The big day is here. After 11 years of lead up, and much hype along the way, we finally get to see Avengers: Endgame for ourselves. Thanos snapped his fingers, half the universe died, and the Avengers were left to deal with the chaotic aftermath on Earth. As ever we have seen the film and put together this pretty exhaustive list of easter eggs and references we could find. As usual there were a lot of them, so buckle up and let's get to it.
Of course those of you who have seen the film will know that the Avengers each visit different points in their own histories. Old films, in other words, and we could spend all day going over all those. We're just going to assume you watched those films and know the general plot. No need to recap why Star Lord was on Morag or what caused the Battle of New York. The film should fill you in enough anyway.
Hawkeye & Hawkeye
As we saw in the trailers we get to see where Hawkeye was during the snap, and as expected he was teaching his teenage daughter Lila how to shoot a bow. She clearly has some talent for it (wonder why?) and Clint congratulates her hitting the bullseye by calling her "Hawkeye". In the comics Hawkeye is an alias adopted by several heroes (often at the same time), the most notable of which are Clint himself and his protege Kate Bishop.
With rumours that Clint and Kate are set to get their own Disney+ series in the near future, it suggests that the Kate Bishop role will be adopted by his daughter and not some random teenager Clint takes under his wing.
Of course things don't go so well for the Bartons, leaving Clint the only member that wasn't dusted by the snap - sending him down a dark path. Something tells me house arrest is the least of his concerns when half the universe just died.
The Opening Logos
Captain Marvel mixed up the usual Marvel Studios logos by using a Stan Lee-centric version instead. Endgame continues the remixing tradition playing some '70s music instead of the usual classical score. Naturally that tied into to Tony and Nebula stuck on the Benetar, and the ship's relation to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Tony Hates Social Media
During the segment where he records a message to Pepper (itself sort of a call back to a similar scene in Iron Man 3), Tony insists that the video not end up on social media. That clear dislike of online platforms goes all the way back to the first scene in Iron Man when he lets the airman sitting next to him take a picture - provided he not post it on his MySpace page. God 2008 was a long time ago...
Similarly in that scene Tony has his little thing with the V sign, which he later uses in the photo we see of him with Peter Parker.
Tony loves sharing bags of random foodstuffs, and he does the same with Nebula as the Benetar is running out of air and supplies.
A lot of people died off screen
We learned from Marvel's poster campaign that a number of characters were killed by Thanos's snap off-screen, in particular T'Challa's sister Shuri. We also discover in the aftermath that Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, was also dusted when nobody was looking. No word on whether her boss, Everett Ross, was able to survive as far as I could see.
Build a Bear
People are surprisingly cool with Rocket being a talking alien raccoon, though Tony insists he thought he was a Build-a-Bear toy until he started talking. Product placement at its finest.
Scott Lang later seems a bit put off by the fact, though that could have been the spaceship that landed in front of him and ruined his taco.
Captain America's Outfits
Cap goes through a lot of different outfits throughout the film, and since the one he used in Age of Ultron and Civil War was trashed by the time Infinity War came around, he reverted back to his old SHIELD uniform - known as the 'super soldier' suit in the comics. Of course he gets a new one after the time jump, complete with the scaled pattern he's known for sporting in the comics.
Captain Marvel's Outfits
Like any good superhero Captain, Captain Marvel doesn't stick to the same single-item wardrobe either. At the start of the film she's sporting an outfit first glimpsed in the post-credits scene of her solo movie, having ditched the Kree suit at some point in the intermediary 20 year period. After the time jump she's sporting something a lot more comic accurate, complete with the sash at her waist and the short hair she's been sporting in recent comic arcs.
As well as co-directing the film, Joe Russo also appears in the film as a member of Captain America's support group - telling the tale of how he's trying to move on by going on a date. It went well, even if they both did start crying. Moving on is hard work.
Edit: Turns out he wasn't the only cameo in that scene. Thanos creator Jim Starlin was also there, but going slightly more incognito because I don't know what 90% of comic artists and writers look like.
More Community Cameos
Continuing the long tradition of throwing Community cast members in their Marvel movies, both Ken Jeong (Señor Chang) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) have cameos in the film. Jeong plays the security guard at the storage locker where Scott Lang's things are stored after he was assumed dead after the snap. Brown is a suspicious SHIELD agent back in the '70s, who assumed (correctly) that Tony and Cap are up to no good.
