Greetings from the Odinson,
10 Comics References in Avengers: Endgame that made the Odinson Smile
If the 1 Billion+ opening weekend for this film is any indication, then just about everybody that plans to see Avengers: Endgame has seen it by now. If you are reading this column, I’d bet there is a 99.9% chance you have seen this movie. But, just in case, be forewarned, there shall be *SPOILERS* ahead.
First off, the Odinson would be remiss if I did not mention that I find it extremely amusing how the very thing my whole life that had been looked down on or made fun of by a great majority of the masses is now the absolute Must See event of the year. So much so, that the Odinson, as arguably one of the biggest Avengers fans in history, going all the way back to childhood, was unable to see this film on opening weekend because every theatre in my area, every showing, morning, afternoon, and night, was sold out for days. That is unless I wanted to sit in the front row. I did that for Age of Ultron and I swore never again.
NOTE: I do not buy tickets months, weeks, or days in advance because I never know how my schedule will change from day to day.
So, I actually did not get to see Endgame until a week after its initial release. To avoid spoilers, especially online, was a Herculean task, to say the least. The internet doesn’t even try to play nice anymore. They put spoilers right in the titles of articles.
I shall not keep thee in suspense on whether or not I enjoyed the film.
I loved it!
I was in amazement the entire time and in complete aw that they actually pulled something of this magnitude off. There were so many characters and every single one of them got to shine. There were so many stories to service and they all were addressed. The scope and the scale of the film is something really never seen before and only a few movies in history like Lawrence of Arabia and Lord of the Rings, and maybe a few others have even come close.
I break the film down like this:
Act I: Fantastic build with a few surprises.
Act II: A bunch of time-travel nonsense (in a good way) with a lot of funny moments and heroic sacrifice.
Act III: Mind-blowing, next level greatness that will be hard to top in my lifetime.
Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers.
In a world where everyone from your three year old niece to your grandmother is now familiar with who the Avengers are because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Odinson is extremely appreciative to the filmmakers for providing so many inside gags and fan service moments that only die hard comic book fans would actually notice them all.
10 Avengers: Endgame Comic Book References
(In no certain order)
Cap is Worthy – They hinted it to the movie audience back in Age of Ultron, but longtime comic book fans have known that Steve Rogers has been worthy to wield Mjolnir since 1988. In the pages of Thor #390, in a scene very similar to the one in Endgame, Thor is being overwhelmed and Cap saves his buddy by picking up Thor’s mighty hammer and giving the bad guys a beat down they won’t soon forget. And, neither shall we.
Professor Hulk – Over the years, Bruce Banner’s brilliant yet fractured psyche has produced many different versions of the Hulk. The childlike Hulk Smash Hulk, the menacing Savage Hulk, the ruthless Grey Hulk, and even a Banner Hulk. However, in 1991, after a breakthrough session with psychiatrist to the heroes Doc Samson, the full strength of the Hulk, the brilliant mind of Bruce Banner, and the cunning of the Grey Hulk were all combined into one super-Hulk known as the Professor. The Professor Hulk was the predominate Hulk of the 90s and it was this version of Hulk featured in Endgame.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 – In this seminal issue from the granddaddy of crossover events, the Molecule Man drops an entire mountain range on our heroes and the only thing standing between the heroes of the Marvel Universe and fifty billion tons of oblivion is the Hulk! Though not on that scale, there is a scene in Endgame that pays homage to this unforgettable moment from Marvel History.
The Asgardians of the Galaxy – At the end of the film, Thor’s adventures will continue as he joins up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Which, to the chagrin of Star-Lord, he calls The Asgardians of the Galaxy, a clear shout out to the comic book series by the same name.
The Sub-Mariner – Ever setting the table for the future, there was a subtle reference to the savage one in Endgame. Back in Iron Man 2 there was a map of the world showing points of interest around the globe, one being Wakanda, which, of course paid off, and another being right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It doesn’t take a comic book savant to know they were referring to Atlantis. In Endgame, earthquakes in the middle of the ocean suggest to the Odinson that it won’t be long before the mighty Sub-Mariner makes his Big Screen debut.
The Young Avengers – In this film, we are introduced to Hawkeye’s daughter, Lila, who is taking after her father as a great archer. We see Ant-Man Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, who is now a teenager. And we see two possible future armored heroes – Tony Stark’s daughter, Morgan, and Iron Man 3 sidekick, Harley. With the introduction of these young, fresh faces, can a Young Avengers film be far behind?
The A-Force – At a pivotal moment during the finally battle, the heroes have to get the Infinity Gauntlet across a sea of enemies. After Hawkeye, Black Panther, and Spider-Man have gotten as far as they can, the women of the MCU take over. In an amazing moment, Captain Marvel, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Gamora, Nebula, Okoye, Mantis, Shuri, Valkyrie, and Rescue assemble and cut a swathe through the bad guys like a hot knife through butter. This is an homage to the all-women Avengers team A-Force, or Lady Liberators (depending on your age). I would not be surprised to see them assemble on the Big Screen again in the near future, and hopefully with new additions Invisible Woman, Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Domino, and She-Hulk.
Raiders of the Lost Ark – One of the funniest throw away jokes in the film was when War Machine was trying to warn Nebula that “…this is usually where the spikes shoot out with skeletons on the end of them.” A not so subtle reference to the first Indiana Jones movie and one of the Odinson’s All-Time favorite films of the glorious 1980s.
Last Man Standing – In a scene very reminiscent of the one from Infinity Gauntlet #4, Captain America is the last hero standing. Before him stands Thanos with his entire armada and an army of mutants, monsters, and aliens behind him. What does my hero do when faced with such impossible odds? He pulls the strap to his shield tight and starts marching right at the enemy. That is why Captain America is on my Mount Rushmore of super heroes alongside Thor, Superman, and ROM Spaceknight.
Avengers Assemble! – Ever since the after credits scene from Iron Man where Nick Fury tells Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative, the Odinson has been waiting impatiently through 22 movies and over ten years to hear the mightiest battle cry in all of fiction on the Big Screen. Right at one of the most spectacular moments in cinema history, Captain America finally, FINALLY, gives it to us. I’d be lying if I said my eyes did not well up with joy.
I haven’t even touched on Old Man Cap, Cap Falcon, and Ronin. There are many, many other comic book references in Endgame. I could go on for a very long time trying to list them all, and perhaps at some point, I will. Avengers: Endgame was a satisfying experience for casual and diehard fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as casual, diehard, and lifelong comic book fans, like the Odinson.
NOTE: The shout out to the film Die Hard in Endgame was a laugh-out-loud moment.
The film ends with the original six Avengers actors all signing their names across the screen, a bit that pays homage to another All-Time franchise – Star Trek. This was how Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country ended, the last film to star the entire original cast.
One final note. I have several thoughts on what the sound after the credits could mean.
1 – The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe began back in 2008’s Iron Man with Tony Stark building his armor, and it seemed fitting to come full circle and end it all with the very thing that started it all.
2 – It may be Tony Stark toiling away in that great workshop in the sky.
3 – It may be the sound of Tony’s daughter, Morgan, taking up her father’s tools and building an armor of her own. It was established earlier in the film that she liked to go into his workshop.
4 – Finally, maybe it’s Harley Keener, that tech-savvy boy that Tony met in Iron Man 3. Just in case you didn’t know who that teenager at Tony’s funeral was, it was Keener. Could he perhaps be picking up the mantle of Iron Man?
Personally, I lean toward #1, but any of these are fitting.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: Be sure to check out my book – The Survivors: A Glen Haven Tale. Available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook.