Superheroes have been swapping out costumes aslong as comic books have existed. Whether it's marking a new era or just a cheap ploy to sell more toys, fans love a fun redesign. We've seen our fair share of makeovers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but some of the details are a little more subtle than others.
For instance, in Civil War, Captain America's outfit changes just a bit between the Crossbones fight at the beginning of the film and the big airport brawl during the second act. Notice that at the outset, you can see a distinct Avengers "A" patch on the left shoulder -- but when Cap turns on his comrades, the patch is noticably missing. You can even see a faint circle where the patch used to be. This tiny design decision tells us a lot about Cap's alleigances at this point in the movie (along with, you know, the part where he punches Tony Stark in the face).
War Machine also has a cool bit of extra flourish on his suit. If you look closely on the right side of his chestpiece, you can see tally marks of kills in the form of tiny adorable Ultron heads, referencing the battle for Sokovia in Age of Ultron.
Hulk doesn't often have a costume outside of the galaxy's stretchiest pants, but you can spot one little callback in Thor: Ragnarok. Squint hard at his left pec you can see a small scar. Weird thing for the Hulk to have, right?
Believe it or not, this appears to be a reference to 2008's The Incredible Hulk starring Ed Norton, in which the Hulk's chest is bloodied during his fight with Abomination.
As The Incredible Hulk shows us, just because a Marvel movie isn't among the most popular doesn't mean someone didn't put a lot of thought into the little things.
You kind of can't blame The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for ditching Electro's classic look. The character debuted in the comics back in 1964, a time when frilly flower-like headpieces were seen as fashionable and even menacing. The only trace of the green and yellow getup can be seen on Max Dillon's birthday cake, pre-transformation:
This would make me want to see baked goods based on other supervillains, but something tells me a loaf of The Lizard's banana bread would look and smell terrible.
When the Infinity Gauntlet first appeared briefly in 2011's Thor, it was just a simple easter egg for fans. It seems unlikely that Marvel Studios had thought that far ahead of time... right? Either way, Thor: Ragnarok addresses the easter egg when Hela dismisses the gauntlet in Odin's vault as a fake.
That makes sense, since at this point we've already seen Thanos reluctantly grab his gauntlet. So how did Hela know a fake from the real thing? Well, for one, the gauntlet on Asgard is right handed, and the real one belonging to Thanos fits his left hand.
This isn't a detail shoehorned into Infinity War, either. Back when Thanos was more Purplesaurus Rex than Sharkleberry Fin, the Age of Ultron post-credits sequence showed us that the gauntlet was still left-handed.
This is just canon. Dating back to the original Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, Thanos has pretty much always worn the glove on his left hand.
So was Marvel telling us all along that the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin's vault was a fake because it was right-handed, or did they use a retcon to make Thanos resemble his comic book self? No matter the answer, we appreciate the accuracy to the source material.
On the walls of Peter Parker's science class you can find the greatest scientists of our time -- Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, and the Guy Who Accidentally Turned Himself Into a Green Rage Monster and Once Helped Build An Artificial Intelligence That Nearly Destroyed the World.
Yep, that's right, if you look closely in Spider-Man: Homecoming you can see Bruce Banner among Nobel Prize winners above the whiteboard.
Banner isn't even the only superscientist in Peter's school -- in the background of one shot, you can see Tony's father Howard Stark on a hallway mural.
It's little touches like these that show us that while the MCU looks a lot like our own universe, the extraordinary people we've followed in the movies have left a lasting impact on the fictional world.
The alien Korg was undoubtedly a highlight of Thor: Ragnarok, partly because he personified the quirky sense of humor of director Taika Watiti. Thor meets the stony Korg and friend Miek early in the movie -- this is where Korg drops the rock/paper/scissors joke shown here. Note that Miek's blades are forming scissors at the time, we'll come back to it in a moment.
Just after mentioning that rock beats scissors, Korg says that he didn't have enough pamphlets for his revolution -- paper beats rock.
Since Waititi voices Korg, you can be sure this wasn't an accidental reference. This is later compounded by the fact that Korg accidentally smooshes Miek at the end of the movie -- rock beats scissors, again.
