20. Greenish-grey Hulk
The movie: The Incredible Hulk (2008)
The Easter egg: In one of the film's deleted scenes, Blonsky describes his first encounter with the Hulk and says "8 foot, 1500 pounds easy... and green. Or grey, sir. Greenish-grey. It was very dark, I couldn't tell." It's an obvious reference to the Hulk’s coloring problems in early versions of the comic, which saw his grey coloring come out green.
How obscure is it? A nice, easy nod to this well-known piece of comic book trivia. You just need to find the deleted scene first.
19. Bucky as the White Wolf
The movie: Black Panther (2018)
The Easter egg: In the second of Black Panther’s post-credit scenes, Bucky Barnes is shown recovering in Wakanda. So far, so pretty ordinary. However, some children nearby refer to him as the ‘White Wolf’, a figure of some importance in Black Panther lore who acts as an ally-turned-villain. Will we be seeing a bad Bucky anytime soon?
How obscure is it? Hardly a deep cut into Marvel Comics lore, but you’re gonna be scratching your head if you haven’t picked up a Black Panther issue.
18. The original Human Torch
The movie: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The Easter egg: As Steve Rogers and Bucky enter the exhibition of future technologies, you can see a red figure in a bright red jumpsuit in a glass cage, a reference to the original Human Torch, the very first superhero ever created by Timely Comics which went on to become Marvel Comics.
How obscure is it? It’s an easy spot, but you’ll need a degree in comicology to get the reference.
17. The Collector's museum pieces
The movie: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The Easter egg: This is the moment when James Gunn turns into the directorial equivalent of a kid in a candy store. Throughout the Collector's impressive museum of living oddities, you can spot the gross slug creatures from Gunn's film Slither, Howard the Duck, and Cosmo the Spacedog, an actual member of the Guardians in the comics.
How obscure is it? There's a little something for everyone here, so most people will probably catch at least one of these references. Howard the Duck in particular is (unfortunately) hard to forget.
The movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The Easter egg: This one pulls from all over the MCU catalog. When selecting a new AI butler to replace the dearly departed Jarvis, Tony Stark ultimately picks Friday, and in the process passes up on another AI drive labeled 'Jocasta'. Fans of the wide world of Marvel comics will recognize Jocasta as an AI created by Ultron to be his bride (unwilling as she might be) based on the brainwaves of Janet van Dyne, the first Wasp and Hope van Dyne's mother from Ant-Man.
How obscure is it? You have to dig pretty deep into Marvel canon to drag this one out, so chances are it flew right by most viewers.
15. Howard Stark hearts Cap
The movie: Iron Man 2 (2010)
The Easter egg: As a sombre Tony Stark sorts through his father's belongings you can just about make out an original Captain America comic in among some other papers. It’s the first real hint at any sort of Cap/Iron Man connection. And we all know how that turned out…
How obscure is it? The Captain America comic looks immediately out of place, but, unless you’re on an Easter egg hunt, you’re probably not going to spot this first time around.
14. Dr Donald Blake
The movie: Thor (2011)
The Easter egg: This one's an homage to Thor's human alter-ego in the comics that he tends to adopt during his Earthbound skirmishes. He goes by the alias Donald Blake at several times throughout the original Thor movie, as evidenced by his nifty Driver's License. What a photo!
How obscure is it? Anyone who has ever read a Thor comic will probably get this one.
13. Hitler punch
The movie: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The Easter egg: While Captain America goes about his goodwill tour spreading positive messages throughout the country, he acts out a moment in which he punches out Adolf Hitler, recreating the cover of the very first Captain America comic.
How obscure is it? The image of Cap knocking out the Führer is well-known enough for anyone to easily make the connection.
12. The Leader
The movie: The Incredible Hulk
The Easter egg: Bruce Banner's anonymous online friend Samuel Sterns (a.k.a. Mr Blue) gets into an altercation and ends up with the Hulk's blood entering a head wound. We last see him on the floor, smiling while his head mutates, supposedly setting up famous villain The Leader for a sequel that never came.
How obscure is it? Even if you don't know who The Leader is, seeing someone smiling while their head mutates ALWAYS means 'possible sequel villain'.
11. The Champions of Sakaar
The movie: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
The Easter egg: Hulk may be the Champion on Sakaar, but who came before him? In a moment you’ll need to squint to figure out, the previous Champions are all placed on the side of the Grandmaster’s Palace. There’s Beta Ray Bill, Ares, Bi-Beast and Man-Thing, some of Marvel’s most kooky and powerful warriors, plus a few other unidentified Champions.
How obscure is it? The shot was featured prominently in one of the first trailers for the movie, so had online detectives scrambling for their Easter egg sensors almost as soon as it flashed up. It’s still a really cool love letter to heroes past, however.