Comic book adaptations are the dominant genre in film today. They are not geared towards a single demographic. They are made for everybody. “Accessible” is a word that surely gets tossed around at most any Monday morning meeting at Disney. Convoluted continuity scares away audiences, so studios boil down decades of super heroics to their essence and serve them up as summer blockbusters. All that is to say this: anybody can go to the theatre this afternoon and enjoy Spider-Man: Homecoming because it is an entertaining, well-made film. Of course, it's even more rewarding for the comic book fan who has followed Spidey’s exploits for decades because this film is jam-packed with comic easter eggs.
Seeing as this is literally Spider-Man’s “homecoming” to Marvel Studios, they have planted connections to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe in almost every scene! One viewing usually doesn’t reveal all the references in an MCU film, but after three viewings of Homecoming, we’re pretty sure eggs will continue to be found right up until the film wraps its theatrical run… and then again upon Blu-ray/DVD release. Below we list all the fun nods and winks we've uncovered so far. There are so many that most every entry will include multiple eggs.
MAJOR SPOILERS follow for Spider-Man: Homecoming!
15 MIDTOWN SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The most obvious eggs in the halls of Midtown are the students. Every student that is named at Pete's school is from the comics, including Liz, Flash, Michelle (aka M.J.), Betty Bryant, Ned, Jason, Tiny, Sally, Seymour, Cindy, Abe and Charlie. Even his teachers Ms. Warren and Mr. Harrington have comic book roots, although it’s Mr. Warren in the comics.
Many of these characters become either heroes or villains: Cindy eventually suits up as Silk; Ned is brainwashed into being the Hobgoblin at one point; Sally is inspired by Spider-Man to become Bluebird; Flash merges with the Venom symbiote, and Jason even dresses up as Spider-Man to try to discredit the Web-Slinger. Also, while they’re not villains themselves, Liz and Mr. Warren are related to superbaddies. Liz has a brother named Mark Raxton, who is transformed into the Molten Man, while Mr. Warren is the brother of Miles Warren, aka The Jackal.
14 INDIANA JONES
When Ned wears a brown, brimmed hat to Liz’ party, it automatically made us think of Indiana Jones. Indie’s trademark fedora has become iconic as it is worn in all four films in the franchise. However, just because Ned wears a similar hat to Dr. Jones, doesn’t guarantee that it’s an easter egg. That is, until he shows up for the Homecoming dance wearing a white suit jacket, bow tie and corsage.
We think that solidifies it because this is the same attire that Indie wore in the Shanghai scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. That film was released in 1984, which is before Ned’s time. However, it is already clear from his and Pete’s love of the original Star Wars Trilogy that they have watched the geek classics.
13 SPIDEY SUITS & PERSONAS
We see three different Spider-Man suits in Homecoming. First off, the suit Tony gave him in Civil War looks like his classic duds from the comics but has features that are reminiscent of the Iron Spider suit. Pete’s homemade suit with the hoodie looks very similar to Ben Reilly, aka Scarlet Spider’s first get-up. Lastly, the suit Tony shows Peter at the new facility seems to borrow elements from various suits. The metallic highlights recall the Iron Spider suit, the darker color is like his latest Spider-Armor, and the design of the Spidey symbol looks distinctly like his Big Time suit.
Ready for the obscure reference? One type of webbing Peter tries in the Damage Control vault is “ricochet.” This likely alludes to an arc in the comics where a price was put on Spider-Man’s head, so he retired the classic suit and assumed four different personas, one of which was Ricochet.
12 DAMAGE CONTROL
Here’s the thing about salvaging in the MCU -- it’s been happening since the Item 47 One-Shot, which was on The Avengers Blu-ray. In that short we meet a couple who find a Chitauri gun and use it to rob banks. Then, in Age of Ultron, Hydra got in on the act and were outfitting their soldiers with Chituari armor collected after the Battle of New York. And now, introducing Damage Control -- an organization that monopolizes the superhero salvage business in the comics -- is a great idea. The organization is a stalwart cult favorite among fans.
In comic continuity, the company is not run by Tony Stark or the government, although they have been contracted by both. Anne Marie Hoag is always the boss lady, so it is good to see her show up here. Although not named, it would make sense that one of the gentlemen with her is head foreman, Lenny Ballinger.
11 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER EGGS
There are two awesome easter eggs that connect this film to the first Captain America flick. In Principal Morita’s office there is a picture of his grandfather, Jim Morita. Jim was one of the Howling Commandos along with Bucky, Dum Dum Duggan, Gabe Jones, Montgomery Falsworth and Jacques Dernier. This is not the first time a descendent of a Howling Commando has been introduced in the MCU. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, the grandson of Gabe Jones, Agent Antoine Triplett, joined Agent Coulson’s close knit team.
The other egg is even harder to catch but if you look closely at the painted mural in the hall of Peter's school you can see geniuses Howard Stark and Abraham Erskine included among other science luminaries such as Albert Einstein.
10 CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER EGGS
When the Midtown School of Science and Technology debate team are on the school bus on the way to Washington for the Academic Decathlon they pass a road sign that alerts drivers to the Triskelion clean up ahead. This, of course, refers to the destruction of three Helicarriers and the Triskelion in The Winter Soldier. Considering that the helicarriers are armed to the teeth and the Triskelion was S.H.I.E.L.D.’s HQ, you can imagine what kind of gear and tech was up for grabs all around the Potomac River.
Then, when Peter listens in to Toomes’ crew in the van someone says: “I can’t believe they’re still cleaning up that Triskelion mess” and then Shultz responds, “Oh well. They keep making messes, we keeping getting rich.”
9 CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR EGGS
The best connection to the third Captain America film is that the Shocker gauntlet is actually one of Crossbones’ gauntlets that was salvaged from Lagos and upgraded with an electric charge. When we see the Cap video that starts Pete’s gym class, Coach Wilson says, “I’m pretty sure this guy is a war criminal now,” due to his actions in Civil War and the fact he is an outlaw at the end of the film.
Lastly, in the final scene of Homecoming when Tony tells Peter he can be an Avenger, he follows up by telling Spidey that he gets a room at the new facility and that it is next to the Vision’s. Then Happy says, “He’s not big on doors…or walls.” This alludes to when Vision comes through the wall in Civil War when Wanda and Steve are talking in her room.
8 THE AVENGERS EGGS
The movie starts with a kid's drawing of the Battle of New York that includes the Avengers, a downed Leviathan and the portal the invasion is coming through. As the camera pans out, The Avengers theme plays momentarily. As Toomes is showing the picture to Mason he says, “Things are never going to be the same now. I mean look at this, you got aliens and you have a big green guy who is tearing down buildings.”
This is a pretty obvious reference to the Chitauri and Hulk. Then, we see Toomes and co. actually working on a downed Leviathan and other Chitauri flotsam. That’s all within the first two minutes of the film. When Toomes gets aboard the Stark Enterprises plane he opens various crates. One is full of arc reactors, he pulls a Chitauri gun out out of another and an Iron Man faceplate out of a third.
7 AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON EGGS
Watts basically features Ultron in Homecoming! However, before we tell you about the partial cameos by the human-hating robot, we’ll cover two quick eggs. One is when Peter is in class and they are learning about the Sokovia Accords. The other is the mention of Vibranium during debate practice on the bus on the way to Washington. Yeah, the metal is a Black Panther thing but it first appeared prominently -- not counting Cap's first flick -- in Age of Ultron.
Now, when we see Herman Shultz and Jackson Brice selling weapons to Aaron Davis, Brice gives him a demo of an energy canon made from an Ultron drone arm recovered from Sokovia. Then, during the Vulture's attempt to hijack a Damage Control truck, Spidey manages to grab his score. When Pete checks out what Toomes had snagged, the second item he pulls out is the head of an Ultron drone.
6 AVENGERS EVERYTHING
Much like the easter eggs we mentioned in the Captain America: The First Avenger entry, where Howard Stark and Dr. Erskine appear in a mural in Peter’s high school, Bruce Banner also makes a 2D cameo in this 3D spectacular. In one of the Midtown classrooms there is a row of black and white pictures of science superstars like Madam Curie, Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla. At the end of the row is gamma radiation pioneer Bruce Banner.