Let's not dwell on just how an extraterrestrial rockman knows about the playground games of Earth's schoolchildren -- best to just enjoy this moment and hope for a Korg/Miek animated series.
The Thanksgiving scene in the original Spider-Man movie has to be one of the tensest family dinners in movie history. Though you might remember it more for how Willem Dafoe devoured the scenery like so much carved turkey, there's a small bit of wardrobing you might have missed.
At the table, we see that both Peter Parker and Norman Osborn have seemingly switched color schemes. Peter Parker is wearing the Green Goblin's colors, and Osborn is sporting Spidey's standard blue and red.
Remember, this is the scene where both Peter and Norman are feeling each other out, and Norman eventually deduces his archrival's identity. Folks in the costume department knew something was going to go down, and they chose the wardrobe to show what exactly the characters were thinking about. These movies are too expensive for coincidences.
When a movie is set in a reality where humans and aliens freely interact with each other, you just kind of assume everyone knows the same language. Not every sci-fi universe goes so far to explain the interspecies communication as say, Star Trek does. Though Guardians of the Galaxy has sentient trees and talking raccoons, it also features an explanation as to why Star Lord can converse with every alien he comes into contact with. During the arrest/rap sheet scene, Peter Quill's attributes are listed along with "Translator Implant in Neck" -- we can assume Yondu probably stuck it in there early on. That's a real daddy, right there.
The gigantic showdown at the end of the original Avengers movie has had repercussions on the MCU, from the Daredevil TV series to Spider-Man: Homecoming. But one of the more impressive morsels of continuity comes in the form of the statue atop Grand Central Station. Just like in real life, the Glory of Commerce sculpture sat atop the main entrance -- until those pesky aliens knocked it down.
Flash forward to Age of Ultron, and we get another quick look at Grand Central. But this time, the broken statue has been replaced by a tribute to first responders.
It makes a lot of sense, given the size of the devestation, that the MCU treats the Battle of New York not unlike another 9/11.
It's tough to move on after evoking the World Trade Center towers, so let's lighten the mood a little with something simple.
That's all really. It's just a nice callback to a surprisingly sturdy t-shirt.
In Thor: Ragnarok, we learn that Thor and Loki have an older sister, Hela, played by our own god of the underworld Cate Blanchett. Though it seems like a goth queen, an emo trickster and a lumbering jock might not have anything in common, it's good to remember these kids were all raised by the same man. Throughout Ragnarok, we see Hela, Loki and Thor all unsheathing dual weapons in the exact same way.
Like brother, like sister, like brother pretending to be a snake.
Many of the Marvel movies bear a striking resemblance to the source material, mostly because the studio isn't afraid to admit that they're making superhero movies (lookin' at you, Fox). But a couple of these Silver Age references go above and beyond. In the coliseum scene of Thor: Ragnarok, hanging just behind Loki is what appears to be original Jack Kirby art from 1967's Fantastic Four #64, ripped right from the page and put on the screen.
Doctor Strange doesn't have any transplants so literal, but the movie did do a remarkable job of reproducing Steve Ditko's Dark Dimension in a cinematic context.
The homages are almost as good as giving royalties to the people responsible for the foundation of a billion-dollar mega empire. Almost.
Doctor Strange is notable for being one of the only recent Marvel movies not to end with a gigantic battle sky battle. Instead, the climax largely revolves around Doctor Strange outsmarting a diabolical extradimensional demon with the help of the Eye of Agamotto. Again and again we see Strange confront his enemy, only to be killed over and over again -- it's torture for him, but it's also awful for Dormammu, who's forced to come up with new and interesting ways to murder Benedict Cumberbatch for all of eternity (you know, until he gives up).
The live/die/repeat finale is actually hinted at early in the movie, just before Strange gets in the car accident that shatters his hands. When he picks up his watch, the face reads February 2nd. Groundhog Day. Which also happens to be the name of a movie about a guy stuck in a timeloop.
Don't look too hard at the background details in Infinity War. A Caddyshack easter egg might just spoil the movie.