As one of the first and most recognized superheroes, Captain America has gone by many names: The First Avenger, America’s superhero, The Soldier. But no matter what you call him, nobody can deny that he’s had a massive effect on the Marvel Universe. He’s always been a leader of the Avengers, a figure for other heroes to rally behind, and one of the first lines of defense against the world’s greatest threats. Therefore, it makes so much sense that his solo movies in the MCU are filled to the brim with easter eggs and callbacks to other adventures and even moments not involving him in the Marvel comics.
The Captain America trilogy provides the perfect opportunity for those looking to plant easter eggs. Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the 1940s and, as such can make references to things present during the inception of Marvel Comics. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a beloved comic book storyline and has a pivotal role in the ongoing MCU narrative. And Captain America: Civil War is a massive team up movie involving nearly every character that had been introduced in the MCU. With that in mind, here’s 15 Details In The Captain America Trilogy Only True Fans Spotted.
15 THE HUMAN TORCH IN THE FIRST AVENGER
Captain America: The First Avenger was an opportunity for Marvel to go back to their roots and make a lot of old school references to properties that were big back in the ‘40s. One of these references was to one of the very first superheroes that Marvel, then Timely, created: The Human Torch. Not the Fantastic Four’s resident hothead, but the original android that could spontaneously combust and frequently battled Namor.
During an exhibition that would eventually become the Stark Expo, there was a display for “Phineas Horton’s Synthetic Man”.
Phineas Horton is also known as the creator of the original Human Torch android back in 1939, a full 22 years before Johnny Storm would make his first appearance in Fantastic Four #1. He probably won’t make an appearance in the MCU, but this easter egg was a fun nod to one of the premiere superheroes of this time period.
14 SECRET AVENGERS COSTUME IN THE WINTER SOLDIER
Captain America’s costume is supposed to be a symbol. The bold stars and stripes are supposed to serve as a beacon of hope to those that he leads into battle. But when he’s on a stealth mission, red white and blue draw quite a bit of attention. So when Cap decided to form the clandestine Secret Avengers, he needed an alternate to his regular costume in order to remain stealthy.
What you may not know is that you’ve probably already seen this variant even if you haven’t read the comics. Cap’s initial costume in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is heavily inspired by his Secret Avengers costume. This version features no red, only muted blue and small silver stars and stripes across his chest. This costume is far less loud than any of his other versions and is perfectly suited for a stealth op aboard a hijacked freighter.
13 CAP VS SPIDER-MAN IN CIVIL WAR
The Captain America vs. Spider-Man fight in Captain America: Civil War was one of the many mini-bouts at Leipzig Airport when team Cap faced off against team Iron Man. Their fight consisted primarily of Cap using his fighting prowess and accumulated battlefield knowledge to decisively overcome Spider-Man’s raw physical abilities.
We got a few good quips out of it, but Captain America was the clear winner as he dropped a jetway on Spidey.
This battle also happened on the comic book pages of Civil War and resulted in a similar result. In this instance, Spider-Man was wearing Tony Stark’s Iron Spider suit. The two fought, with Cap using tactics and superior fighting skills to land several hits on Spidey before he could even get one in. The fight ended when Cap had to flee to deal with something else, so in a way, the two fights ended the same way.
12 ZOLA’S INTRODUCTION MIRRORS HIS COMIC BOOK APPEARANCE
Arnim Zola has been an enemy to Captain America for a very long time. He’s a brilliant Nazi biochemist whose experimentation has allowed him to create monsters and mutants capable of taking on superpowered beings. In addition to his genius, he decided it best to transfer his consciousness to a robotic body that displays his disfigured visage on a monitor placed on its abdomen.
Zola’s first appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger is a reference to this classic Zola appearance. When he’s first introduced in the Red Skull’s lab, he’s shown through the lens of a magnifying glass which distorts his head into a shape similar to his comic book counterpart’s. Having this nod in the movie makes much more sense than placing his consciousness into a robot body and showing his face on it.
