4 MCU Easter Eggs That Deserve Their Own Movie
Over the years, the MCU has given us more Easter eggs than all our grandparents combined. While most of these are just fun inanities, some have the potential to be entire movies of their own.
After all, who wouldn't be interested in seeing ...
Ant-Man: Journey to the Center of the Quantum Realm
If you've never seen Ant-Man and the Wasp (or even Ant-Man), go do that. Not just because you'll know what the hell we're talking about, but because it's a genuinely good film. It's a funny and breezy MCU installment -- which is just as well seeing as it was released between Avengers: Thanos Kills All Your Faves and Avengers: Jon Favreau Talking About Cheeseburgers Will Break You.
It's also great because it contains one of the subtlest easter eggs in the franchise -- one which could potentially spell out not just where Ant-Man is going, but also the entire MCU.
Near the end of the movie, Hank Pym sets to rescue his long-missing wife/OG Wasp, Janet van Dyne, from the Quantum Realm. It's a subatomic dimension where time and space have no meaning, terrifying alien creatures run wild, and anyone trapped there is destined to die without ever seeing another soul ... unless they stumble across the fully-fledged whattheeffing city that someone clearly built.
This city, which was visible onscreen for only a split-second, goes a long way towards explaining how Janet was able to survive her decades-long sabbatical without going mad. Also, how she developed a) the technology to talk to the realm's inhabitant creatures, and b) superpowers -- because those seem like something you'd need to build a city in a lifeless, timeless, psychedelic infinity prison.
This begs the question, then: Who built the city? It wasn't Janet because although she would've had time, she didn't enter the realm with a couple of miniaturized trailers of construction materials. Although there's no direct parallel to Quantumville in the comics, there is a similar city called Chronopolis -- which exists in a timeless dimension (check), contains access points to an infinite number of eras across time (check!), and oh right, looks exactly like the city we saw in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
However, if Quantumville is the MCU version of Chronopolis, that's bad news because it is far from a benevolent democracy. It's ruled this guy ...
... Kang the Conqueror, an insane despot who uses time travel to conquer entire planets and civilizations. This tracks thematically because thanks to Loki, WandaVision, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, time travel/multiverse hopping will be a big part of the next phase of the MCU.
So to bring the subject back around: definitely check out Ant-Man and the Wasp if for no other reason than when this becomes a big thing, you can say that you saw it coming years ago.
Hawkeye: The Samurai and Moonbeams Caper
Midway through Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow heads to Tokyo to recruit Hawkeye for some lighthearted, time heist-shaped shenanigans ... and finds him in Ronin-mode, slaughtering a small army of yakuza goons and their boss, Akihiko. It's obvious from this scene that Akihiko and Hawkeye have some history ("Why are you doing this?!"), but we're unlikely to ever get those details. Though it's possible Akihiko was just talking about Hawkeye's eDgY tattoo sleeve.
The thing is, Akihiko wasn't some random character invented for Endgame. He's the movie-universe version of the Akihiko that appeared in Nick Fury #2, a comic published in July 2017. Like the MCU's Akihiko, this Akihiko is the leader of a yakuza clan, here named the "Shogun Reapers." Unlike the MCU's Akihiko, this Akihiko isn't interested in street-level crime or drugs or extortion. His ambitions are a lot bigger, like Gundam bigger.
In Nick Fury #2, the Shogun Reapers hold Earth for ransom using a glorified earthquake cannon ... which they were to somehow build on the moon without anyone noticing ... inside a replica of a traditional Japanese fortress, complete with an authentic watchtower, ornate buildings, and guards with jetpacks and laser guns.
To stop Akihiko and the Reapers, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends in their best agent: Nicholas J. Fury ... Jr.
Fury Jr. infiltrates the moon base and starts kicking ass, but before he can reach the cannon, he's confronted by three gigantic mechs operated by Akihiko and other Yakuza bigwigs.
After getting his ass knocked about, Fury Jr. uses his eyepatch to override the controls of Akihito's suit and uses the mecha's guns to blow a hole in the space station's roof, which causes Akihiko et al. to be ejected into the black infinitude of space.
The rest of the mission is less successful because it soon turns out that HYDRA was using S.H.IE.L.D. to help them steal the unobtanium that powered the cannon, but this is the progeny of Nick Goddamn Fury we're talking about here: he'll get the job done.
