fellow students to let him slip away as Spider-Man.
Apparently, Stan Lee's cover story is starting to slip, since he's anything but shocked, acting as if seeing a spaceship is old news.
Hopefully none of Peter's fellow students noticed that their bus driver is actually a cosmic narc.
16 Tony's Future Son, 'Morgan Stark'
As another pleasant twist offered up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it turns out Tony Stark and Pepper Potts have continued their love affair in relative contentment, with marriage, and even starting a family now entering Tony's radar. When we meet him and Pepper in Infinity War, Tony shares a dream in which Pepper and he already had a son. Not only that, but the child was named after Pepper's eccentric uncle, 'Morgan' - a moniker guaranteed to win squeals of delight from fans of Iron Man comics.
Morgan Stark wasn't Tony's son, but his cousin, at least in the classic comics.
Originally introduced as the scheming son of Howard Stark's brother, later comics would see Morgan's jealousy towards Tony transform him into the supervillain Ultimo (operating a massive mechanical monster). Hopefully this version of Morgan will face a brighter future... if he ever gets to see it, once the dust from these Infinity films settles.
15 Nebula's Comic Callback
No moviegoer really needs any proof of just how brutal Thanos can be, thanks to Nebula's account given in Guardians of the Galaxy. According to her, every time she lost to her sister Gamora, Thanos would replace a part of her with an artificial one. Sadly, things get even worse for Nebula when she fails to destroy her abusive father between Guardians Vol.2 and Infinity War. When Thanos takes Gamora to see her sister in the flesh, the scene is a grisly one - Nebula broken down into her constituent mechanical parts in Thanos's version of a rack.
We'll have to let fans decide if this form of torment is better or worse than the one seen in the original Infinity Gauntlet comic series.
There, Thanos used his mastery over life to suspend Nebula between the states, burned, mangled, and yet refusing to pass over. This homage to the original comics gets the same idea across, making us wonder if Nebula has as big a role to play in the next Avengers film as she did in the original Gauntlet story...
14 Groot's Defender Video Game
By the time we meet Groot in Infinity War, he has embraced his inner adolescent, withdrawing from socializing with most of his teammates and instead focusing on his video games. Well, one video game that is actually shown in the film, and makes the trip in Groot's hands from just about the beginning of the film to the end. The game, as revealed in one quick shot, is the 1981 arcade game Defender (the handheld model that was released just one year later).
The game is probably not a coincidence, since it challenges players to take out wave after wave of alien enemies, while trying to protect them from abducting humans on the planet's surface below.
That covers plenty of Infinity War's plot, give or take a few extra plot twists. While it may lack the instant name recognition of Space Invaders or Asteroids, but it was just as important to the early days of video game arcades.
13 The Cauldron of The Cosmos
The pace of the movie takes little time to ramp up, with Tony Stark jogging in the park one minute, and learning about Thanos in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum the next. It's hard to know what stuns Tony most - this new threat apparently coming to take on Earth, or an ego that might finally rival his own - but he takes longer than usual to process it all. While doing so, he absentmindedly stretches out his legs by holding himself up on a large fixture in Strange's foyer.
That object, as Strange soon points out, is "The Cauldron of the Cosmos," and therefore a bit more important than a stretching post. That is, unsurprisingly, another callback to the Marvel Comics magic of Strange.
The Cauldron of the Cosmos was used on a handful of occasions to allow Strange to look deep into the history of the world.
Not every version of the sorcerer had the Time Stone around his neck.
12 Star-Lord's Grimace Reference
The pop culture references came a mile-a-minute in Guardians of the Galaxy, with Peter Quill relying on his memories of the 1980s to flesh out most of his insults, name-calling, and quips. So it's no surprise to see him take on look at Thanos on Knowhere and point out the marketing mascot he most closely resembles.
Sure, Thanos is a bit more menacing than Grimace, the big purple character used in McDonald's marketing... but you can't argue the resemblance.
And as some fans may not know, Grimace actually started his life as an antagonist of Ronald McDonald, not a friend. He also had another set of arms and loved to steal milkshakes.
Some have pointed to this fact as another layer to the joke, suggesting that the villainous version of Grimace is actually the version Peter Quill is referring to (since he wasn't around on Earth to see the purple blob shift sides against the war of the Hamburglar). While the character would be well known to Peter from his 1980s childhood, Grimace was a friendly mascot long before Peter left Earth in 1988.
11 Red Skull Recast
Of all the characters left in charge of guarding the Soul Stone on a desolate planet, it's safe to say that Red Skull was at the very bottom. After trying to wield the Tesseract with his bare hands in The First Avengers, it was assumed that the Captain America villain had been destroyed. But as Infinity War reveals, he was actually transported (somehow, for some reason) across space to the planet Vormir. Left to watch over the Soul Stone - by which we mean explain to people what they must do to claim it, without being able to himself.