11 BATROC THE LEAPER
We’re sure that when people saw the beginning of Captain America: Winter Soldier and witnessed Captain America face off against international pirate Georges Batroc, they were more focused on the novelty of UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre fighting Chris Evans. However, comic book fans may have noticed the pirate’s last name which was a callback to a classic Marvel comics villain.
Georges Batroc, or Batroc the Leaper, is an antagonistic force to many of the martial arts-based Marvel Comics heroes.
He’s a French mercenary with exceptional martial arts abilities centering around his knowledge of savate, a form of French kickboxing. He got his nickname from his especially developed leg muscles that allow him to jump at Olympian levels. It’s a shame that he doesn’t appear to be much more of a factor in the MCU because his character from the comic book certainly has a sizeable history to pull from.
10 ANT-MAN RIDING HAWKEYE’S ARROW IN CIVIL WAR
The battle at Leipzig Airport in Captain America: Civil War was the marquee event in the movie. It was the scene everyone had been waiting for and it was effective in being one of the most entertaining sequences in comic book movie history. Much of the entertainment factor was due to seeing a plethora of diverse power sets both opposing each other and working together. One of these moments was when A shrunken down Ant-Man rode Hawkeye’s arrow and used it to get into Iron Man’s armor.
That scene was lifted straight from the comics. Though the costumes may be quite different, this image was found on the cover of The Avengers #223. The story featured Ant-Man and Hawkeye teaming up to take on Taskmaster in a circus. While Ant-Man never actually rode Hawkeye’s arrow in the story, the image is still awesome.
9 THE RAFT IN CIVIL WAR
By nature, Captain America: Civil War was absolutely stuffed with references to the major comic book event. The movie references famous panels, fights, and even places of importance in the comics. One of these places was The Raft, a super prison built as the “Maximum-Maximum Security” wing off of the real life Ryker’s Island penitentiary.
After the brawl at Leipzig Airport, the majority of Team Cap was imprisoned in a super maximum security prison for powered individuals called The Raft that also happened to be located in the ocean.
In addition, a prison was featured heavily in the Civil War storyline. Though this prison was actually called Prison 42 and was located in the Negative Zone, it still was used to house those superhumans who didn’t adhere to the Superhero Registration Act just like The Raft was in Captain America: Civil War.
8 CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 REFERENCE
In Captain America: The First Avenger, the United States Military made Steve Rogers into Captain America to be their secret weapon against the Nazis. And then decided that a super soldier would be more useful as a poster boy rather than an actual soldier. To that end, they made Steve perform skits in front of the troops rather than join them and the skit always culminated with them witnessing Cap “sock old Adolf on the jaw”.
This may have just been a publicity stunt, but it’s also a reference to Cap’s first comic book appearance in Captain America Comics #1. The cover of that issue featured Cap decking Adolf Hitler on the jaw while busting in a room full of bad guys. It was certainly a bombastic entrance for America’ superhero.
7 ANALYZING FIGHT PATTERNS IN CIVIL WAR
A fight between Captain America and Iron Man may seem a little lopsided on paper, Cap has shown that he can do things that some people may think are beyond his capabilities. In Captain America: Civil War, Captain America and Iron Man fought a brutal battle over Bucky and by the end of the fight, Cap had the upper hand.
Iron Man only regained the advantage when he had F.R.I.D.A.Y analyze Cap’s fight pattern and deploy countermeasures.
This capability was inspired from something he deployed in the comic book. During Cap and Iron Man’s first fight in Civil War, Iron Man revealed that his suit had recorded every punch and kick that Cap had ever thrown, so he could predict virtually anything Cap would throw at him; this allowed him to trounce Cap during this fight. The MCU gained their inspiration from this battle.
6 CAP’S DISDAIN FOR PARACHUTES IS AN ULTIMATES REFERENCE
One of the coolest scenes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier was when Cap nonchalantly leaped out of a moving S.H.I.E.L.D plane without a parachute. This scene let viewers know that this would be different from the first Captain America movie. But many viewers didn’t know that this scene actually referenced a Captain America moment in the comics.