Just like his comic counterpart did in the aftermath of Infinity Gauntlet's snap, Thanos has retired to the life of a farmer on a distant alien planet. And just like in the comics he's ditched his armour to use as a scarecrow.
Destroying the Stones With the Stones
Surprisingly the idea of removing the Infinity Stones from reality isn't too farfetched. In fact Reed Richards once tried to use their combined powers to remove them from existence in the comics, only to find that nothing was happening. He was then berated by the Watcher for trying something so foolish and not thinking through the consequences of his actions.
Cassie Lang last appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp as a 10 year old girl played by Abby Ryder Fortson, but now she's a 15-year old teenager played by Emma Furhman. Sadly we didn't see her take up her own superhero mantle. In the comics she was a member of the Young Avengers called Stature, and had the same height-manipulation powers as her father - aside from the fact constant exposure to Pym Particles meant she was able to do it without the aid of technology.
We first saw our hint that Pepper Potts would finally get her own Iron Man Suit when Tony found his daughter Morgan playing with it. By the end of the film she's fully-suited up to fight Thanos's armies, even lending Spider-Man a hand as he flees with the new Infinity Gauntlet. She's not named on screen, but in the comics Pepper is the superhero Rescue complete with her own powered-suit equipped with a variety of non-offensive tools to help her, well, rescue people.
Back to the Future, and other time travelling tales
When the topic of time travel first comes up, Scott references back to the future many times - including warning people not to bet on sports events. He's called out by Tony for this, and is later told by Banner that time travel wouldn't work the way they saw in movies. Even if Scott and Rhodey did see it that way in Terminator, Hot Tube Time Machine, Back to the Future, Timecop, Star Trek, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
The time jump gave Banner plenty of time to solve his issues with the Hulk, though instead of working things out with the Hulk he simply became the Hulk. 18 months in a gamma lab and he wound up as Banner's mind in the Hulk's body, rather than sharing it with his much dumber (and angrier) personality. What happened to the other personality is unclear, maybe he was snapped away?
In the comics this idea has come up several times, and most of them involve the new Banner/Hulk adopting some sort of title like professor or doctor. The most recent was Doc Green, which led to the Hulk gaining Banner-like intelligence thanks to the Extremis virus. Unfortunately this wasn't a brain melding, and Doc Green eventually tried to ensure he would never transform back into Banner.
Hank Pym's Quantum Realm Suit
With all the quantum technology that appears in the film, it makes sense that the suit Hank used to rescue Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm makes an appearance. It's the suit Banner and Scott use to test the Quantum Realm's time-travelling potential. Clearly the Ant-Man suit was still slightly broken and not usable.
What up Regular-Sized Man
Rhodey making fun of the fact Ant-Man's name changes depending on what size he is. There's totally no bad blood there regarding Scott's involvement in Civil War. Not at all.
Scott is also subject to a number of nicknames throughout the series, including Thumbelina (that's a Tony one, naturally).
Some Asgardians survived the destruction of Asgard, Thanos's original attack, and then the snap. As Odin suggested in Ragnarok they founded 'New Asgard' in Norway's Tønsberg region. In the comics Asgard's destruction also led to a new colony being founded on Earth, named Asgardia. The different was that this one was a proper Asgardian city that floated over Oklahoma, not a typical Norse village.
Also here are Valkyrie, Korg, Miek, and a supply of Irn Bru. The only question we have about that is whether it's the original recipe or the new low-sugar kind.
Even after the snap teenagers on the internet are complete dicks, and Korg needs help from Thor after one keeps bullying him during his Fortnite sessions. Yes, Korg plays Fortnite.
The Big Lebowski
Despite the absence of White Russians, it's made very clear that Thor has become a version of 'The Dude' from The Big Lebowski. The glasses, the robe, and the facial hair. The only thing he doesn't have is a rug that ties the room together.
Thor's fatter form is also rather similar to Volstagg, his dead friend played by Ray Stevenson in the Thor trilogy. Even if his hair is much messier.
Kill Baby Thanos
During the time travel brainstorming session it's suggested that they try and go back in time to kill baby Thanos, rather than try to create their own Infinity Gauntlet. That did happen recently in the comics, with a cosmicly-powered Punisher going back to put an end to Thanos before he can cause so much trouble. But unwilling to kill an innocent baby, even one that becomes a genocidal maniac, Punisher instead kidnaps Thanos to raise as his own. It really is as weird as it sounds, especially after that Thanos grew up to become yet another Punisher himself.
