Did you watch Scarlett Johansson’s recent visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? Did you catch the big reveal Johansson shared with the host? No, not that more than 30 fellow #MarvelCinematicUniverse characters will join the actress’ Black Widow in a single #AvengersInfinityWar scene (though Johansson did let that cat out of the bag).
We’re talking about the secret safe hidden behind Captain America’s shield on the Late Show set. Johansson and Colbert discovered the safe after Colbert sought to prove his #MCU worthiness by inviting the actress to check out the shield. The same shield, a gift from Marvel Comics’s Joe Quesada — and previously owned by late Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald — hung on the set of Colbert’s Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, since 2007.
Colbert was visibly surprised by the discovery, promising Johansson he not only had no idea what was in the safe, but didn’t even know the safe existed. Fans on social media were equally intrigued, with many wanting to see the safe opened and the mystery solved. So, what could be in the safe? Since it’s hidden behind Captain America’s shield — a shield with serious Marvel provenance, and was discovered by the MCU’s Black Widow — it must be something from the MCU, right? Here’s what we think is hiding in there:
1. The Final Infinity Stone
Is the Soul Stone lurking in Colbert’s safe? There are six Infinity Stones: the Space Stone, Mind Stone, Reality Stone, Power Stone, Time Stone and Soul Stone. The wielder of all six rules the universe, which is why the Mad Titan Thanos is after them all. The MCU has revealed five of those six (though you know them as: the Tesseract, Loki’s scepter, the Aether, the Orb and the Eye of Agamotto). Only the Soul Stone remains.
Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, says we will soon discover the location of the final stone — as in, probably in #ThorRagnarok. Most believe it to be the Asgardian Heimdall. Or, a piece of him, anyway — his eyes, to be specific. After all, he sees the souls of all who live.
2. Steve Rogers's Blood
Is the singular source of the Super Soldier Serum hiding in Colbert’s safe? When last we saw the final vial of Steve Rogers’s blood — taken soon after his superheroic transformation — it was in the possession of SSR Agent Peggy Carter (not for long, though). Finally ready to move on with her life, Carter tossed the vial in New York’s East River at the end of #AgentCarter’s first season.
If Carter was smart — and we know she was — she would have recovered Rogers’s blood so it wouldn’t fall into the nefarious hands of an evil genius. Where better to hide it than in the walls of the CBS Radio Playhouse (the name of Colbert’s Ed Sullivan Theater when Carter was around)?
3. Peter Parker’s Radioactive Spider
Could the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker be alive and well in Colbert’s safe? If we know anything about the ever-expanding Marvel Universe, it’s that Parker wasn’t the only one bit by that radioactive spider. Cindy Moon, a fellow student, was also bit by the spider, gaining similar powers and eventually going by the name Silk.
Over in the Ultimate Universe, Aaron Davis a.k.a. the Prowler, accidentally transports the spider that bit Parker to the apartment of his nephew, Miles Morales. Morales is also bit, becoming the Ultimate Spider-Man. Over in another universe, the spider misses Parker altogether and bites Gwen Stacy instead. She becomes the fan favorite Spider-Gwen.
So, who knows where the spider that bit Tom Holland’s MCU #SpiderMan is hiding. Or, do we?
4. The Red Skull And The Real Mandarin
MCU fans still wonder where the Red Skull transported himself at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. They also want to know where the real Mandarin is hiding, after finding out in Iron Man 3 that drunk actor Trevor Slattery is not the terrorist mastermind after all. Perhaps, with the help of some Pym Particles, S.H.I.E.L.D. is incarcerating both villains in Colbert’s safe.
5. Black Widow’s Ledger
Is it any surprise that Johansson was the actress who discovered the secret safe? Not if she was really Natasha Romanov in disguise, showing up on the Late Show to guarantee her ledger remains protected from prying eyes. What ledger? Why, the one Black Widow keeps telling everyone contains a lot of “red.” That’d be the blood of men and women she was contracted to kill, to be precise. Maybe Colbert (and the rest of us) should leave well enough alone when it comes to that safe and Romanov’s ledger.
6. The Jotunheim Beast
It would be a tight fit, but maybe the Jotunheim Beast let loose on New York City in Thor: The Dark World’s end-credits scene is hiding in Colbert’s safe. The terror dog was accidentally transported to Earth (or Midgard for our Asgardian readers) during The Dark World’s final battle. It escapes into the streets, chasing birds like a Corgi off its leash. It hasn’t been seen since.
7. Janet Van Dyne, The Original Wasp
Is Hank Pym’s wife and Hope van Dyne’s mother, Janet (the original Wasp) trapped in Colbert’s safe? In Marvel’s #AntMan, we learn that the Janet disappeared (literally) when she shrunk to sub-atomic levels in a successful effort to avert a nuclear tragedy. Assumed dead, the truth may be that Janet is merely lost in the microverse — a microverse swirling inside Colbert’s safe!
8. A Third Infinity Gauntlet
Because if there are two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU, why wouldn’t Colbert have a third? The Infinity Gauntlets, for those who may not know, are the armored gloves that hold the Infinity Stones, allowing the wearer to wield the full power of the cosmic gems. We saw one in Odin’s vault in #Thor. Then we saw another at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Kevin Fiege, Marvel Studios president, confirmed they weren’t the same. Now that we know there are more than one, why shouldn’t there be three? Or four? Or five? How many Infinity Gauntlets does Colbert have in that safe?
9. That Other Guardians Of The Galaxy Easter Egg
#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy fans know that somewhere in the bowels of the first film lies an Easter Egg so well-hidden that no one ever found it. Director James Gunn admits some fans have gotten close, but he has yet to confirm what that final Easter Egg is. As of May 2017, Gunn says he’ll take the secret to his grave. Or, at least his death bed. Not only that, Gunn hid another hard-to-find Easter Egg in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Could both be within the confines of Colbert’s secret safe?
10. The Black Widow Movie
Barely a day goes by before some earnest MCU fan asks when we’ll see a #BlackWidow solo film. Maybe the screenplay to this much-desired movie lies within the Colbert’s secret safe? At least six of those pages exist in real life. Well, six pages of spec script written by Marvel Comics’ Nathan Edmundson. Edmundson wrote the comic Black Widow back in 2014 and shared an potential opening scene for the imaginary film back then.
Edmundson isn’t the only writer with Marvel bona fides to pen a Black Widow cinematic story. Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman wrote a treatment for a solo film and X-Men scribe David Hayter produced a full script. Good news, though. Fiege and Johansson have both confirmed a Black Widow movie in the future. When in the future? Well, maybe that date is also in Colbert’s secret safe.
What Marvel secret do you think Colbert is hiding in his safe?