Or rather, Hawkeye could. We know that taking a comic starring Nick Fury (Jr.) and recasting it with Hawkeye is like taking a steak and 'recasting' it with a turd, but this storyline would be perfect for Disney+, either as a one-shot feature or as a flashback episode of that Hawkeye show which is coming in 2021. Hawkeye might not be the most interesting character in the MCU, but holy shit, we're willing to look past that if it gets us giant mechanized yakuza iiiiiiiiiiin spaaaaaace.
Spider-Man: Something Roxxon Corporation Something Home
Over the past 20-something movies, we've been introduced to dozens upon dozens of classic supervillains: Thanos, Killmonger, The Vulture, Baron Zemo, Loki, David Hasselhoff.
The gang's all here, and some of them even got personalities! But while all of these villains' plots had been wrapped up by Endgame, which symbolized a new beginning for the MCU, one villain continues to evade justice for all the death, destruction, and misery they caused: the Roxxon Energy Corporation.
"Who?" you ask. That's exactly our point.
Throughout the MCU and its associated TV shows, including Agent Carter, Agents of SH.I.E.L.D., Daredevil and Iron Fist, and Cloak and Dagger, Roxxon has been the silent partner in myriad evildoings. For instance, in Agent Carter, Roxxon was part of an evil cabal of industrialists (armed with nuclear bombs) who plotted to take over the US. Meanwhile, in Daredevil and Iron Fist, it was mentioned that Roxxon was involved in drug smuggling, arms trafficking, and child labor. ("I believe it's called diversification.")
In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they were part-owner of a technology company working towards creating cybernetically-enhanced supersoldiers on behalf of HYDRA, while in Cloak and Dagger, it was their shoddy oil rigs which resulted in the duo getting their superhuman powers. But we already knew that Roxxon has a trash record when it comes to oil, though. The final battle of Iron Man 3 takes place on board one of the company's tankers -- which according to whoever Guy Pearce was supposed to be, was responsible for a vat oil spill ... an environmental crime for which the company was able to escape punishment.
These shows don't exist anymore, so it's up to the MCU to hang these bastards out to dry -- and who else is better suited to the task than Spider-Man, who obviously has that whole "caring about his neighborhood" thing.
Namor And Atlantis Keep Getting Teased
Remember in Avengers: Endgame when Okoye was talking about how there'd been an underwater earthquake off the coast of Africa? That one simple line went onto launch a thousand fan theories, articles, and shoddy hot takes loudly shouting about how Endgame had UNDENIABLY CONFIRMED the existence of Atlantis within the MCU and, by extension, its most famous resident, Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Although the movie's writers have denied the line was a tease ("I wish we were that smart."), we're not falling for that bullshit: not least because this wasn't the first, second, or even fourth easter egg about Namor/Atlantis in the MCU.
For starters, Atlantis was first referenced in Iron Man 2 with a S.H.I.E.L.D. listing all the world's most troublesome hotspots -- which includes a spot in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa. We'd call this filler material, but considering this was the map that first hinted at Wakanda's existence, we're going to say that there's probably something to this.
It's also clear that SH.I.E.L.D. knows something about the existence of Atlantis, considering that the island was directly namechecked in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a potential for that week's magical MacGuffin, a reference which must've sent chills down the spines of the four people who watched that show.
While there's never been a direct reference to Namor himself -- which makes sense considering that according to Kevin Fiege, there's a "complicated" legal situation regarding the character's movie rights -- over the years, there've been several references to his rogue's gallery of villains. This includes the Lemurians -- a hostile alien race whose civilization, Lemuria, sank during the same cataclysm that sank Atlantis -- who got namechecked in Captain America: Winter Soldier by way of the hijacked ship at the start of the movie being called the Lemurian Star.
And then there's this dude from Captain America: The First Avenger:
While Steve and Bucky are wandering around Stark Expo '43, the camera pans over something called "The Synthetic Man" -- aka the original Human Torch, an android created by Phineas Horton (whose name also appears on the display) who kept bursting into flame as a result of a flaw in his design, meaning he had to be kept inside an airtight glass tube. This Torch initially fought Namor, then later teamed up with him to stomp Nazis during the war.
Kevin Fiege, we know you're reading this: stop jerking us around, pay whatever insane sum you need to get this movie rights issue resolved, and announce the damn movie already. Besides, Aquaman made, like, $1.1 billion. How many more reasons do you need than that?