The Red Skull may be back in a new role in the MCU, but actor Hugo Weaving is not.
Weaving's dislike for the amount of prosthetics required for playing the part (among other reasons) made his return unlikely, and it's not him under all that makeup in Infinity War. The role is played by Ross Marquand this time around, famed for his celebrity impressions online before rising to prominence among the Comic-Con crowd as 'Aaron' on The Walking Dead TV series. His Weaving impression isn't bad, either.
10 "A'lars, Father of Thanos"
However he wound up as the gatekeeper to the Soul Stone, Red Skull certainly knows his stuff. When Thanos arrives the human villain already knows the Mad Titan's identity, as well as Gamora's. The detail that audience might miss, however, is the mention of Thanos's father by name: A'lars. Also knows Mentor in the comics, that was the name held by the father of Thanos.
Why does that matter so much? Because A'Lars wasn't just Thanos's daddy, but one of Marvel's Eternals.
The ancient alien race has been discussed by Marvel recently as a group and storyline that may wind up explored in future films. Which means the namedrop here certainly seems like the first seed being planted. If Thanos isn't your favorite design, don't worry. The shots in the movie that show his homeworld Titan reveal that most of his people look just like regular humans. The Deviant genetics that made Thanos the way he is also played a role in his mother, Sui-San, wanting to kill him the moment he was born.
9 As Close To Thanos' Lady Love as We'll Get?
It's probably worth calling out (since there is zero chance it's a coincidence) the resemblance of Red Skull to another major player in the comic book chronicles of Thanos. In the comics, the destruction of half the universe's lifeforms was actually credited to Lady Death, who had resurrected Thanos with new powers to do just that. His mission was in service to her, and his love was unwavering in all the years to come (including his most recent comic book, in which she finally spoke to Thanos).
Despite all that, it seems that Infinity War proves the warnings from the filmmakers were true: there is no part for Thanos' love interest in the MCU.
When Red Skull is introduced - bearing the face of a literal skull, wrapped in a black cloak concealing almost his entire face - some in the audience were sure to feel their hearts stop.
The resemblance must be intentional, so we'll choose to take it as the director realizing the fans deserved some cameo from her... even if it was only the power of suggestion.
8 "We Will Deep Fry Your Kebab"
When the action of the film takes a brief break and shifts instead to the romance of Vision and Scarlet Witch, audiences get to see that at least some of the heroes have been finding ways to be happy since Civil War. For these two, it's apparently occasional trysts away from their respective commanders, meeting only in secret. This rendezvous has taken place in Scotland, but the pair soon discover that Thanos has come to New York City thanks to a news broadcast in a nearby shop window.
The drama of the scene will be significantly subverted, should any viewer notice the sign behind Wanda proudly boasting that "WE WILL DEEP FRY YOUR KEBAB."
That bit of set dressing has been quickly spotted by audiences in the United Kingdom, where Scotland's love of deep fried foods of any imaginable kind is common knowledge.
Outsiders see the sign as a shot being taken, while the Scots have taken just as much pride, meaning the crew members responsible for it have clearly accomplished their mission.
7 Wakanda's "Yibambe" War Cry
The tribes of Wakanda delivered more than one memorable song, dance, and war cry in Marvel's Black Panther, usually reserved for customary celebrations surrounding the coronation of King T'Challa. M'Baku was the first to let his war cry be heard, chanting to responses from his Mountain Tribe brothers - and he returns to do the same throughout the battle against Thanos's forces in Wakanda. But it isn't just "Wakanda Forever" that the Black Panther himself gets to chant, right before the combined soldiers sprint towards their enemy.
T'Challa also lets loose a cheer of "Yabimbe!" to hear the same response back from his fighters.
The word translates to "Hold!" and is used here to rally the troops to stand fast, knowing that Wakanda lays unprotected behind them.
That's not a made up bit of language substituting for a Wakanda chant, either. It's taken from the Xhosa language spoken by almost 20 million people across the south of Africa.
6 Thanos Has An Army of Outriders
Things actually seem to be going in the heroes' favor when they unite at Wakanda to form their own resistance army. With Steve's Secret Avengers, T'Challa's Border Tribe, Dora Milaje, and M'Baku's Mountain Tribe all standing together, the heroes even seem a little too confident when approaching Cull and Proxima at the edge of the barrier. But as Proxima warns, the villains have "blood to spare." At that word, the ships unload what looks to be thousands of soldiers. Soldiers who eventually are revealed to be an alien swarm of multi-legged, rabid creatures.
