The Marvel Netflix Universe has now cultivated six individual series, with Daredevil already having a second season. We’ve already had the culmination of the first four characters in The Defenders, which saw the team save New York. Whereas The Punisher rightfully gave Frank Castle room to breathe in his own show. But in these six shows, there are hundreds of easter eggs available for fans to scour through and link back to things in the Marvel Universe. Some of them relate to the MCU, and others relate to comic book characters or story arcs.
Although some of them were paid off (we’re looking at you, Jigsaw) there are so many other easter eggs that are simply just that. They don’t lead on to any plot points, they have a single serving purpose, to tease fans or give them the satisfaction of spotting a reference to an obscure character or story. There are some that are brilliantly annoying, they tease something that could come into the live action shows but just don’t. And some easter eggs that respectfully pay homage to what’s come beforehand, whilst acknowledging that certain comic book elements wouldn’t work in the grounded Netflix world. Here are 15 Netflix Marvel easter eggs that lead nowhere.
15 BATTLE OF NEW YORK
Whenever any of the Netflix series show us a scene in the New York Bulletin, chances are there’s going to be an easter egg for the wider MCU somewhere in a headline. But there’s one in particular that sticks out quite often. It’s in Ben Urich’s office, ‘BATTLE OF NY’. Obviously referencing the day the Chitauri brought destruction to the city in a fight against The Avengers.
But as we all know, one of the key locations in The Avengers, was Stark Tower. Iron Man’s introduction in the film started with him powering up the building before it came Avengers Tower at the end. So why isn’t Avengers Tower seen in the skyline of New York in any of the overhead shots? We know that the TV and movie sides of Marvel are kept relatively separate, but it’s a small detail that would go a long way.
14 GNUCCI CRIME FAMILY
The Punisher is easily the most violent of the Netflix shows, and rightfully so. But if they properly introduced the Gnucci Crime Family, it could have escalated a lot further. Frank’s war against the mobsters ended when he threw Ma Gnucci into a Polar Bear enclosure and they ate her limbs. He then kicked the limbless matriarch into her burning building, unable to escape. Ouch.
At the beginning of the series the construction workers hold up an illegal card game run by the Gnucci family, and after one of them messes up Frank steps in to save the vulnerable member of the crew. But he also takes out the Gnucci loan shark as well as his associates to cover the innocent construction worker. Unfortunately, the mobsters don’t make another appearance in the show, so Ma Gnucci is safe... for now.
13 ORSON RANDALL
One of the biggest gripes of Iron Fist was that Danny Rand never once wore the classic green outfit with his yellow mask. Instead he wears a lot of black and constantly tells people that he’s “the immortal Iron Fist”. As if the audience didn’t already know. But during one flashback scene, we actually get to see a previous Iron Fist dressed in the costume (complete with the eye designs).
Since it’s implied this is the previous Iron Fist before Danny, then this is Orson Randall. He’s in the series fighting soldiers outside the gate to K’un L’un in some grainy video footage -- and that’s it. No discussion about previous Iron Fists between Danny and Davos, or even a desire to find out more about the previous protector. Sorry Orson.
12 KINGPIN’S OUTFIT
Kingpin was the first big villain that the Marvel Netflix shows introduced us to, and Vincent D'Onofrio certainly delivered. His performance was terrifying, chilling and completely intimidating. He was the Kingpin for the new era of the MCU, providing a cold and calculating villain for Daredevil to go up against. But he doesn’t look comic accurate.
The love of his life, Vanessa, mentions that at one point she was hit on by a man in a white suit wearing an ascot. The original comic book outfit for the Kingpin. For now, Wilson Fisk wears sharp suits and occasionally a prison jumpsuit. So unless he has a radical wardrobe change, don’t expect to see the white suit and ascot in Daredevil Season three. Plus, he’d only get blood on it anyway…
We’re not joking -- Stilt-Man has a minor cameo in Daredevil! Or rather, a prototype of his suit does. Remember the days where Matt was jumping around New York rooftops in the ‘Man Without Fear’ black outfit? It wasn’t exactly armored, and that’s where Melvin Potter came in. He designed Matt’s costume for him to keep him safe from gunfire and knives.