It's also referencing a popular trope about going back in time to kill baby Hitler, which almost happened in Deadpool 2. But like Cosmic Punisher, Wade is unable to kill a baby.
The Ancient One
The Battle of New York is a big part of the film, but we get to see a lot of new perspectives. One of those perspectives is that The Ancient One participated in the battle, while tending to some plants on top of the Bleaker Street sanctum of all places. She attacks some of the Chitauri while remaining hidden, until Bruce Banner turns up to distract her.
How Hydra Got the Sceptre
The aftermath of Loki's defeat shows just how much of a role Hydra had. We see Alexander Pierce, Nick Fury's boss and de-facto head of Hydra's forces within SHIELD, tried to fight with Thor to reclaim the tesseract for himself. The sceptre also got into the hands of Baron Strucker thanks to Brock Rumlow, Agent Sitwel, and the STRIKE team, who claimed it from Stark tower. They specifically mention the sceptre is being taken to a Dr List, who appeared as Strucker's right hand in Age of Ultron and Agents of SHIELD.
Loki Loves Playing Captain America
We first saw him do it during Thor: The Dark World, but it turns out he'd done it before. Right after he was captured during The Avengers.
Elevator Scene 2.0
One of the most acclaimed scenes in the MCU is Captain America fighting STRIKE n the Triskellion's elevator. Endgame seems ready to repeat it, but instead Cap pulls the switcheroo almost straight out of the comics. One of the most controversial Marvel stoylines of recent times was Secret Empire, where Cap was brainwashed into believing he was an active Hydra agent. Fortunately this wasn't the case in the movies, though it did convince Sitwel that Cap really did have orders to take the sceptre to List.
Cap's trigger phrase never fails. People could have done that all day
Why did they dawdle taking Loki home?
Considering SHIELD/Hydra was trying to confiscate the tesseract from Thor, and Loki being a pain, it makes you wonder why they took their time letting Thor take Loki back to Asgard. First Shwarma, then they all got changed, then they went for a walk in central park. Only then did the let Thor do his thing.
Maybe we should have brought this up seven years ago, but now we've seen there was a lot going on after Loki was taken captive it makes less sense.
Stan Lee's cameo was a little different this time around, taking advantage of the time travel plot. Instead of old man Stan, we saw Stan Lee as he appeared in the 1970s, driving past a military base shouting anti-war things. His car also has a bumper sticker sporting one of his classic catchphrases "nuff said".
It's also been confirmed that this will be Stan's last ever MCU cameo, since he wasn't able to film one for Spider-Man: Far From Home before he died last year.
Not a Rabbit
Thor regularly confuses Rocket for a rabbit, though it seems that's a trait shared by all Asgardians. After claiming the aether the Asgardian guards shout "stop that rabbit" as Rocket runs away.
Return to Camp Lehigh
Used by the SSR during World War 2, and later SHIELD, Camp Lehigh is an important part of the MCU. That's where Captain America was trained, and it's where Hydra stored the consciousness of Armin Zola. As we find out in Endgame it seems to be the main SHIELD base before the Triskellion was built, hosuing Peggy Carter (the director), Howard Stark, Armin Zola (who was only mentioned by name), and Hank Pym. Fortunately Cap already realised where the secret base was several years earlier, so infiltrating wasn't that hard.
The Classic Ant-Man Helmet
The MCU is usually quite good at adapting comic costumes accurately, but Ant-Man is the one that designers took the most liberties with. Even the original Ant-Man suit looks totally different to the one from the comics, but in Endgame we get to see a nice nod towards it. Hank Pym's desk has a very crude version of the original Ant-Man helmet from the comics, with the antennae and all. Presumably this is where Hank's ant-controlling research began, before he integrated it into his shrinking suit.
The Movies Actually Took Something From TV
When Howard Stark leaves Camp Lehigh he is helped into his car by his butler Jarvis, a classic comics character that was replaced by the AI-version when the MCU came around. Edwin Jarvis is played by James D'Arcy, the same actor who played him in the Agent Carter TV series. In other words the films finally acknowledged a character that originated one of the MCU's many TV shows.
I believe this is the first time this has happened. The TV shows often work around the films (Agent of SHIELD, in particular), but it's never worked the other way round. Until now.