These aliens are known as Outriders in the comics, and faithful servants of Thanos. Faithful because they have no choice, and are grown to do nothing but die for Thanos's will. That explains why they're willing to throw themselves into and through the forcefield without hesitation. They actually ran covert missions when gathering Infinity Stone intel for Thanos in the 2013 Infinity comic event.
5 Vision Finally Gets His White Look
The film adaptation of the Vision has been eerily close to his comic book incarnation from the beginning, from both his superhero suit to his casual clothes (and a fondness for chess... and Scarlet Witch). In Infinity War, the time finally comes for Vision to appear in his other famous superhero costume. For some, it's actually the most familiar uniform, worn when Vision was a member of the West Coast Avengers.
Sadly, the appearance of Vision's colorless costume isn't a choice he makes willingly.
After Thanos uses the Time Stone to undo Vision's sacrifice, and Wanda's efforts to destroy the Mind Stone, Thanos plucks it from the hero's forehead. As a dark reminder of Vision's artificiality, his body instantly goes limp and drains completely of color. The grey and white suit symbolizes the loss of life Thanos brings and, in a way, foreshadows the coming deaths. An Easter Egg, but a particularly painful one fans may be too distraught to notice.
4 The MCU's Take on Soulworld?
As shocking as the final act of Infinity War may be, there is one moment that will be a bit more jarring than most. When Thanos finally unites all the Infinity Stones in his gauntlet, and shows that Thor's hammer strike isn't enough to take Thanos out, the snap of his fingers brings a sudden change of scenery.
Thanos is transported from the Wakandan jungle to a still, empty, seemingly endless orange plane.
A small structure is present, along with a girl revealed to be Gamora at the age he found her. Some might see this is a moment of introspection from Thanos, but it's almost certainly the introduction of another bit of Infinity Stone mythology. It's the world inside of the Soul Stone, fittingly known as Soulworld. It's basically Heaven, intended to keep the souls absorbed into the Infinity Stone content in a paradise for all eternity. That has previously meant a chance to resurrect fallen heroes in the comic, so here's hoping this inclusion means Gamora's possible return is being kept in play for a future film.
3 Thanos Finds Peace (Like The Comics)
Most viewers will know that Thanos isn't the typical villain for a Marvel movie long before the third act, but the way his story ends seals it. Having promised to simply sit back, relax, and watch as the sun rises on a peaceful, newly restored universe once his mission is finished, he does exactly that. Not worrying about the trillions of lives he has snuffed out of existence with a snap, Thanos returns to a small home in lush foothills, and calmly takes a seat - as a smile spreads across his face in satisfaction.
It may be unsatisfying to the fans, but the moment is also pulled from the Marvel Comics source material.
The original Infinity Gauntlet comic concluded with Thanos at home on an isolated farm, wishing only to be left alone, having come to appreciate that things didn't work out too badly for him in the end. The movie version may not explicitly be referred to as 'Farmer Thanos' like the comic version often is, but it's a solid end note all the same.
2 Nick Fury & Maria Hill End Credits Scene
Once the heroes start turning to ash and disappearing from the universe just as Thanos always planned, there's little reason to look beyond the main characters. Truthfully, the loss of Bucky alone is worth shedding as many tears as possible (we don't want to talk about Groot).
The final twist comes in the end credits scene, when the film returns to Earth to emphasize that Thanos didn't destroy half of the MCU's heroes... he eliminated half of everyone everywhere.
And that includes Nick Fury and Maria Hill. The chaos that erupts when people operating machinery alone disappear is serious, even before Maria and Nick start to disintegrate. It's hard to guess just how much the two of them knew, and if this was simply an unexplained phenomenon. We'll likely find out in the future, but for now, the fact that Nick Fury's only response is to utter one last "Motherf--" before being cut off must give us some comfort.
1 Captain Marvel Answers The Call?
Before Nick Fury utters his foulmouthed farewell, he makes a call (or a cosmic page? It's hard to say). The call isn't placed while he still remains alive in the universe, but when it finally connects, the audience gets to see who he was trying to contact. The colors and insignia of the soon to be Marvel solo movie Captain Marvel are hard to miss for fans eager to see it. That's the tease that fans are left with as they leave the theater, hopefully not considering the evidence that a version of Infinity War definitely included Brie Larson's character.
A solid stinger if there ever was one, but also one that raises some questions. First and foremost being: Why didn't Nick Fury contact her before this? If her character is still around and kicking in Marvel's Universe, it's hard to imagine where she's been hiding until now. Her origin movie is confirmed to be set decades earlier in the 1990s, so for the time being, we would probably advise not looking too deeply into this bonus. The pager may never be explained, and meant only to get fans excited for Captain Marvel. So mission accomplished.
Those are all of the Avengers: Infinity War Easter eggs, subtle secrets, cameos, and extended universe references that we could spot. Did you notice any others? Let us know in the comments.
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