Easter may have come early this year, but for Marvel fans it arrived late... on May 6, to be exact. That's the date when Captain America: Civil War, the biggest, most epic movie in the eight-year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, premiered. And given the sheer size of the film, it's not surprising that Civil War contains Marvel Easter Eggs and references — lots of them. And I'm not talking about the obvious stuff that any rube could see in the film's trailers, like the appearance of Spider-Man or Black Panther. I'm talking real Marvel Easter Eggs in Civil War, the ones that only hardcore fans will notice.
Of course, Marvel has a long history of these little nuggets of fan-service in all of their previous films. The 10 Rings crime organization is referenced in Iron Man; which is a nod to his archenemy from the comics, The Mandarin. Captain America: The First Avenger offers a glimpse at the original Human Torch; Marvel's first superhero from 1939. The Infinity Gauntlet that we now know will be wielded by Thanos in Infinity War, was actually first seen in Thor, just hanging out in Odin's treasure room. Civil War continues this tradition on a grand scale, so check out these 18 easter eggs from the film.
1. Red Wing
In the movie, Falcon is now aided by a small bird-like drone that he calls Red Wing. Fans of the comics will recognize this as the name of the actual Falcon who accompanies Sam Wilson on his missions, and with whom he shares a telepathic link.
Comics fans know that Hank Pym has spent more time as Giant-Man than as Ant-Man, and although Scott Lang has not assumed the Giant-Man identity in the comics, he does so in the movie in one of the film's best scenes.
3. Vision's Wardrobe
Vision has that GQ look in the movie, sporting sweaters and long-sleeved polos more often than his cape. This is a reference to the comics of the '70s and '80s, where the android would often hilariously wear casual attire while hanging around Avengers Mansion.
In the Civil War comic book storyline, the villain Crossbones assassinates Captain America after the conflict (though it's later revealed someone else dealt the killing shot). While that doesn't happen here, Crossbones does appear, and he almost assassinates Cap via a suicide bomb.
5. Iron Man's Gift To Spidey
Tony Stark gives Spider-Man a sweet, technologically advanced suit when he joins Team Iron Man — something he also does in the Civil War comic book.
6. Hawkeye Gives Ant-Man A Ride
In a recreation of a classic Marvel Comics scene, Ant-Man hops aboard one of Hawkeye's arrows and is blasted into battle; yet another one of the tiny hero's scene-stealing moments in the film.
7. "That" Scene
Probably the most famous single image to come out of the Civil War comic book is that of Cap holding up his shield to block Iron Man's repulsor blast, and the film recreates it beautifully in the movie's climactic fight.
8. The Raft
The super-intense prison where Team Cap is housed is known as The Raft, and it's clearly a nod to the supervillain prison of the same name in the comics.
9. Vision & Scarlet Witch
One of Marvel Comics' most famous (and complicated) romances, the pair have obvious chemistry in the movie, hinting that a relationship could form somewhere down the line.
10. Cap & Sharon Carter
Another relationship from the comics, this one does make it onto screen in the film as the two share a kiss.
11. No, You Move
One of the most famous speeches Cap gives in the Civil War comic shows up in the film, but instead of Cap giving it, it's spoken by Sharon Carter, and attributed to her aunt, Peggy.
12. Vasily Karpov
The man in charge of the Winter Soldier program is slyly revealed to be Vasily Karpov in the film — which is the name of the Soviet officer who turned Bucky into the Winter Soldier in the comics.
13. I Could Do This All Day
Cap exhibits the same never say die attitude he always has, repeating a quote he first said when he was a weakling getting beaten up by a bully in Captain America: The First Avenger in the film's final fight scene against Iron Man.
14. Stan Lee
You didn't think there'd be a Marvel movie without a cameo from Lee, did you? This time the comic book legend shows up as a FedEx delivery man toward the end of the film.
15. Black Panther Movie
The title of Spider-Man's new movie is teased, accidentally or not, when "homecoming" is revealed to be one of the Winter Soldier's trigger words.
17. Empire Strikes Back
OK, it's not a Marvel Easter Egg, but it's still Disney. Spider-Man references the movie when he takes down Giant-Man, using the same method the Rebels took against the AT-ATs on Hoth.
18. Dean Pelton
This one has nothing to do with Marvel or even Disney, but how could I leave off Jim Rash basically reprising his role as Dean Pelton from Community, a show in which the film's directors, the Russo Brothers, were heavily involved?
There they are, 18 Easter Eggs from Captain America: Civil War. The movie goes heavy on references to the comics, especially the storyline from which it heavily borrows, while also mixing in nods to other Marvel movies and pop culture. In other words, it makes for a very happy Easter for Marvel fans!