Cap is Worthy
After seemingly lifting Mjolnir a little bit during Age of Ultron, we finally get definitive proof that Captain America is worthy to wield Thor's late hammer. And he seems to get the hang of it quite quickly.
In the comics Cap is one of a very small number of people shown to wield Mjolnir (aside from Thor himself), and the fourth person to be seen wielding it in the movies. The other three being Thor, obviously, Vision, and his sister Hela.
On Your Left
When all seems lost Cap gets a signal through from the newly-revived Sam Wilson, and he pass over the information that the armies of Earth are on their way with a simple "on your left" - referencing the line that led to the two of them meeting in the first place.
Despite many teases over the years, we've never heard the classic Avengers rallying cry of "Avengers Assemble" in the films. That changes now, with Cap leading the charge against Thanos's army.
In recent years the growing number of female Marvel heroes have all expressed interest in a film focussing on an all-female team, which we sort of get a glimpse of towards the end of the film. We have Gamora, Okoye, Shuri, Valkyrie, Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Rescue, Captain Marvel, and Nebula on screen as a team of their own. Unfortunately Wasp seemed to be a little busy trying to fix the quantum tunnel in Luis's van.
In the comics the all-female Avengers spin-off is called A-Force, and while there are plenty of heroes that don't appear in the MCU (She-Hulk is one of the key ones) this is a pretty obvious nod towards the team.
Peter Parker is never a big fan of killing people, and that would be why he was firmly against the 'instant kill' mode that he discovered in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It comes in very handily, using the Iron Spider suit's robotic legs to take out countless aliens that are trying to retrieve the new gauntlet from Peter.
Always the Second Human to Use the Infinity Gauntlet
Like the comics Tony Stark ends up being the second human to use the Infinity Gauntlet. Obviously here Banner is the one that undoes the initial snap, while in the comics Reed Richards attempted to use the gauntlet to destroy itself. Naturally he was unsuccessful, and meant Tony became the first human to successfully use the gauntlet in the comics. But either way, in both cases someone else got there before him.
Proof That Tony Stark Has a Heart
The original arc reactor makes another appearance at Tony's funeral. Originally built in an Afghan cave Tony replaced it for a more up to date model that could keep him alive for longer. Refusing to throw it away, Pepper turned it into a display piece as proof Tony wasn't as heartless as people made him out to be. A fitting way to tie up his life as Iron Man, really.
The Kid From Iron Man 3
Of all the strange people Tony Stark met, it was always a bit weird that he befriended a random 11 year old kid. Harley ended up being quite helpful in helping Tony defeat AIM, but he was never seen again. Until six years later when he had a silent cameo at Tony's funeral. It may take you a minute to recognise him, because kids change a lot in six years, but it's still him.
One of the things Tony Stark supposedly shared with Robert Downey Jr are their love of cheeseburgers, which led to him demanding one as soon as he returned to the USA in Iron Man. As it turns out his daughter Morgan also likes cheeseburgers, a fact she relays to Happy Hogan. Maybe she'll end up inheriting a few more of his traits too, but hopefully with some of Pepper's common sense.
Asgardians of the Galaxy
The joke-name people assigned to Thor Ragnarok due to the similarities it shares with the Guardians of the Galaxy films is now official. Sort of. Thor has joined the Guardians in their search for Gamora, and renames the team 'Asgardians of the Galaxy' as he does. It's not clear whether he's joking or not, but one thing is certain - it seems Thor may be joining the guardians for their third film.
Setting up the Disney+ Series?
One of the key points of Endgame's epilogue is Cap going back in time to return all the Infinity Stones, leaving Falcon and Bucky behind. We know those two will be having a a Disney+ limited series in the future, and it looks as though this is deliberately setting up their story. Thankfully it looks as though they're not going to be fighting over the shield, since Bucky seemingly approved when old-man Cap handed it over to Sam.
Similarly one plot thread that is never resolved is Loki escaping with the tesseract after Tony's aborted attempt to steal it. We know Loki will have his own series too, with rumours suggesting it'll involve him travelling through history and interacting with humanity along the way. The tesseract can only travel through space, but they can figure out the time travel part later, right?
The New Captain America
Ever since the MCU kicked off, there have been questions as to whether Cap would hand over his mantle to Bucky or Sam Wislon - both of whom have, for a time, adopted the 'Captain America' moniker in the comics. Now we know that it'll be Sam Wilson. Or at least he'll be wielding Cap's shield, after old man Cap gifted it to him.