But in Potter’s workshop, we see a version of Stilt-Man’s legs in the background. They don’t look particularly flexible, but who knows what tricks Melvin had built into them? We haven’t seen or heard about Stilt Man onscreen, but that’s probably a good thing since he’s a very goofy villain. He might be one of Daredevil’s long running enemies, but in the 21st century can we really take someone called Stilt-Man seriously? It’s best he just stays as an easter egg.
During Iron Fist, Danny travels to China with Colleen Wing and Claire Temple to one of Madame Gao’s heroin factories. Guarding that factory is a man that Gao addresses as Zhou-Cheng, a drunk. But his unpredictability actually means he and Danny are well matched in a fight. But he’s actually a huge character in the comics, mainly being the host of Ch’i-Len, the killer of Iron Fists.
He actually tried to kill the previous Immortal Iron Fist, but failed to so. Ch’i-Len always tries to defeat each Iron Fist on their 33rd birthday. Unfortunately, Zhou-Cheng’s only appearance in the series was the brief fight with Danny in China. We didn’t see him die, so there’s always the possibility for a reappearance. But it’s unlikely since the show set up Steel Serpent as the villain for the second season.
9 MT OLIVET CHURCH
Spider-Woman fans might recognize this reference in Luke Cage. There are several appearances across the series of ‘Mt Olivet Church’. It’s actually a real world location in Harlem, but it also doubles as an easter egg. Spider-Woman uses Mt Olivet Cemetery as her quiet place to think and reflect on her superheroic antics.
Two very recognizable names in the Spider-Man lore are also tied to Mt Olivet Cemetery. Both Captain George Stacy and his daughter Gwen Stacy are buried there. So the location ties into the wider world of the comics, not just for Spider-Woman. We’ve only just got Spider-Man in the MCU so don’t expect to see Spider-Woman retreating to her quiet place any time soon. Although a Spider-Woman Netflix series could be pretty interesting…
8 JOHN ANDERSON
It sounds like a very generic name, but John Anderson ties into the supporting cast of Spider-Man. When Danny Rand decides to travel back to the United States to take his rightful place in Rand Industries he has to use a fake passport. The name on the passport he uses is ‘John Anderson’. That’s a very deep cut from the Spectacular Spider-Man comics.
John Anderson was one of Peter’s friends during the Paul Jenkins run of Spectacular Spider-Man. The New Zealander lived next door to Pete at the time, and even got involved during a fight between Doc Ock and Spidey. Although the passport does state John Anderson as a Canadian, unlike his New Zealand counterpart. Why the showrunners chose this name rather than a supporting character from the Iron Fist comics remains to be seen.
7 ANGELA DEL TORO
This namedrop during Jessica Jones teased the existence of another vigilante living in New York, and then never followed it up in any other Netflix series. In ‘A.K.A. You’re a Winner!’ Luke Cage came to Jessica for help. He wanted her to investigate a missing person, but she wasn’t interested so gave him a recommendation; “I’m giving you the name of a top-notch private investigator. Angela Del Toro. Reasonable rates.”
For those that didn’t click straight away, but Angela Del Toro is also known as White Tiger. She has incredible agility and speed thanks to a pair of Jade Tiger Amulets, which makes her a formidable opponent during a fight. White Tiger frequently trained with Daredevil, even saving him occasionally. Unfortunately, Del Toro hasn’t been mentioned since. Shame. The Defenders could use more female heroes on their roster.
There are various villainous corporations that exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hammer, Roxxon and Pride are just a few. But the one that jumps from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over into the Netflix shows, is Cybertek. For those that haven’t seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Cybertek are the company responsible for creating Deathlok, a cyborg.
