Marvel Studios has a habit of filling its movies with references — both subtle and blatant — teasing a wide range of elements from Marvel’s comics lore outside the film’s main narrative, and the latest installment is no exception. After performing our due diligence, we’ve found plenty of Spider-Man: Homecoming Easter Eggs to add to the basket.
Homecoming director Jon Watts and the rest of the film’s creative team packed a long list of call-outs to characters, objects, and story arcs from the world of Marvel Comics that had yet to be formally introduced to Marvel’s cinematic universe. From indirect references to potential Spider-Man allies to cameos from well-known foes, Homecoming offers an impressive amount of fuel for speculation as you watch Peter Parker’s adventure unfold.
Here are five of our favorite Easter Eggs hidden — sometimes in plain sight — in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
(Feel free to read this before watching the movie, but be warned: While the article doesn’t reveal any key plot points, it does describe several characters and scenes appearing in the film. You can also read our review of Spider-Man: Homecoming for more spoiler-free analysis.)
Introducing … The Scorpion
The criminal character played by Better Call Saul and Orphan Black actor Michael Mando in Homecoming appears in a few scenes — including the film’s mid-credits scene set in a prison hallway — and the name he’s given should be familiar to fans of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. The character of Mac Gargan was first introduced in a 1964 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man and went on to become the villain known as The Scorpion. If the name wasn’t enough to make the connection, however, the tattoo of a scorpion on the neck of Mando’s character certainly reinforced the reference to one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous, recurring foes.
It’s also worth noting that Mac Gargan’s mention of some powerful friends on the outside during his mid-credits scene with Michael Keaton’s character could foretell the introduction of the villain super-team known as “The Sinister Six” — a team long rumored to be getting its own movie down the road.
The Prowler and Miles Morales
One of the most-discussed Easter Eggs in Spider-Man: Homecoming involves one minor character’s role alluding to the existence of two different, extremely popular characters from the web-slinger’s history.
Atlanta and Community actor Donald Glover’s character in the film was a closely guarded secret in the lead-up to the film’s release, and for good reason. The small-time crook played by Glover is identified in the film as Aaron Davis, which also happens to be the name of a villain known as The Prowler in Marvel Comics’ “Ultimate Universe” (an alternate version of the Marvel Comics universe with slightly different, more modern versions of the classic Marvel characters).
While that’s all well and good, the real news in this revelation is that Aaron Davis is also the uncle of the Ultimate Universe’s version of Spider-Man — a teenager named Miles Morales.
During one of Glover’s scenes in Homecoming, he mentions some concerns about “my nephew” coming in contact with the alien weaponry manufactured by Adrian Toomes’ (Michael Keaton) gang. Given that Miles Morales eventually found his way into the primary Marvel Comics universe (and out of the “Ultimate Universe”) to be mentored by Peter Parker and the Avengers, it stands to reason that Glover’s character in the film could be setting up the debut of Miles Morales at a point somewhere down the road.
A Howling Commando
If the actor portraying Peter Parker’s high-school principal looks familiar, that’s because you’ve seen him in an earlier Marvel Studios movie.
Kenneth Choi plays Principal Morita in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but previously appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as Jim Morita, one of the “Howling Commandos” that teamed up with Captain America (Chris Evans) to raid various Hydra bases around Europe during World War II. Choi’s character in Homecoming is seemingly confirmed to be a descendant of his First Avenger character by the appearance of a World War II-era photo of Jim Morita in the principal’s office.
An uplifting sequence
Longtime fans of Spider-Man’s comic book adventures will certainly recognize the inspiration for one particular scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming involving a heap of rubble and everyone’s favorite neighborhood wall-crawler.
One of the most iconic moments in the character’s early history unfolded in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man number 33, published in 1966, and featured Spider-Man mustering a level of strength he didn’t know he possessed in order to pull himself out of a massive pile of debris after a particularly destructive battle. That scene is mirrored in Homecoming as Spider-Man strains to free himself from the aftermath of Vulture collapsing a building on top of him — right down to Peter Parker seeing his reflection in a puddle of water and seemingly confronting his own mortality and the responsibility his power has thrust upon him.
Sweet belt, bro
At one point in the film, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) runs through a list of powerful items being transported to the Avengers’ new headquarters, and along with Iron Man’s “Hulkbuster” armor and Captain America’s new shield, he mentions a “magic belt” for Thor with a name he has trouble pronouncing.
This particular Easter Egg is a bit of a deep cut for Marvel’s movie and comics fans, as it’s a reference to “Megingjörd,” the belt that enhances Thor’s legendary strength in both Norse mythology and Marvel comics lore. The belt has played a relatively rare, but important role in Thor’s comic-book adventures over the years after it was first introduced in a 1963 issue of Journey Into Mystery. According to the lore, it makes the God of Thunder’s strength exponentially greater, and is a key piece of gear for him — almost as much as his hammer, Mjölnir.
Its mention in Homecoming is the belt’s first appearance in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Why the Avengers have Megingjörd instead of Thor remains unknown, but given what we’ve seen of Thor: Ragnarok so far — particularly a scene from the trailer in which Mjölnir appears to be destroyed — he’s going to need it.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hit theaters July 7. Once you catch these five Easter Eggs, make sure to let us know some of your other favorites from the movie.
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