(Warning - Potential Marvel movie SPOILERS below...)
Now, when it comes to Easter eggs, Marvel movies are pretty much the undisputed champs. After all, between subtle references to Doctor Strange and the Black Panther's home nation of Wakanda, and a whole lot of Inhuman-hinting, they'd pretty much teased the whole of their Phase 3 line-up long before actually announcing it.
Those, though, have only teased who to expect to see headlining a movie in the next few years - but what about the Easter eggs that tease something a little more...hidden. The teasers which - if we're reading them correctly - might just tell us a hell of a lot about what to expect to see in Phase 3...
Here are seven of my favorites...
7. Crossbones Rises
Remember how we saw Brock Rumlow - Cap's erstwhile Hydra nemesis in The Winter Soldier - seemingly survive the devastation of that final fight?
Well, there's a reason for that - he's all-but-certain to feature in Phase 3 - and Civil War - as the super-villain Crossbones.
And that might just mean a whole lot of bad news for Captain America - since in the comics, Crossbones has a whole lot to do with killing him at one particular point...
6. Adam Warlock is Already Here
Crossbones isn't the only classic character to have already arrived in the MCU - Adam Warlock is already very much present and accounted for.
Even if he is in a giant cocoon.
And you know what that means?
Yup, that's right - he's very much on his way to Avengers: Infinity War - and most likely Guardians of the Galaxy 2. After all, he and Thanos go waaaaaay back.
5. Peter Quill Has Daddy Issues
Specifically, the kind that involve him being about to find out just who the hell the guy is.
So far, all we know for sure is that it isn't his father from the comics, Jason of Spartax...
...but all of those hints and teases throughout Guardians of the Galaxy? They're definitely leading somewhere - and it'll be a pretty major part of Guardians 2...
4. Project Pegasus is More Than Just a Fancy Horse
Remember that blink-and-you'll-miss-it sign back in The Avengers, reading Project Pegasus?
Well, that isn't just a reminder that military types really like the idea of flying horses - it's also a reference to an organization that, in the comics, ends up being a major part of Civil War.
And by major, I mean having a hand in Tony Stark's building of an extra-dimensional prison called Prison 42.
3. Doctor Strange is Going to Asgard
Or, at least, he's going to have to have something to do with Asgard at some point, seeing as the Eye of Agamotto - as seen in Odin's trophy room back in Thor - is a huge part of Doctor Strange's comic-book heritage.
So much so, in fact, that odds of us seeing more of the orb - which just so happens to allow travel between dimensions - seem pretty darned high. And that means Doc Strange might just be popping up in a certain Thor: Ragnarok...
2. Cap's Shield Really Gets Around
Or, rather, it's having quite the steamy affair with Mr. Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier. The whole way through both Captain America and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the shield can barely go ten minutes without ending up in Bucky's hands.
Which isn't actually all that surprising since, in the comics, Bucky eventually becomes Captain America.
And from the looks of it, that might just be what we're set to see sometime pretty darned soon.
Like, say, by the end of Captain America: Civil War?
1. Nova is On His Way
Now, this one is ultimately my favorite subtle Marvel Easter egg for two key reasons.
1) Rhomann Dey is awesome in Guardians of the Galaxy, and I'm rooting for him to appear a whole bunch more in the sequel.
2) The fact that he's in Guardians of the Galaxy at all means we're pretty much guaranteed to see Nova - one of the coolest Marvel heroes of all time - join the MCU pretty darned soon.
After all, Nova - an ordinary human teenager from New York - only became a superhero in the first place after being given his powers by Dey.
So if Guardians 2 ends with John C. Reilly crash-landing on Earth? Well, then, get ready for Guardians of the Galaxy 3, starring Nova.
Hopefully played by Nathan Fillion.
What do you guys think, though? What other major plot points and character arrivals have Marvel's Easter eggs already revealed?
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