Incredibly, there's even an Easter egg for 2018's Black Panther in Iron Man 2. As previously mentioned, there's one scene with a S.H.I.E.L.D. activity map highlighting areas of interest to the organization. One is in East Africa; it's the secretive, isolated nation of Wakanda, the Black Panther's homeland. It seems that seven or eight years before the events of Captain America: Civil War, S.H.I.E.L.D. was already monitoring this country. The Black Panther Prelude comic may have explained S.H.I.E.L.D.'s interest back then; set around the time of Iron Man, this comic revealed T'Challa's first adventure as the Black Panther.
He was involved in a skirmish on the Wakandan border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was seen by a single U.N. peacekeeper. Shortly thereafter, T'Challa headed to Paraguay to rescue Wakandan citizens from a hostage situation, where he was again glimpsed by local police. It could have been enough to cause S.H.I.E.L.D. to begin monitoring Wakanda, perhaps even as part of Nick Fury's Avengers Initiative.
Ant-Man & the Wasp
Iron Man 2 teased Ant-Man & the Wasp as well. As noted, there's an extended scene in which Tony Stark tells JARVIS, "Get me everything on projects Pegasus, Exodus, and Goliath." In Ant-Man & the Wasp, Lawrence Fishburne's Bill Foster tells Scott Lang he used to be partnered with Hank on "a project named Goliath." The project was clearly focused on using Pym Particles to turn giant-sized, and according to Foster he managed to get up to 21 feet. It would actually make sense for Tony to be looking up records associated with Project Goliath; just like Hank Pym, he's attempting to discover and exploit a new element or particle.
The Last Remaining Easter Eggs
There are still a few last remaining Easter eggs in Iron Man 2 that have yet to turn into anything in the MCU. There are two other locations marked on that S.H.I.E.L.D. activity map; the first is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, roughly positioned on the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. It's clearly a reference to Atlantis, thus suggesting Namor the Sub-Mariner already exists in the MCU, and was being monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rights issues mean it's uncertain Namor will ever make an actual appearance in the films, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, the second unidentified location on the activity map is in Norway. It's possibly Tønsberg, which is where Captain America: The First Avenger established there's historically been a Norse cult who were guarding ancient Asgardian artifacts; the Red Skull killed a lot of the cultists back in the 1940s when he stole the Tesseract and the Book of Yggdrasil. But perhaps some survived, and they're still there, being carefully monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D.. At the same time, that's uncertain, so it's also possible this is something Marvel could use at a later date. Finally, Projects P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and Goliath have made their presence felt in the MCU - so what is Project Exodus? It will be interesting to see whether or not Marvel choose to revisit this last Easter egg, which doesn't have any comic book precedent at all.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019