Top 10 Things In the MCU You Missed The First Time

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Top 10 Things In the MCU You Missed The First Time

VOICE OVER: Noah Baum WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
We bet you didn't notice these clever details on your first go around. For this list, we'll be going over the minor details, Easter eggs, and story elements that may not be apparent to watchers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe upon first viewing. Our countdown includes Tobias Fünke Cameo, Nick Fury's “Fictional” Tombstone, Cap's Shield, The Ten Rings, and more!
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Top 10 Things in the MCU You Never Noticed on First Watch


Hey! Isn’t that…? Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 things in the MCU you never noticed on first watch.

For this list, we’ll be going over the minor details, Easter eggs, and story elements that may not be apparent to watchers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe upon first viewing. Because we’ll be discussing some plot points, spoilers will be ahead.

#10: Tobias Fünke Cameo

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)


Joe and Anthony Russo are some of the MCU’s most celebrated directors, but what fans may not know is that they used to work on the cult sitcom, “Arrested Development.” Eagle eyed fans were able to spot the famous “stair car” used by the Bluth family in the airport scene in “Captain America: Civil War,” but their most recent tribute to their former show happens in “Avengers: Infinity War.” While sneaking through the Collector’s hallways to get the drop on Thanos, Gamora passes by a blue, mustachioed man in stasis, in what is a pretty clear tribute to Tobias Funke’s brief attempt at joining the Blue Man Group. Although the director’s asked actor David Cross to do it himself, he sadly had other commitments.

#9: Bruce Banner, Taught in Schools

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)


Given that most of the MCU films focus on adult superheroes, the inside of a school isn’t exactly a common location for most of them. However, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” gives us our first glimpse inside a high school in the MCU, as well as the effects its characters have had on curriculum. Although the PSAs from Captain America are pretty hard to miss, there are some subtler signs of the Avengers’ effects on education too. In Peter Parker’s science class, a row of photos depicting important scientists can be seen, and among them is none other than Bruce Banner. We can certainly see how the Hulk might help make science more engaging.

#8: The Collector’s Collection

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)


We’ve already touched on one of the alien Collector’s impressive collection of creatures and artifacts already, but there’s plenty of hidden gems displayed in the open to discuss. Although Marvel Easter Eggs like Howard the Duck and Cosmo are fairly easy to spot, others are less obvious. For instance, several specimens from races Thor faces, like a Dark Elf and a Frost Giant can be found in cases, as well as a Chitauri from “The Avengers.” Also, what may be a slug from director James Gunn’s film “Slither” can also be seen. The Collector is as dedicated to his collection as any fan in our world, so that’s probably only scratching the surface.

#7: Nick Fury’s “Fictional” Tombstone

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)


Nick Fury is a master spy and all around badass. Although he manages to hold his own in a shootout during Captain America’s second film, he is apparently assassinated in Cap’s apartment; later appearing to die at a hospital. But, naturally, Fury later returns; having faked his death to move more freely so he could outmaneuver their foes. By the film’s end though, we see that SHIELD went so far as to have a gravestone made for its former director. Although the quote, ““The path of the righteous man... Ezekiel 25:17” may seem like any other bit of Bible scripture, anyone who’s seen “Pulp Fiction” will instantly recognize it from the speech delivered by Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson in the film.

#6: Red Skull’s Face Mask Foreshadowing

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)


Hydra leader and Captain America villain Johann Schmidt spends much of “The First Avenger” behind a realistic, fleshy mask, before revealing his crimson visage to the hero and the audience. The result of Schmidt’s pursuit of power and taking a super serum before it was ready, the ghastly red condition certainly earns him his nickname, Red Skull. However, the villain’s mask is actually foreshadowed in his very first appearance. While seeking the Tesseract in Norway, the seam of the mask on Schmidt’s face can be seen if you look carefully enough.

#5: The Ten Rings

Various


In the MCU, the Ten Rings is a terrorist organization that appears primarily in the “Iron Man” films. With some of its members being responsible for kidnapping Tony Stark and driving him to become Iron Man, the Ten Rings also crops up after this, with their logo being used in the fake Mandarin’s videos. Although they haven’t made major appearances after this (at least, not yet), one of the potential buyers of the Yellow Jacket suit in “Ant-Man” can be seen sporting a tattoo of the Ten Rings mark on his neck. We can’t wait to see what plans Marvel has in store for this legendary organization in the upcoming Shang-Chi feature!

#4: Donald Blake

“Thor” (2011)


In the Asgardian god of thunder’s first film, Thor meets Jane Foster in rather…unusual circumstances. When providing some clothes for him, Jane mentions her ex to Thor, whose name is Donald Blake. Later on, Erik Selvig also uses Jane’s ex as an alias for Thor, trying to get him out of SHIELD custody. While “Donald Blake” may seem like just another name to most viewers, comic fans may have picked up on the fact that Donald Blake was actually Thor’s human persona in the comics. Guess Jane has a type…

#3: Thor Losing His Eye is Foreshadowed

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)


One of the most shockingly brutal parts of the “Thor” films occurs when the title character’s evil sister, Hela the goddess of death, slices out Thor’s eye. Besides making him look more like his father, the moment also marks one of the times a Marvel villain has done such visible harm to a hero. However, what may be less visible is that the moment is foreshadowed not long before. Earlier in the film, Hela destroys a mural above Asgard’s throne room. When Thor returns to Asgard, he sees his image with a crack running through the eye he eventually loses.

#2: Cap’s Shield

Various


Captain America is one of the most prominent and recurring characters in the MCU. But even when he doesn’t appear himself, he still makes cameos, after a fashion. His shield has featured in several minor cameos before the character was even introduced. While plenty of people recall Agent Coulson showing a replica shield to Tony Stark in “Iron Man 2,” the same film also features some in-universe Captain America comics, which may have belonged to Tony’s father. In addition, the same replica can be spotted in the first “Iron Man” film as an Easter egg.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

War Machine’s Ultron Tally
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

The Theme Uses Only Half the Instruments After the Snap
“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

Grand Central Terminal’s Statue
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Ego’s Car Matches Peter’s Ship
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)

Aunt May’s License Plate References Spider-Man’s First Comic
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)

#1: Disney References

Various


Given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is also owned by Disney (though it seems like the list of things NOT owned by Disney is getting shorter and shorter), it makes sense that their parent company would either request or influence the inclusion of references to their other properties. Some of the references are pretty easy to spot, or at least hear. Several Disney songs are referenced, such as Ultron’s creepy references to Pinocchio’s “I’ve Got No Strings on Me,” or Ant-Man’s buddy Luis whistling “It’s a Small World After All.” Others are more subtle. One such case is a mark on Bucky Barnes’ holding cell in “Captain America: Civil War,” which reads D-23, a reference to the annual Disney fan expo.
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