The Ultimate Universe was launched in 2000 and served as a platform for Marvel characters to have different origins and be involved in much darker stories. This is a universe in which The Thing crushed Dr. Doom’s skull and The Blob cannibalized Janet van Dyne. Captain America’s Ultimate Universe counterpart is a superhuman soldier with slightly looser moral standards. In Ultimates #1 Captain America made it clear that he thinks “parachutes are for girls” as he jumped out of a plane without one during World War 2.
5 ED BRUBAKER’S CAMEO IN THE WINTER SOLDIER
The Captain America storyline that saw the reintroduction of Cap’s former sidekick, Bucky Barnes, as the Russian super assassin the Winter Soldier was one of the most memorable Captain America storylines in recent memory. It was written by Ed Brubaker, a long-time comic book writer for Marvel, DC and Image Comics. He’s the person who crafted this intriguing spy thriller and he’s the one who the Russo Brothers met with as soon as they were given the reigns to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
However, the Russo Brothers weren’t satisfied with just meeting the man behind the Winter Soldier.
They also gave Ed Brubaker a cameo in the movie. During the scene where Pierce is trying to reign Bucky in after the highway fight, Brubaker plays the Winter Soldier’s handler.
4 MIRIAM SHARPE IN CIVIL WAR
Both Civil War and Captain America: Civil War were kicked off by a tragic event caused by superheroes that affected innocent people. Events like these are bound to upset people, especially those who lost someone. Both the comic and the movie had a person who was especially outspoken and intensely angry about the issue. But only the most devout of fans noticed that it was the same person in both mediums.
In Civil War, a woman named Miriam Sharpe lost her young child in the school explosion that kicked off the comic book event and became a vocal supporter of the Superhero Registration Act who changed Iron Man’s viewpoint. In Captain America: Civil War, a woman played by Alfre Woodard achieved the same thing on behalf of her older son who died during the Battle of Sokovia. She was credited as Miriam in the movie, a reference to Sharpe.
3 SHIELD VS REPULSORS IN CIVIL WAR
The original Civil War event had a great deal of iconic images: Cap escaping S.H.I.E.L.D by leaping from an airborne helicarrier, Punisher dragging a bloodied Spider-Man into Captain America’s secret base, Spider-Man unmasking himself, and of course the huge splash page where both sides collided. But none of these are as iconic as the cover of the final issue of Civil War. This cover showed Iron Man and Cap, both battle-worn, clashing with their iconic weapons over the unconscious bodies of their friends and allies.
Captain America: Civil War made sure to reference this iconic image during the final battle between Iron Man and Captain America.
Toward the end of the battle, the two charged at each other and the frame froze on an image of Iron Man’s repulsors clashing with Cap’s shield, just like the Civil War #7 cover.
2 “I CAN DO THIS ALL DAY”
Captain America is best known for his steadfast determination to do what he thinks is right, a trait he possessed even before being injected with the Super Soldier serum. This was shown in Captain America: The First Avenger when he was cornered by a bully who was disrespectful to the armed forces. Though he was getting beat on, he kept getting up, telling the bully: “I can do this all day.”
The First Avenger wasn’t the most memorable out of all the MCU movies, but a reference to it in Captain America: Civil War didn’t go unnoticed by many fans. During the final fight between Cap and Iron Man, Cap was on the ropes when Iron Man told him to stay down and that he wouldn’t warn him again. But leave it to Steve Rogers to rise back to his feet and tell him: “I can do this all day.”
1 SHIELD PUNCH IN WINTER SOLDIER
Captain America: Winter Soldier is based on one of the most popular Captain America runs where Captain America’s old sidekick, Bucky, returns in Cap’s life as the Russian super assassin: The Winter Soldier. The most iconic panel in this story to most fans is likely the panel in which the Winter Soldier punches Cap’s shield with his metal arm with an emphatic “klnng”, proving that it’s a match for the iconic shield.
The movie made sure to include this during the highway fight near the end of the second act.
The Winter Soldier had trapped Black Widow and was preparing to kill her when Cap ran in to save the day. But instead of him knocking Bucky off of the car with his shield, he counters with a powerful punch from his metal arm that stops Cap cold and recreates that sound from the comics.