If there’s one thing I enjoy more than watching my favorite stories come to life through Marvel Studios’s fantastic movies, it’s watching for the little things, the “Easter Eggs” added to the movie for fanboys like me. Sometimes they are there as foreshadowing, sometimes they are there just as a nod from Marvel to me, as if to say, “Only you’ll see this here. The rest will have to read about it online.”
I love that feeling. The latest movie to bring a Marvel super-hero to life is Ant-Man. While I felt is started slowly but finished strong, it didn’t skimp on the Easter Eggs.
Be warned: there are spoilers ahead.
Mitchell Carson is a character from the comics, but he’s vastly different in the movie. In the comics, Carson is a disfigured former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. His face was given the Harvey Dent treatment during a fight with the third Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady. In the movie, Carson isn’t an agent, but Head of Defense at S.H.I.E.L.D. Oh, and he’s a member of HYDRA. While the comic and movie Carson may differ slightly, there’s one thing everyone agrees that they share. They’re both jerks.
After Scott Lang busts up Darren Cross’s sale of the Yellowjacket suit, Carson makes it out of the ruckus with some samples of imitation Pym particles. That’s the last we see of him, but the original ending had Ant-Man and Carson mixing it up.
Tales to Astonish
This one was not so subtle. While the villain of the movie, Darren Cross, is giving a speech about Hank Pym’s early career and the rumors of there being an Ant-Man, he describes the stories as “Tales to Astonish.” That is the name of the comic, Issue #27 specifically, where Ant-Man made his first appearance.
The weapon villain Darren Cross has created is a Yellowjacket suit. In the comics, Hank Pym wasn’t just Ant-Man. He was Giant-Man, Goliath and Yellowjacket.
The problem is, Pym wasn’t in his right mind when he was Yellowjacket:
One day while working in his laboratory, whilst thinking of the fact that he wanted to marry van Dyne but couldn’t, Pym accidentally dropped and smashed some vials containing various unknown gases. The released gases wreaked a radical temporary personality change in Pym, what could be seen as a severe case of schizophrenia. He took the new identity of Yellowjacket, claimed that he had murdered Henry Pym, kidnapped van Dyne, and proposed marriage to her, as Pym had long wanted to do. Realizing that Yellowjacket was really Pym, Van Dyne decided to play along, fearing that she would worsen his psychological condition if she did otherwise.
When he got his mind back, he didn’t really do much better:
Matters came to a head when the Avengers battled the so-called Elfqueen. Suspecting that the Elfqueen was not acting from evil motives, Captain America attempted to calm her down. Yellowjacket, who was edgy because of his personal matters, blasted Elfqueen from behind without stopping to consider what Captain America was trying to do. As a result Elfqueen resumed fighting, almost crushing a truck onto Pym until the Wasp saved him. Afterward, Captain America felt forced to bring charges against Yellowjacket for acting recklessly since innocent people could have been killed because of Yellowjacket’s actions. An Avengers court-martial meeting was set to examine the charges. Now beginning to undergo a nervous breakdown, Pym built a robot to attack Avengers Mansion during the court martial. Pym designed the robot to have a secret weak point which he would use to defeat it. Pym fantasized that his defeat of the robot would make him a hero in the Avengers’ eyes and lead to the dismissal of the charges. When his wife protested his plan, he struck her.
That’s right. Pym is a wife-beater.
In the movie, Yellowjacket is the bad guy and Hank Pym has nothing but love for his wife.
The Ten Rings
In the scene where Cross is trying to sell the Yellowjacket suit, you see a man with the symbol of The Ten Rings on his neck. The Ten Rings is the organization that kidnapped Tony Stark in the first Iron Man. They are also led by The Mandarin. No, not the character hilariously played by Ben Kingsley. I’m talking about this guy:
The Mandarin wears, wait for it…ten rings.
Green Soda from The Incredible Hulk
There’s a scene on the street where Paul Rudd is walking. On the wall in the background are posters for Pingo Doce, the soda Bruce Banner bled into, which ended up bringing him out of the shadows and eventually into the Avengers:
The Milgrom Hotel
When Scott gets out of prison, he stays with his friend at The Milgrom Hotel, an obvious nod to “Marvel writer, artist and editor Al Milgrom“:
Fun fact: Milgrom was fired from Marvel after inking “Good riddance to bad rubbish, he was a nasty S.O.B.” in a “Universe X: Spidey” comic after former Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras left the company.
