Comic book fans were treated to some of the biggest superhero films in 2017. They finally got a sequel to Marvel's fan-favorite Guardians of the Galaxy and the next chapter to 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Last year also gave us a new perspective on the God of Thunder with the critically acclaimed action comedy Thor: Ragnarok. Plus, Marvel Studios even got the chance to take back Peter Parker for his own solo outing in Spider-Man:Homecoming. Each one of these films pushed the story of their respective cinematic universes forward while building the worlds that their comic book counterparts inhabit.
These films are carefully crafted love letters to the legacy left by Marvel and DC Comics. A way that these filmmakers ensure they pack enough story into two hours is by leaving behind little clues that are widely referred to as easter eggs. These little references and clued get both comic and film fans excited about what's next. Even with eyes strapped to screens and multiple viewings, fans still haven’t gotten all the easter eggs that these filmmakers have left behind. Luckily, CBR is here to help, with our roundup of the most overlooked easter eggs you probably missed in 2017!
15 PRINCIPAL MORITA (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING)
Spider-Man: Homecoming was Marvel Studios' first solo film featuring the web-slinger and it was critically lauded as well as loved by fans. Finally, a teenage Peter Parker dealing with the grandiose responsibility of Spider-Man and the tediousness of his adolescence was handled properly. With high school as a big backdrop for the web-head, it found him dealing with academic decathlons and trouble in the principal’s office.
This gave us one of the coolest little easter eggs in the form of Principal Morita. The actor who plays him looks familiar because he also played Howling Commando James “Jim” Morita in Captain America: The First Avenger. Kenneth Choi returned to the MCU to play the grandson of Morita as the acting principal of Parker’s school. There is even a photo of Principal Morita’s grandfather in his office just to remind fans of the richness the MCU's history offers.
14 SUPERMAN HOMAGE (WONDER WOMAN)
Wonder Woman was one of the biggest films of 2017. It was the critical and commercial success that fans had been clamoring for since the Amazonian Princess' introduction in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. What Patty Jenkins captured was the essence and magic of the older Richard Donner Superman film. The observant fan will notice this homage to that film in the alleyway scene where Diana saves Steve Trevor from a gang of German agents.
It is reminiscent of a similar scene where Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent and Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane are held up at gunpoint by muggers. As Lois kicks the mugger away he fires off a shot that Clark catches in the palm of his hand. Steve Trevor's own hand is shown in a similar image right after Diana deflects a bullet meant to kill him.
13 STATUE OF LIBERTY (LOGAN)
This dystopian and mature final chapter to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine legacy gave audiences a film that resonated deeper than his other outings in Logan. This Wolverine has to take care of a Professor X who is losing control due to his dementia. During Professor X's confusion and odd rambling, he mentions that there are people waiting for Logan at the Statue of Liberty. This is him referencing 2000’s X-Men where the cast of Merry Mutants faced off against Magneto for the first time.
The moment shared between the two actors makes this whole scene even more special as it is a testament to their time playing these roles together. It also reminds viewers of the long journey it’s been for the modern superhero film. Where X-Men gave rise to the superhero films we know and love now, Logan lets us know there are still inventive ways to tell a superhero story.
12 SHARK REPELLENT (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE)
One of the funniest superhero films that came out recently had to be The Lego Batman Movie. It was a collage of Batman’s history from the films to the television shows to the comics. During a tour of the Batcave, Robin points to all the cool gadgets he sees as Batman tells him not to touch them. Then Robin points to a canister of shark repellent, which Batman initially tries to dissuade him from touching before admitting that it is completely useless.
This is a direct homage to the beloved ‘60s Batman television series starring Adam West. One episode featured the Dark Knight climbing a rope ladder hanging off a helicopter until he was interrupted by a shark who bites and latches onto his leg. He then calls out to Robin for his shark repellent. It is a little easter egg that fans of the old show wouldn’t miss.