At the debate practice near the beginning of the film, Liz asks Flash to take Peter’s position since he can’t make the Academic Decathlon. The cocky youngster responds: “Ooooh, I gotta check my calendar first. I got a hot date with Black Widow coming up.” Then, during gym class Liz and Betty are playing f*ck-marry-kill on the bleachers, and Betty says, “I’d F Thor, marry Iron Man and kill Hulk.”
5 STAR WARS FANBOY
It was apparent from Peter’s comments during his take down of Ant-Man in Civil War that he had seen Empire Strikes Back, but in Homecoming they make it clear he is a Star Wars fanboy. The first time we meet Ned he shows Peter his Emperor Palpatine Lego mini-figure and asks him if he wants to build the Lego Deathstar with him. Kinda sets the tone for their friendship.
Then, in the scene where we see Ned drop said Lego Deathstar, you can see the nose of a 3.75” figure scale X-Wing fighter. And that's not it. In the same scene the camera pans around and we see a number of vintage Star Wars 3.75” figures on display. We could make out Luke in his pilot gear, a Stormtrooper and R2D2. However, there were three more, so please let us know in the comments if you caught them.
4 SCORPION STING
By now you've probably heard that Mac Gargan is in Homecoming. You may have also heard that he has been both the Scorpion and Venom in the comics. What we haven’t seen mentioned is that he is the only villain among himself, the Vulture, and the Shocker that has actually used tech designed by The Tinkerer in the comics. So, the question here is, will his battle armor with the scorpion tail be in the sequel? The Tinkerer is still at large, so it is certainly plausible.
Also, the Ultimate version of the Scorpion is named Maximus Gargan and he's no more than a tattooed thug that has made the FBI's "most wanted" list. He wields a huge chain with a metal hook that resembles a scorpion stinger, but he doesn't don a suit. Even with what little we’ve seen of the MCU Gargan, it seems he may be partially based on this iteration of the character.
3 ULTIMATE COMICS
As much as this film pays tribute to the whole history of Spider-Man, it draws heavily from the Ultimate Spider-Man continuity. The biggest egg in the whole movie has got to be when Aaron Davis says, “I don’t want those weapons in this neighborhood. I have a nephew who lives here,” which alludes to Miles Morales aka Ultimate Spider-Man. Another cool nod is the color scheme of Iron Man’s new armor. It's exactly the same as Tony's armor in Ultimate Iron Man II (2008).
And while Ned may have the name of a reporter from the Daily Bugle from early Amazing Spider-Man continuity, his look, personality and love of Lego are all Ganke from Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011). The last Ultimate universe egg we will mention is the name "Bagley" painted in big block letters on a building. Mark Bagley was the artist on Ultimate Spider-Man from #1 to #111!
2 LAST ITEMS TO LOAD
The scene where Happy is overseeing Avengers Tower being packed up, has some of the movie’s best references. Hogan says that the last items to load onto the plane are Tony’s old Hulkbuster armor, a prototype for Cap’s new shield and Thor’s magical belt, the name of which he has trouble pronouncing. It’s Megingjord and it is also known as The Belt of Strength. It first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #91 (1963).
Also, the fact that Happy specifically says “old Hulkbuster armor” leads us to believe we may see a new Hulkbuster armor in a future MCU film. By the same token, when he says “prototype” and “new” in the same breath as “Cap’s shield,” we start thinking the energy shield the character used during certain parts of his career. A version of this can be seen currently on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
1 BUELLER, BUELLER
As soon as Peter started crossing backyards we knew it was an ode to the classic scene from Ferris Bueller where Ferris is trying to beat his dad home to avoid being caught lying about being sick. Then one of the households Spidey passes is actually watching Ferris Bueller at exactly the fence hopping scene.
Now, why this is our #1 easter egg is because when writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley created Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000, they laced it with Ferris Bueller references and tributes. They did a page that replicates the scene where Ferris’ economics teacher is lecturing about the Great Depression. Later in the series they do the bit where the same teacher is repeating “Bueller” again and again during roll call, but with “Parker” instead. They even lifted the "racing home" scene with Peter trying to beat May to avoid being caught as Spider-Man.
Did you catch any other Easter Eggs in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Help us finish our list in the comments!