This is where Scott tries on the suit for the first time, leading to…
When Scott Lang first tries on the suit, he has no idea what it is or what it does, leading to a series of scenes where he shrinks and grows. At one point, he falls on top of a car when small, then grows to normal size. The camera cuts to inside the car where we find Garrett Morris. When I saw him, I recognized him, but didn’t know why he was in there.
Turns out, he played Ant-Man on screen before anyone else:
Morris played Ant-Man in a sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” It’s brilliant they included him in the movie. Here’s the skit:
It’s a Small World
During a scene featuring Michael Pena, he’s seen walking though a secure area dressed as a security guard, whistling. There are two reasons this is funny. First, earlier in the movie, he said he was going to whistle to make it seem more believable. Second, he’s whistling “It’s a Small World.”
Stan Lee Cameo
It’s during this story that we get the Stan Lee cameo. He plays a bartender, who says a girl is “Super fine,” only the voice is Michael Peña’s, making the scene even funnier.
Scott Lang’s daughter becomes a superhero in the comics after sneaking Pym Particles for years. While some suggested she become Ant-Girl, she opted for a cooler moniker, calling herself “Stature.” He joins the “Young Avengers.”
In Pym’s house, you can see a small little red chair up on a mantle, harking back to the comics where he’s seen shrinking furniture. Hat tip to SlashFilms for this catch, because I missed it:
Going into the movie, I wondered if there would be a Janet van Dyne reference. There was. The problem was, it was because she was basically dead. In the movie, The Wasp sacrificed herself in order to destroy a nuke in flight. He turned off the regulator and just shrank away into the Quantum Realm, or Microverse. The good news is, her daughter is taking up the mantle with a brand new Wasp suit.
Evangeline Lily, the actress playing Hope van Dyne, is contracted for multiple movies and SlashFilms reports she will eventually wear The Wasp suit onscreen:
Where exactly in phase three I’m not sure, but it won’t be in Civil War. She was included in early versions of Civil War but there are so many characters in Civil War that we didn’t want to do her a disservice, like she flies in, ‘I’ve got the costume now’, and she flies out. With Ant-Man, and I’m not saying thats what Ant-Man does in the movie, but we already know him, we’ve already seen him. We haven’t seen her as Wasp and we don’t want to rob the opportunity of seeing her in the outfit for at least almost the first time, and seeing her dynamic with Scott in a way it could play out, so we’re saving it. But its going to be in Phase three for sure.
It appears Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne may be the shrinking couple in the cinematic universe, as they were sharing a smooch at the end of Ant-Man.
Dropping Cities Out of the Sky and Newspaper Reference
When Hank Pym lays out what Cross has built, what it can do and what he wants Lang to do, he says they need to call The Avengers. Pym refuses, saying they’re probably somewhere “dropping cities out of the sky.” There’s also a newspaper headline in a scene screaming, “Who’s to blame for Sokovia?”
Both of these lead into Captain America: Civil War, showing not everyone sees The Avengers or superheroes in general as a good thing that should go unregulated. In the comics, this results in the Superhero Registration Act. In the comics, it sounds like it leads to…
After the credits, there’s a scene that doesn’t feature Ant-Man or Paul Rudd, but Falcon, Captain America and The Winter Soldier. Bucky has his metal arm in a vice and Falcon turns to Cap and asks if they should call Stark. Cap says no, mentioning that The Accords mean they are on their own. The Accords are probably a reference to the Superhero Registration Act, which mandated that superheroes tell the federal government their secret identities and basically become federal agents. Stark was for it. Cap opposed it.
At the end of the movie, Michael Pena’s character is telling a story about a woman who says someone is looking for Ant-man. It’s a hilarious scene. She says Falcon says he’s looking for someone with powers and she tells him to be more specific:
“We got guys who jump. We got guys who swing. We got guys who climb up walls.”
That’s a clear reference to the Wall-Crawler, who will be seen in Captain America: Civil War.
There are other things to look for when you go. Some say Star Wars sound effects are used. I can’t confirm that without going to see the movie again, which is a sacrifice I’m willing to make. The Nerdist put together a great video of the Easter Eggs, pointing out the frequency of which we see arms getting lopped off, including another reference to Star Wars. Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars now, so maybe there’s something there:
Did you see anything I missed?