(Warning: Major Daredevil SPOILERS below, if you've not yet binge-watched the whole darned thing...)
So. Daredevil. I'll be honest, I was pretty sure it'd be good - but that good? I mean, legitimate-contender-for-best-superhero-series-ever good? That was a (seriously pleasant) surprise. After all, what were the odds that Marvel could successfully fuse together the intermingling humor and violence of HBO, the darkness of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and the sense of adventure of the MCU, all tied up with a fan-friendly faithfulness to the comic book source material? That's...a big ask, even for them.
One of the most striking ways in which the show succeeded, though, was in its use of Easter eggs. Though they were to be found pretty much everywhere throughout the show, with several even heavily teasing future characters and plot-line, they never came across as blunt or clumsy. Instead, we were treated to a subtle array of foreshadowing and geeky referencing, without it intruding on the actual show itself.
Because of that, though, some of them weren't quite as obvious as they might have been. Here, then, are fifteen of my personal favorites - just in case you missed them - in order of the amount of geeky excitement they provoked while watching the show:
15. The 'Incident'
Unceremoniously propping up the bottom - largely because we all saw The Avengers, so it wasn't exactly a surprise - is the 'Incident.' Or, as we all know it, The Battle of New York. The repeated mentions from several characters were a little obvious, but the newspaper cover on the wall of Ben Urich's office?
That was a nice touch...
14. Stan Lee
It's not the most obvious cameo Stan the Man's ever had, but it was a nice tribute to the comic book legend - and Daredevil co-creator all the same. There's more on one of the show's sneakier Easter eggs right here, but in the meantime, lets just all bask in the glory that is Stan Lee, and the comic book world he helped create.
More than just a token hangout for the Nelson/Murdock gang, Josie's - along with Josie herself - arrives in the show straight from the pages of Daredevil's comic book adventures. Though there was less hard-drinking in the comics...
12. Fogwell's Gym
Another classic locale from the comic books, Fogwell's Gym was the site of one of Daredevil's most important pieces of comic book backstory: his taking down of the men who killed his father. Now, we didn't see any of that in the show, but don't be too surprised to see Fogwell's reappear next time around in flashback form...
11. Melvin Potter
Sure, we already knew that Melvin Potter would be making an appearance - that's why he's not higher on the list - but the fact that his workshop featured not only a whole lot of buzzsaws (a reference to the be-sawed costume his comic book counterpart tends to wear) but what look a whole lot like classic Daredevil villain Stilt-Man's legs (above) is more than enough to bring him close to the top 10.
10. Van Lunt
Madame Gao's vague references to the fact that "the wheel constantly turns" may have more to do with Buddhism than Marvel comics, but it also seems to be subtly hinting at an old school Marvel espionage organization, 'The Great Wheel.' Made up of espionage heads from around the world, who came together to face threats they couldn't handle alone, 'The Great Wheel' was notable for also featuring Cornelius Van Lunt, head of the Zodiac crime cartel.
Who, it just so happens, was referenced by Owlsley as being a big beneficiary of the post-'Incident' reconstruction.
And was, it seems, a previous tenant of Matt and Foggy's offices...
9. Atlas Investments
Another door-based reference, Atlas has less to do with anyone from Marvel comics, and more to do with what Marvel once was.
Specifically, Atlas Comics, the name of the company that Timely comics evolved into in the 1950s, and which had become Marvel Comics by the time (pretty much) all of our favorite superheroes were created.
A more subtle one, this - unless you're a fan of the comics. That whole conversation between Matt and Foggy, about how things went with his Greek girlfriend back in law school? Well, that'd be Elektra.
After all, that's very much how Matt and his future lover/foe met in the comics...
Compared to Bullseye - the villain so...memorably...portrayed by Colin Farrell in the movie version - however, Elektra's tease was all-but-shouted at us. The closest the classic villain came to an appearance? It sure looked as though that sniper who shot all those cops had a pack of cards in his bag.
Seeing as Bullseye never misses, though - the odds of that being him are about as likely as that Squirrel-Girl mini-series I've been waiting for...
6. The Owl
The Owl, on the other hand, seemed to make a pretty big splash in the show - seeing as his alter ego Leland Owlsley was a major part of The Kingpin's operations.
From the looks of it, though, Owlsley wasn't destined to become The Owl we know and love from the comics...
...but never fear, for his frequently-mentioned son Lee (Leland 'Lee' Owlsley, Jr, anyone?) just came into a whole lot of money, and has all the reason in the world to hate both Daredevil and the Kingpin.
5. The Crane Mother
Madame Gao, on the other hand, seems very much to be an established comic book character - it's just that she appears to be someone a little less obvious.
Odds are that Gao - with her mentioning of a homeland "a considerable distance farther" than China, and that Daredevil-taking-down punch - is actually The Crane Mother, a long-standing enemy of Iron Fist.
Speaking of Iron Fist - that land, "a considerable distance farther" than China? That's almost certainly K'un-Lun, the extra-dimensional alien city hidden in the Himalayas from which the hero received his powers.
So, expect to see a whole lot more about that in just over a years time, then...
3. Steel Serpent
And, alongside the city, and The Crane Mother? Don't be too surprised if we also see Steel Serpent, one of Iron Fist's greatest foes.
Who, it just so happens, has pretty much the exact same logo as that high-class heroin we saw so much of in the show...
A first hint of the lead villain in Iron Fist, anyone?
2. The Chaste
There are hints of future Daredevil - and perhaps even Defenders - plot-lines, too, though. That scarred gentleman Stick's reporting back to, there? He was credited as Stone, suggesting that Stick is - much like in the comics - working with The Chaste, a benevolent ninja group whose primary function is to combat a shadowy, evil ninja organization: The Hand.
1. The Hand
And, wouldn't you know it - speak of the devil, and hundreds of evil ninjas will appear.
Nobu may have seemed like a simple, martial arts trained Yakuza boss for much of Daredevil, but it turns out he was a whole lot more. Specifically, a member of the iconic (and decidedly villainous) group of ninjas known as The Hand.
Who, notably, always dress in red - and are extremely difficult to kill.
So, expect to see them turn up in a future Netflix series - perhaps even as the main antagonists in The Defenders...
What do you reckon, though?