11 COLD RESISTANCE (JUSTICE LEAGUE)
When Bruce Wayne unveils the idea of a supergroup of heroes to Barry Allen and propositions him to join, Allen tries to deny that he is the Flash. Those who look around Allen’s lab and pay attention to the small details will appreciate all the references to Flash’s Central City. One of the smallest ones is a monitor that shows Barry Allen is conducting research on “cold resistance” for his suit.
It is a blink and you’ll miss it reference to one of Barry’s archenemies known as Captain Cold. This means that Barry has already gone up against this ice-gun wielding thief and had some serious trouble. What else could lay in store for the Scarlet Speedster once his own film is out? Most likely, we’ll be getting an introduction to the Flash’s Rogues Gallery.
10 ETERNITY (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2)
When Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, starts coming around to the idea that Ego, played by Kurt Russell, is his father, he starts to embrace the alien side of his heritage. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he learns about his cosmic lineage and taps into the power that saved him from being obliterated by an Infinity Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. When Peter starts to tap into those god-like abilities he utters the word “Eternity.”
While most fans of the MCU might believe this is just Peter staring in awe at the vastness of the universe and his connection to it all, fans of the comics realize something bigger looming on the horizon. The stars in his eyes cast against a black sky is actually a reference to one of the biggest cosmic beings in the Marvel universe -- in fact, he is its living embodiment -- known as Eternity.
9 BETA-RAY BILL (THOR: RAGNAROK)
A lot of fans have seen the Collector’s tower in Thor: Ragnarok, but may have missed the details of the four champions heads on it. One is Beta Ray Bill, who is a horse-like alien who was deemed worthy enough to hold Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, and was later given powers to match. He was an extremely important ally to Asgard in the comics. However, this was not the only reference to Beta Ray Bill in the film.
The larger plot of the Asgardians losing their homes actually comes from a comic featuring Beta Ray Bill. At the end of Thor:Ragnarok, the Asgardians no longer have a home and are floating through space in a huge ship. In the comics, Thor actually finds Beta Ray Bill and his people in the same situation aboard a ship called Skuttlebutt. Beta Ray’s people also lost their home planet to the demon Surtur featured in the movie.
8 SABRETOOTH FIGURINE (LOGAN)
Most fans probably noticed one of the children on the run in Logan holding a Wolverine action figure with his famous yellow suit from the comics and ‘90s animated show. You just can’t miss it as they show the mutant boy clutching it while the Reavers -- mercenaries trying to capture X-23 -- attempting to stop their escape. The fans who picked up the Logan DVD/Blu-Ray were treated to some deleted scenes that showed another big Wolverine antagonist in figurine form.
The deleted scene shows a battered Logan sleeping off his fight with X-24, a clone designed to kill him, woken up to the sounds of the same boy playing with toys. The boy pits the Wolverine action figure against a Sabretooth one. The boy asks if Sabretooth was real and Logan tells him that not all the stories from the comics were lies while reflecting his possible fallen frienemy.
7 HOBGOBLIN (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING)
Most casual fans got the Mary Jane and Sinister Six references during their first viewing of Spider-Man: Homecoming, but may have missed this easter egg. They didn’t catch that Peter Parker’s best friend's name, Ned Leeds, is the same as a Hobgoblin from the comics. Leeds could potentially become the antagonist of a future film, but as most of these characters are still in high school, it will be a long time until this happens.
It’s certainly a possibility, if Marvel Studios keeps making the Spider-Man films, that Ned becomes a Hobgoblin after he is brainwashed by the original Hobgoblin. While Ned was just a fall guy in the comics, it could be foreshadowing a future subplot where Ned somehow betrays Spider-Man without even knowing it. Only future films will reveal whether this is a possibility.
6 FOR ICE CREAM (WONDER WOMAN)
Not every easter egg has to be a clue to a future film. Sometimes they can just be callbacks to a character’s personalities featured in the comics. For Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins grabbed a famous scene from DC Comics’ New 52 reboot Justice League where Diana has a chance to try ice cream for the first time. It’s a small interaction in the film that works as a funny observation of how foreign Diana is to humanity.
