Suit up soldier!
Marvel's newest movie is so chock-full of secret goodness that you'd be forgiven for not catching even HALF the nods, winks and flat out name checks that Captain America: The Winter Soldier offers.
And what an offering! While The Winter Soldier may be Marvel's most straight-up down-the-line non-super superhero movie to date, it may also be their geekiest. It's chock full of delicious easter eggs for even casual fans to devour.
So, in case you missed it - or you just want to skip to the good bits - collected here in all their glory are all easter eggs I could find.
1) Batroc The Leaper
First up, it's age-old Marvel rent-a-villain Batroc the leaper. Batroc has traded his dated 1960s martial arts outfit for a more studly modern military look. It's a great little nod to feature him as the movie's first 'boss'
2) It's Like A Helicarrier Only It Doesn't Fly And It Talks
Yes! It was always likely that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s signature base would make a cheeky cameo, we didn't expect it to be the shiny office block from the trailers though. Behold The Triskelion!
3) Stark Got A Closer Look...
Nice little reference to Iron Man's brush with death during Hawkeye's attack on the Helicarrier in The Avengers.
4) She Helped Found S.H.I.E.L.D.
Yes, Peggy Carter was instrumental in establishing the looming global entity that brought Agent Coulson back to life. A nice link for the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent of the comics.
5) Peggy Carter Still Owes Me A Dance
Sob. Nice callback Cap. Nice Callback.
6) BONUS! He's good with calculation!
Wait... The Dark Knight's Mr. Lau runs S.H.I.E.L.D.? He's done well for himself.
7) My Niece's Birthday Party
Alexander Payne demands a favor from Nick Fury in return for helping the director out. Hopefully we see Stark at that party!
8) I've Upgraded!
Armin Zola finally emerges as we know him from the comics. A disembodied maniacal villain head. Only this time he's an evil robot A.I. interface. Pefect.
9) Stark Death!
HYDRA killed Stark's parents? I wonder if Tony is ever going to find out about this? Nice nod to the comics as the Stark's demise has oft been hinted at being a planned affair.
10) Toxin B? Thanks Bruce!
Bruce Banner anyone? Not the first time mean green gets a name check either!
11) Senator Stern!
How good it is to see Stark's annoying Senator again. A great little reference that reminds us we're part of a connected universe. Still waiting for someone to mention the time POTUS was kidnapped by fiery scientists...
12) Threats To Hydra Include...
That's right folks: STEPHEN freakin STRANGE gets a name check. That's our first official confirmation that Doctor Strange is part of the Marvel universe and he's on the way in a future movie. We always kinda knew, now we really know. Welcome to the universe Doctor!
13) Captain Soldier On The Freeway
Bucky holding the shield in a particularly heroic pose strikes certain chords with those looking out for them. Future foreshadowing to the Buck-ster taking on the role of Captain America? With recent news this seems to be more and more likely.
14) Targeting Sequence: Online
When Insight finally goes online there's a blink and you'll miss it reference to Avengers Tower in New York as the targeting system boots up. Looks like those Helicarriers know how to pick their targets.
15) Crossbones' Bones
After the climatic battle it's revealed that the double-crossing Crossbones has survived the carnage but he's badly hurt. So badly hurt in fact that he's beginning to look a LOT like his comic book counter-part. Note the CROSS straps across his chest too. I'm sensing a future Big Bad.
16) Bonus! Fury's Grave
Once again another genius nod to something outside the MCU. Check Nick Fury's head stone. It reads: The path of the righteous man. Ezekiel 25:17.
A PULP FICTION reference?! In a Marvel movie? Superb.
17) Sharon? Sharon Who?
Looks like Sharon Carter made her movie debut without us even noticing. Cap is invited to 'call that nurse' and we're told her name is Sharon? Related to Peggy perhaps?
18) With Thanks To Ed Brubaker
It's simple really: no Brubaker, no Winter Soldier. So it's great to see the comics legend getting a name check in the ending credits.
19) Can We Talk About That Post-Credit's Scene?
Easter eggs abound as the delightfully diabolical Baron Von Strucker makes his debut in an undisclosed location. Looks like Hydra is still alive and kicking and they may just be assembling a super team of their own.
Because hidden in some very spooky looking tanks they've got FREAKIN SCARLETT WITCH and QUICKSILVER!
Known in the comics as Magneto's super powered offspring, the twins will be getting a slightly different back story in the upcoming Avengers 2. Legal issues prevent Marvel from referencing their dad or their mutant status so as Strucker intones: "we live in the age of miracles".
That'd be our mutants then!
And last but not least...
20) Never Forget. Never Forgive.
That damn spear! This implies that HYDRA is keen to get their hands on some of Thanos' cosmic tech. To me this implies that the primary conflict in Age Of Ultron is man messing with things he shouldn't mess with.
I swear, this movie had me exhausted tracking down its overflowing basket of easter eggs!
Let me know in comments below if I missed any you spotted.