All the Easter Eggs and References We Spotted in Avengers: Infinity War

By Tom Pritchard on at

Avengers: Infinity War is finally here, and I suggest everyone who likes comic films, good films, and action films, should go and see it. Because it's incredible. It's also like most Marvel movies and filled to the brim with Easter eggs and references to past films, pop culture, and the comics. In case you couldn't spot them all for yourself, here's our run down of everything we saw.

Silent Logos

The MCU movies have recently started including the annoyingly long and brash Marvel Studios logo, alongside music that's far too loud and over the top for something that long. Not here. As if to emphasise the stakes, the logos go by without much noise at all. In fact for the first half they're completely silent - something that only changes when we hear the Asgardian distress call.

Refugees

Following the events of Thor: Ragnarok, Asgard was destroyed and its people without a home. While Thor had set course for Earth, the ship was intercepted by Thanos and his armies - with Infinity War confirming he was after the space stone that Loki pinched from Odin's vault. Sadly we don't get to see the carnage in action, only the aftermath. Except one key thing...

We Have a Hulk

Parroting Tony Stark's words from The Avengers, Loki reveals the Asgardians' secret weapon against Thanos: Hulk. While Hulk puts up a good fight, he isn't any match for the Mad Titan and quickly loses. This is similar to the comics, where it's said Thanos has the ability to defeat the Hulk, but notes that he's the one being he will actively avoid a confrontation with. Heimdall also uses his powers to send the Hulk to earth, before being killed by Corvus Glaive. Interestingly, despite being credited on the poster, we never get to see Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie/Scrapper 142.

No Resurrections This Time

Thanos clearly knew of Loki's supposed death in Thor: The Dark World, which was only revealed to be a sham in Ragnarok. As he kills Loki he utters that this time the death is permanent. Thor later refers to this when he points out this isn't the first time Loki has died - though it seems that this one is for real.

The Sun Will Shine on Us Again

After Ragnarok happened in the comics, virtually all of the Asgardians were dead - including Thor. But since comic deaths rarely last, Thor was brought back and went about systematically bringing his people back to life as well as rebuilding Asgard as a floating city over Broxton, Oklahoma. Loki's final words seem to refer to this, pointing out to Thor that all is not lost and this isn't the end for Asgard and its people.

The Black Order

Also referred to as the Children of Thanos in the film, the Black Order is made up of Thanos's chief lieutenants. Among them are Ebony Maw (who acts as Thanos's Herald/hype man), Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and the large, but mostly silent, Cull Obsidian (known as Black Dwarf in the comics). They're played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Michael James Shaw, Carrie Coon, and Terry Notary, respectively.

The Black Order were first introduced in 2013's Infinity event, which saw the Avengers blast off into space and Thanos taking advantage of the situation by invading Earth.

Replacing the Silver Surfer

In the original Infinity Gauntlet event, Earth is warned of Thanos's impending invasion by the Silver Surfer who crash lands inside Doctor Strange's Sanctum muttering the words "Thanos is coming". If that feels familiar, it's because Bruce Banner did the exact same thing in the film. Obviously it helped tie the narrative threads together, bringing Banner back to Earth and making up for the fact that the film rights to the Surfer belong to Fox.

The Arc Reactor is Back

In her brief appearance Pepper Potts berates Tony for embedding a new Arc Reactor in his chest, despite not actually needing it since he had the shrapnel in chest removed at the end of Iron Man 3. Instead the reactor houses Tony's suit, which is made up of nanoparticles similar to the Bleeding Edge armour in the comics. The difference being that Bleeding Edge's nanites were stored in his bone marrow in the comics, not in a self-contained unit, and the nanites are capable or changing shape and form to produce whatever gadgets Tony needs - much like the Model 52/Model Prime armour from the 2015 Invincible Iron Man series by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez.

The on-screen armour even shares a few design similarities with the recent addition to Tony's on-screen ensemble.

Civil War Aftermath

It's revealed to have been a "couple of years" since the events of Civil War, which is a sentence that further screws with the MCU's broken timeline but hey. Cap and his team are still on the run, Tony isn't speaking to him still, and Rhodey appears to be losing faith in the Sokovia Accords that turned Cap and his allies into criminals - saying as much to the returning Secretary of Defence Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt).

Tony still has the phone Cap sent him, though, which Banner later uses to contact him. After which it's revealed that Cap and his friends have been operating as a Secret Avengers team, much like some heroes did in the aftermath of the Civil War comic.

Spidey Sense, Tingling! Literally

The MCU debuts Peter Parker's famous spider sense, showing the hairs on his arm reacting to the arrival of Ebony Maw's ship. While the past Spider-Man films have shown the spider sense as some sort of visual effect, the MCU took a different approach and made it more of a physical reaction to danger.

Get Lost, Squidward!

This is pretty much self-explanatory. Ebony Maw does look a bit like Spongebob's grumpy neighbour/colleague.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tony berates Peter for trying to get involved with the alien invasion, telling him that it's not like his adventure at Coney Island - referencing the fact that the Vulture crashed a plane full of valuable Avengers material by the theme park in Spider-Man's previous adventure. The film also reminds us that Tony proposed to Pepper at the end of that film, revealing that she actually said yes.

We also get to see the Iron Spider suit in action, mixing elements from the suit as it appeared in the Civil War comic and features from that debuted in the Worldwide arc in 2015

Ebony Maw and Strange

Being the best equipped to deal with magic users, Ebony Maw is the one Thanos sends to retrieve the time stone from Doctor Strange - much like Maw was tasked with taking the hero out during the Infinity event. While things play out quite differently, since Maw doesn't brainwash Strange into doing his bidding, it is a reference to the fact Strange needs handling in a very particular way.

Maw also tortures Strange with magic tools that look very similar to the weapons wielded by Kaecilius and his followers in Doctor Strange - even though he refers to them as tools for micro-surgery.

The Cloak of Levitation

Back in Doctor Strange the hero's iconic Cloak of Levitation was revealed to have a mind of its own and was incredibly loyal to its new master. That trend continues in Infinity War with the cloak doing a great many things to protect Strange - even going so far as to follow him onto Ebony Maw's ship on the way to Titan. From there it helps Tony and Spider-Man rescue him.

Stan Lee

As expected, Stan Lee has his standard cameo in the film. Here he's playing Peter Parker's school bus driver, and showing off his otherworldly knowledge he chastises the kids for freaking out as if they've never seen a spaceship before. He must have forgotten that not everyone is an informant of the Watchers.

The Finger Snap

At least two references are made to Thanos being able to use the combined powers of the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the population of the galaxy with a snap of his fingers. While we never get to see Thanos do this, we do get to see the results of his actions.

His motivations in the film are very different to those of the comics. In the comics Thanos is hoping to appease the personification of Death, by killing half of the universe in a grand sacrifice. In the film he's actually doing it out of a warped sense of compassion, having noted that the universe's finite resources can't sustain an ever-increasing population. This led to a galactic crusade invading planets and slaughtering billions of people, having seen the disastrous effects of overpopulation on his home planet.

This crusade also led him to Gamora's planet, where he took her away from her parents to raise as an assassin, and led to the deaths of Drax's people - including his wife and daughter.

Families Can be Tough

Truer words have never been spoken, especially not from Thor. He notes that he has plenty of issues with his family, including a treacherous brother, bloodthirsty sister (Thor Ragnarok's Hela), and plenty of dead relatives including a mother that was killed by Dark Elves (Thor: The Dark World). Gamora was obviously adopted and abused by Thanos, and Star Lord points out his father killed his mother which meant he had to kill his father - referencing the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

Nova

A tenuous link at best, but it's mentioned that Thanos obtained the Power Stone by ravaging Xandar and presumably taking out the majority of the Nova Corps in the process. The Novas have a long history of nearly being wiped out, and one such instance leads to the Human Richard Rider being granted the powers of Nova Prime and full access to the Nova Force - something regular troopers don't get. Funnily enough, Rider is recruited by the dying Rhomann Dey who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy played by John C Reilly.

The fact that we don't see the destruction of Xandar first hand opens up the opportunity for the event to be further explored in a future Nova-centric film.

Knowhere

Knowhere is the decapitated head of a celestial first seen in full in the original Guardians of the Galaxy film, and happens to be the location of the red reality stone. The reality stone was handed over to The Collector after the events of Thor: The Dark World, which Thor passes onto the Guardians. It turns out the idea was Thor's, which the guardians all consider monumentally stupid.

The collector himself makes an appearance in Thanos's fake reality, but after it's revealed that Knowhere was set ablaze it seems likely that he was killed before the Guardians arrived.

Nidavellir and the Dwarves

Nidavellir is one of the nine realms of Asgard, and home to the Dwarves who are noted for being able to create the most dangerous and powerful weapons in the universe. Unlike in the comics, where average height is around four feet, the dwarves are revealed to be pretty damn large. At least twice the height of Thor.

The only dwarf we see is Eitri (played by Peter Dinklage), who is their leader and finest craftsman in the comics. In the film he appears to be the last dwarf left on Nidavellir, after Thanos forced him to build the Infinity Gauntlet under duress. Thanos then killed 300 dwarves living in the forge, but due to that small number it seems likely there are others elsewhere.