One of the headlines visible in the New York Bulletin offices reads ‘CYBERTEK SETTLES’, presumably after a lawsuit. It’s a fleeting moment, so there aren’t any other details about what the company have been up to since their appearance on S.H.I.E.L.D. There aren’t any other mentions of the company or their nefarious dealings, but it would have been a great way of tying the Netflix shows and the ABC shows together.
Jessica Jones isn’t exactly an Avengers level hero, she doesn’t need a costume, her public reputation isn’t fantastic and she doesn’t care about any of that whatsoever. She’s a hard-drinking private detective who happens to have superpowers. They’re not her defining character trait. But she does reveal that she did try to be a hero and it didn’t go very well.
But in one flashback we see Trish Walker give Jessica her Jewel outfit. But Jessica being her cynical self immediately dismissed it. In the comics, she did actually wear this costume before quitting her superhero career. It’s a shame they completely bypassed it, because the contrast between Jessica then, and what she’s like now would be fascinating to see in all its costumed glory. Although, it doesn’t quite fit the tone of the series -- so it’s probably a good thing they left it out.
4 STAN ORI
One of the biggest themes in The Punisher is the morality behind violence. If you commit an act of violence for good, are you becoming the very thing you fight against? It’s something that’s addressed with the gun control debate. The series introduces Stan Ori, a man running for New York Senator, who is very pro-gun control. This makes him a target for the bomber, Lewis Wilson.
The annoying thing is that during the comics Stan Ori was actually a villainous character that butted heads with The Punisher when Frank killed his son for being part of a corruption scandal in the police force. In the series however, he’s all bark and no bite. He’s willing to fiercely debate an opinion but as soon as things get violent he flees. We could’ve had Frank going against a political scandal instead of just wiping out Rawlins.
3 JIMMY PIERCE
Before The Punisher debuted in his own series, we were given a character who has actually been a version of The Punisher in the comics. Jimmy Pierce took up the mantle after Frank Castle was missing, presumed dead. His costume was quite different, with a huge skull dominating the chest and stomach of a black shirt alongside a face mask with a similar skull design. He was a mob-sanctioned Punisher, much to his reluctance. But eventually, he did team up with Frank Castle.
Jimmy Pierce actually makes an appearance during Iron Fist when Colleen Wing begins finding her passion for street fighting. Pierce and another fighter took on Colleen together, although she defeated them both quite quickly. Unfortunately for Jimmy though, she dislocated his arm. Ouch.
During Iron Fist’s first season, the showrunners worked around the existence of Shou-Lou, the dragon Danny has to kill to gain his Iron Fist powers. And then towards the climax of The Defenders, they showed the bones of a dragon, implied to be a previous version of the Shou-Lou. But the chances of actually seeing Shou-Lou himself are so slim, it’s very disappointing.
Because a fight between a potential Iron Fist and Shou-Lou is meant to be this phenomenal visual spectacle, it’s unlikely that Netflix have the budget to provide such a scene without doing it disservice. So fans of the Iron Fist mythology will continue to be disappointed as the series enters the second season. Realistically, the only way we’re going to see Shou-Lou is if they decide to do an Iron Fist film… also, highly unlikely.
It’s undeniable that Kilgrave is one of the best Marvel villains to date. He easily stands next to the Kingpin as a notable villain that managed to hook the audience in a sadistic way. His powers of persuasion are dangerously seductive, and it’s shown just how twisted he really is as the series progresses towards the dramatic climax. But he never gets the chance to be a faithful version of ‘The Purple Man’ from the comics.
Sure, David Tennant is dressed in purple suits nearly all of the time. And for a moment when he injects the serum towards the end of the show is veins glow purple. But he never for a second looks like his comic book counterpart. It may have clashed with the grounded tone of the show, but the serum scene would have been a great moment to pay homage to his true look.