It also gives us insight into how far removed Diana really is on her home of Themyscira. The homage even borrowed some similar dialogue from the actual comic and subsequent cartoon adaptation. When Diana tries the ice scream in the film, she tells the ice cream vendor that they should be really proud of their achievement. It’s a small detail that only extremely keen fans will notice and relish.
5 INJUSTICE LEAGUE (JUSTICE LEAGUE)
When Lex Luthor is sitting on his yacht, free from the confines of the federal prison system, we find out who helped break him out. It was Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello, who helped the billionaire genius escape. Once they're both on the yacht, Luthor makes a proposal to Deathstroke about the possibility of needing a "league of their own."
This is all leading to the Injustice League, a team made of classic antagonists for the new group of heroes to battle against. Of course, the original Injustice League didn’t have Deathstroke in it, but these groups either always change due to members dropping out or retcons in the comics. Still, it is extremely exciting to wonder about what the evil and deadlier counterpart to the Justice League might look like in the films.
4 GODKILLER (WONDER WOMAN)
One of the weapons featured in the Wonder Woman film was the sword Diana used to fight against Ares, known as Godkiller. Unfortunately, this sword was not the true Godkiller, but a fake that got destroyed in the third act of the movie. Though it is interesting to note that Godkiller is a weapon featured in the DC Comics universe, it isn’t wielded by Wonder Woman.
After the post-credits scene of Justice League featuring a very free Lex Luthor, we got a glimpse of the DCEU version of Deathstroke. The latter villain is actually the one who wields the Godkiller sword in the comics. With his introduction into the DCEU, he may still be in play for the solo Batman film starring Ben Affleck, so it might only be a matter of time until he gets his hands on the real one.
3 NEW ASGARD ON EARTH (THOR: RAGNAROK)
During the scenes where Thor flashes back to the field in Norway where his brother Loki and he find a dying Odin, he is told he has great power within him. Before Odin dies, he states that the field they're standing on would make for a good Asgard. Then, later on in the film, as Odin explains to Thor that his hammer is not the source of his power and that Asgard always was where his true strength came from, it laid out the possibility of Asgard's new home in Norway.
He also states that Asgard has always been a people and not a place, so that coupled with Thor coming back to Earth quite frequently may have the Asgardians heading there for their new home. Specifically, they’re going to the place that Odin had said would be good for Asgardians, but it could get tricky with Thanos reaching Earth.
2 THE FOUNDATION OF VENOM (WONDER WOMAN)
General Ludendorff faced off against Wonder Woman and held his own despite only being a human. The reason he was so powerful and resistant to Wonder Woman’s own strength was that he was using a drug that gave him extraordinary abilities. A similar drug, Miraclo, was developed for a character named Hour Man in the Golden Age, who used it to fight crime, but only for an hour. Miraclo eventually made it into the hands of an evil scientist who created what is now known as Venom.
Venom, as most fans know, is the drug of choice for one of Batman’s biggest villains. Bane uses it to become overwhelmingly stronger than most men on Earth. With the introduction of a drug that can overwhelm a goddess like Wonder Woman, it may be one that stands the test of time and eventually finds its way to Gotham City.
1 MILES MORALES (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING)
Since Peter Parker has had so many chances to be Spider-Man in the films, fans were hoping that the new web-head of Spider-Man: Homecoming might feature Miles Morales. While that did not happen, Jon Watts did include the character Aaron Davis, played by Donald Glover, who is Morales' uncle. For many years, fans had wanted Glover to play Miles Morales in a Spider-Man movie.
Instead, Glover played Morales’ uncle, who turns out to be the Prowler in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. Glover’s character even talks about his nephew in the film, letting the audience know that Miles is somewhere in the MCU, but probably too young to even be close to donning the web-slinger’s tights anytime soon. Hopefully, future MCU films will introduce him! Maybe in Phase 4 or 5!