Spider-Man: Homecoming has sent shockwaves throughout the MCU, arguably becoming the best Spider-Man film to date. From its delightful humor to its action-packed story, Spider-Man: Homecoming has definitely become a top contender for being the kingpin of MCU movies, garnering in $469 million worldwide.
Let's go back in time and rediscover another Spider-Man classic: Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. It's hard to believe that the first film was released in May 2002. Although the original film is over 15 years old, the trilogy will forever be the originator of the modern day Spider-Man films. Nowadays, with all of the buzz surrounding the MCU's version of Spider-Man, Sam Raimi's trilogy has been slightly forgotten. Many of us can still remember going into the cinemas and being excited for the first web-slinging movie since 1978. However, little did we know as we watched Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy that there were some Easter Eggs that some of us might have missed. Fifteen years later, do you remember recognizing any of these?
8. Peter Parker Drew Stingray (Spider-Man)
In one of the coolest scenes in Spider-Man, Peter is still trying to figure out his newfound powers while also trying to muster up a few costume designs. In the scene there is a short montage where we get a glimpse of Peter's notebook, revealing a drawing of the Marvel character Stingray.
For those who aren't familiar with the stingray character, he wears an armored exoskeleton suit composed of a hard artificial cartilage designed mainly for underwater use. The Stingray battlesuit enhances his strength and durability to superhuman levels, allowing him to survive in the crushing pressure of the ocean depths. The image appears in the movie for just a few seconds, and to most viewers, was likely dismissed as just one of Peter's costume ideas.
7. Peter References Superman And Shazam (Spider-Man)
This was definitely one of the most entertaining scenes in the first movie. It involves Peter attempting to use his webbing abilities for the first time. After spotting the crane he wanted to swing from, he says:
"Go, web!" "Fly!" "Up, up and away, web!" "Shazam!" "Go!"
Two of the things he had said here are references to other comic book characters, both from DC Comics. "Up, up and away" is a classic line by Superman that has been spoken in a number of different stories and comic book issues. Secondly, "Shazam!" references Shazam, also known as Captain Marvel. Perhaps what's even more interesting is that these lines were improvised by Tobey Maguire and were not originally part of the script.
6. Doctor Strange Reference (Spider-Man 2)
This Easter Egg flew right over my head, especially considering the fact that the MCU film Doctor Strange had not been released yet at the time of Spider-Man 2. The reference to Strange occurs after Doc Ock first appears in the film, and the overzealous J. Jonah Jameson is trying to figure out a name for the villain — along with his Daily Bugle team — that stands out among the rest. The dialogue goes as follows:
Jameson: "What are we gonna call this guy?"
Hoffman: "Doctor Octopus?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "That's crap."
Hoffman: "Science Squid?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Crap!"
Hoffman: 'Doctor Strange?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "That's pretty good... But it's taken!"
I see what you did there, Sam. Doctor Strange is a character that, at the time, was not as popular as he is today. It could've gone easily unnoticed by many viewers, but in retrospect, it's a pretty bold, on-the-nose reference to a great comic book character.
5. Mr. Ditkovich Is A Reference To Spider-Man Co-Creator (Spider-Man 2)
In Spider-Man 2, Mr. Ditkovich was known as Peter Parker's grumpy landlord who was always chasing him for rent money. He also had a daughter, Ursula, with whom Peter makes easy friends. Mr. Ditkovich was not a character who appeared in the original #SpiderMan comics. Rather, he was created exclusively for the movie series, and his name is a reference to Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko. Ditko is not as "out there" as his partner in crime Stan Lee, so Raimi decided to acknowledge one of the geniuses who brought us our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler in his film.
4. Hobgoblin Mask In Harry's Lab (Spider-Man 3)
I did not catch this one at first, but it turns out that it was one of the most exciting Easter Eggs in entire trilogy. This one occurs when the camera pans along a workbench in Harry's lab, showing a few masks. One of them was the familiar green and yellow Green Goblin mask, but another was the silver and gold Hobgoblin mask from the comics.
What makes this so peculiar is that, before the movie was released, it was widely believed that Harry was going to become the Hobgoblin. Instead, Sam Raimi decided to just have Harry become Green Goblin successor. I personally appreciated this one because the idea of the Hobgoblin was teased and not completely thrown out. This is an Easter Egg that happens to be cool and totally infuriating at the same time.
3. Newspaper Says 'Doc Ock Still At Large' (Spider-Man 3)
During a scene at the Daily Bugle in Spider-Man 3, there's a newspaper front page mounted on J. Jonah Jameson's wall that reads: Doc Ock still at large, accompanied by the tagline: Police expand manhunt. We all know that in the end of Spider-Man 2, Doctor Octopus finally manages to gain control of his tentacles and drowns himself in the river. This reference to Doc Ock was an interesting one because, at the time of Spider-Man 3's release, many took this as a hint that perhaps Doc Ock had survived his drowning at the end of the movie. Plus, it reinforced how shameless Jameson is, clinging desperately to the Doc Ock story to sell more newspapers.
2. Tobey Maguire's Brothers Cameo (Spider-Man 2)
This small Easter Egg is pretty cool. During one off the last scenes in Spider-Man 2, there is an awesome scene in which Spider-Man stops a runaway train from derailing with dozens of passengers onboard. After this happens, he is carried inside by the passengers before being laid on the ground. As Peter wakes up, two boys walk through the crowd and hand Peter his mask back. The two young boys cast opposite Maguire are, in fact, his half-brothers Weston and Jopaul Epp.
1. Flash Thompson Cameo At Harry's Funeral (Spider-Man 3)
One of the more interesting cameos in the Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy occurs at the end of Spider-Man 3 during Harry's funeral. We see Mary-Jane paying her respects and end up catching a glimpse her former flame, Flash Thompson, the bully who Peter accidentally beat up in the first Spider-Man movie after discovering his superpowers. Flash's brief appearance is silent and almost unrecognizable, but also a fun callback to the original movie, especially considering Flash's antagonism towards Peter and Harry, and how that appears to have changed for the better.
Which of these Spider-Man Easter Eggs did you not know?