Stormbreaker

Thor's new weapon is a hammer-axe called Stormbreaker, which is best known as Beta Ray Bill's weapon from the comics. While the film Stormbreaker has incredible and unparalleled power, the comics version is almost identical to Mjolnir in power. Essentially if the wielder is worthy they are blessed with the power of Thor - which Bill uses to protect his people.

As for the weapon's new powers, it seems mostly to introduce a little bit of Thor Ex Machina to the film and I make no apologies for the pun.

Vision and Scarlet Witch

In past films both Vision and Scarlet Witch were shown to be very close, and in Infinity War it's revealed that the two are a couple. This is pulled straight out of the comics, where the two eventually married and kind-of sort-of had children, but also not. While the two eventually split up, it's a relationship that many Marvel readers know well and it wouldn't have made sense to ignore it on screen.

Vision's origin in Age of Ultron also comes up, with Banner mentioning that he's a mix of Ultron, Tony, Bruce himself, JARVIS, and the mind stone, making him a pretty complex being.

The Chitauri

The Chitauri make their third appearance in Infinity War, having previously appeared as Loki's army in The Avengers and as part of Tony Stark's nightmare vision in Age of Ultron. Both the footsoldiers, officers, and flying dragon things make an appearance, most notably in the flashback to how Thanos and Gamora first met.

On Earth, however, the armies attacking Wakanda are made up of the multi-limbed Outriders who have made sporadic appearances in the comics but first debuted as part of the Free Comic Book Day prequel to 2013's Infinity.

Arrested Development

The Russo Brothers are well known for their role in developing Arrested Development, having directed episodes of the series (including the pilot). While this Easter egg was leaked many months ago, if you look carefully at the scene inside the Collector's museum you will be able to see Tobias Funke inside one of the cases - along with the infamous blue paint and cut off jeans.

He doesn't appear to be played by David Cross, but it's clearly Tobias.

Grimace

Peter Quill loves his 80s pop culture, and refers to Thanos as 'Grimace' the purple monster mascot for McDonald's. While now seen as a 'good character' he was originally a villain.

Hawkeye and Ant-Man

Despite being told the two heroes would appear in this film, neither Hawkeye or Ant-Man make an appearance. Instead they are mentioned as being under house arrest following their escape from The Raft at the end of Civil War.

Banner also expresses wonder that there's an Ant-Man and a Spider-Man now.

Wakanda

Despite the fact that it's been two years (supposedly) since Civil War and Black Panther, Wakanda itself remains mostly unchanged - including the giant hologram around its borders. The country clearly hasn't done much integration with the rest of the world either, seeing as how Okoye expected there to be a Starbucks on the way.

Okoye also mentions that the Wakandan armies include what remains of the border tribe, referencing the fact that many of them sided with Killmonger during his attempt to overthrow T'Challa's reign.

White Wolf

We get to see what Bucky has been up to since he woke up at the end of Black Panther,  after Shuri removed all the HYDRA programming from his head. Apparently he was just living down by the river where he woke up, not showering. But now he's forced back into action with a brand new arm and a new code name 'White Wolf'.

In the comics the White Wolf is one of Wakanda's protectors, with the mantle belonging to T'Challa's elder brother at one point. For those confused, T'Challa's brother is called Hunter and was adopted by King T'Chaka and his first wife N'Yami after his parents were killed in a plane crash. He's also a white dude, which probably explains the 'White Wolf' moniker to some extent.

Rocket's obsession with prosthetics

Back in the first Guardians film Rocket expressed a unique interest in prosthetic body parts, apparently because he thought it was funny to make their owners part with them. Naturally people expected him to take a special interest in Bucky's arm, which he does. After trying to buy the arm (in the middle of battle, no less) Rocket becomes adamant that he's going to get it somehow.

Rocket also happens to have a cybernetic eye, which he gives to Thor to replace the one he lost at the hands of Hela in his last appearance. Thor, meanwhile, gets his animal confused and keeps calling Rocket "rabbit", which he doesn't seem to mind - unlike when you call him a raccoon.

That really old movie...

Peter Parker really loves movies and pop culture, to the point where Tony has to tell him (and Starlord) to cut it out. You may remember back in Civil War where he referred to "that really old movie The Empire Strikes Back", and here he does it again for Aliens. He and Tony manage to kill Ebony Maw in a similar way to how Ripley killed the Alien Queen (and interestingly the Alien from the first film) by blasting him into space.

Peter's love of film means he ends up butting heads with Starlord later on in the film, telling the exiled half-human that Footloose was never the greatest film ever made.

Your Ward

Referencing the really rather strange relationship between Batman and his Robins (mainly Dick Grayson), Strange asks Tony whether Peter is "his ward". The term is often associated with the DC heroes, explaining why a teenage boy lies with a multi-millionaire. It's not a very good explanation, but hey.

Nighthawk

Maybe I was imagining things, but after Ebony Maw's Q Ship crashed on Titan, the damage to the front made it look an awful lot like the symbol on the helmet of lesser-known Marvel hero Darkhawk. Darkhawk is generally an Earth-based hero, but he has found himself on plenty of cosmic adventures in the past - including some alongside Nova.

Nebula

Last time we saw Nebula she was blasting off to search for Thanos and kill him. That was in Guardians 2, which takes place four years before Infinity War. The film reveals that she actually found Thanos a while back, but was caught trying (and nearly succeeding) in killing him. After that all her cybernetic parts were disconnected and she was held in stasis until Thanos revealed her to Gamora. Having put her own safety at the expense of Nebula's during their childhood, Gamora refuses to watch her be tortured and gives up the location of the missing soul stone - despite Nebula's insistence that she not.

We also see the full extent of Nebula's modifications, and the abuse she received at the hands of Thanos. There are a lot, and it seems as though a good 75% of her body is now machine. No wonder she hate's her adoptive father so much.

Nebula later manages to escape, informing the Guardians that Thanos will be on Titan - eventually reaching the planet with one of the Necrocraft used by Ronan's army in the first Guardians film.

The Soul Stone

Finally we get to see where the soul stone has been hiding all these years, and it turns out every single theory was wrong - including mine. It turns out the stone was on Vormir, a little-used planet from the comics populated by red lizard people. Here it was protected by the Red Skull, who has been there since he was blasted off into space by the Tesseract 70 years previously (in Captain America: The First Avenger). The Skull reveals that the only way someone can retrieve the stone is to sacrifice the thing they love most, and in Thanos's case it was Gamora.

Later on we see Thanos inside the stone itself, conversing briefly with Gamora's soul. That comes straight out of the comics, with the stone housing its own world populated by the people who have had their souls stolen by its power. If I were to guess, I'd say all the newly missing heroes are also inside after Thanos enacted his master plan.

Thanos son of...

Red Skull clearly knows who Thanos is, referring to him as Thanos son of A'Lars - referencing his parentage from the comics.

Another point of note, if you look very carefully when Thanos shows Tony Stark what Titan used to be like, you'll see that the people in the background look like normal people. That's because Thanos is a member of the Eternals, an evolutionary of shoot of humanity that live on Saturn's moon Titan in the comics. Thanos himself is different because he is afflicted with 'Deviant syndrome' that gives him his unique purple look.

Coincidentally, it's been rumoured that Marvel is working on an Eternals movie, which means we might get to see more of this in the future.

Drax never listens

After Tony Stark reveals his plan to take out Thanos on Titan, Drax reveals that he wasn't even listening. This seems to be a common thing with him, seeing as how he readily admitted he wasn't listening to Starlord's plan to take out Ronan in the first Guardians film. Clearly he hasn't learned to pay attention in the four years since.

The dance off to save the universe

Drax references the end of the first Guardians film, where Starlord distracted Ronan with a dancing contest so Rocket and Drax could retrieve the power stone. While Peter tries to downplay his involvement, it's still a nice callback to a very funny moment.

Hulkbuster

Since Banner is having performance issues, with the Hulk refusing to come out and fight (flat out refusing many times), he is forced to use the Hulkbuster to fight of the Outrider army. It's clearly had some upgrades since Age of Ultron, but he notes that Cull Obsidian has no chance fighting him since the suit is capable of "kicking the Hulk's ass".

Insect

Thanos becomes one of many villains to mistakenly refer to Spider-Man as an insect, despite the fact that spiders are arachnids. While it could be played off as Thanos using the term as an insult, because he believes Peter is beneath him, you can't ignore the fact that it's been used in the same context many times before - though usually by much stupider criminals.

Post Credit Scene

The only post credit scene in the film is right at the end of the credits, featuring Nick Fury and Maria Hill in DC discussing the alien incursions over New York and Wakanda before noticing that people have started vanishing. He has Hill contact "control" (it's not clear whether that's Avengers control or SHIELD), and when she disintegrates he pulls out a device to send a message of his own. After Fury vanishes himself (cutting him off just before he can finish saying "motherfucker" the devices reveals it's made contact with someone and flashes up a logo earily similar to the one on Captain marvel's uniform - foreshadowing her solo film and appearance in Avengers 4.


More Avengers: Infinity War