Almost all Marvel fans love seeing hidden 'easter eggs' inside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, such as references to the other characters and movies within the universe. But the easter eggs in other Marvel films, like references in the X-Men Series and Spider-Man, are often overlooked. Here are 10 Marvel Easter Eggs outside of the MCU that you probably never caught onto.
Doctor Strange in Spider-Man 2
In 2004's Spider-Man 2, there is a scene where J. Jonah Jameson discusses with his assistant Hoffman what to call the new supervillian, Doc Ock. One of the names suggested by Hoffman is "Doctor Strange", to which Jameson replies, "That's pretty good. But it's taken!"
This is, of course, a nod to the Marvel hero Doctor Strange who was a lesser known hero at the time. Now, he is more well known as will be getting his own movie next November.
Quicksilver's Paternal Issues in X-Men: Days of Future Past
During his break-out scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past when Wolverine, Professor X, Beast and Quicksilver rescue Magneto from the Pentagon, Quicksilver makes a quick remark to Magneto about how his mother used to know someone who could control metal.
This, as many comic book fans know, is a reference to Quicksilver's comic book paternal issues. In the comics, Magneto was Quicksilver's father. In the movie, most assumed this would not be the case, but this subtle reference may have provided proof of the biological relationship between these two characters.
Stingray in Spider-Man
In 2002's Spider-Man, there is a scene where Peter is sketching a potential costume or suit for him to wear. One of these sketches (above) includes a patterned design with long, outstretched wings.
This design is very similar to the Marvel character Stingray. It was a very quick easter egg, but it is still a very interesting reference. It may be the closest we will ever get to seeing this character on screen.
The Clock Tower in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The death scene of Gwen Stacey in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes place in an enormous clock tower. During the fight, the gears of the tower get messed up and send the hands spiraling in a circle. The clock hands finally come to a stop and point at 1 hour and 21 minutes, or 1:21.
This is a very secret reference to the comic book The Amazing Spider-Man #121, the very same comic that Gwen Stacey died in. It seems her fate was already decided before she even landed.
Quitting Smoking in Fantastic Four (2005)
During one scene in 2005's Fantastic Four, the Thing says, "How bad is it? You know, I used to smoke."
This is a reference to his comic book counterpart, who was a heavy smoker. The Thing, like Wolverine, would often be seen with a cigar in his mouth. But because Fox wanted Fantastic Four to be family friendly, they not only cut the smoking element from the Thing, but even referenced that he quit.
The Electro Cake in The Amazing Spider-Man 2
In the first act of 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we see Max Dillon in his apartment celebrating his own birthday. In this scene, he takes a green, yellow and white cake out of the fridge, which was supposedly from Spider-Man.
This cake's design is a reference to Electro's original appearance in the comics which was green and yellow with lightning bolt designs, much like Max's cake above.
William Strykers' Father in X-Men: First Class
During the scene where Professor X is meeting with the CIA, he demonstrates his telepathy to the others by saying, "No, Agent Stryker. Although I could ask you about your son, William, who you were thinking about."
The name of the agent was Stryker, and his son's name was William. All of this points to William Stryker, who plays a crucial role in X2, being his son.
Willie Lumpkin in Fantastic Four (2005)
Stan Lee's cameo in Fantastic Four is as the character Willie Lumpkin.
In the comics, Willie Lumpkin is the mailman who often delivers for the Fantastic Four. It was a very clever reference that still makes me smile to this day. And let's admit it, they both look a lot alike.
Michael Papajohn in Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man
In 2002's Spider-Man, Uncle Ben's killer is played by actor Michael Papajohn. This actor returns in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man as the limo driver for Dr. Rajit Ratha.
He is the only actor (besides Stan Lee) to appear in both reboots. Who knows, we may even see him in Tom Holland's Spider-Man series.
Baron von Strucker in Big Hero 6
In Disney's Oscar-winning Big Hero 6, there is a scene where Fred takes everyone back to his mansion. There, they try to figure out who the masked supervillain could be. To help, Fred brings out his comic book collection, suggesting it could be one of those villains. Gogo is reading the names of different supervillains and the last one she names is "Baron von Strucker."
This is, of course, a reference to the Marvel villain Baron von Strucker who appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Guardian and Vindicator in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolverine is welcomed into the home of an elderly couple. Their names are Heather and James Hudson.
In the comics, Heather and James Hudson are the names of the super heroes Guardian and Vindicator. Because of how old they were in this film, it is unlikely we will see these characters brought to life on screen outside of this movie.
Sentinels in X-Men: The Last Stand
During the opening fight sequence of X-Men: The Last Stand, we see Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, and other X-Men virtually training to fight an unknown threat. At the end of the fight, we see a large robotic head fall onto the ground in front of everyone.
This is a reference to the Sentinels from the X-Men comics who are responsible for the extinction of the X-Men, along with much of humanity. The sentinels later appeared fully on screen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but they looked nothing like the versions above.
The Fantasticar in Fantastic Four (2015)
During the opening of 2015's Fantastic Four, young Reed Richards talks to his class about his goal of teleporting people in the future. Reed's teacher responds by saying, "Is it next to your flying car?"
This is a subtle nod to the Fantasticar, which is the flying car used by the Fantastic Four in the comics and in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This car, much like the one referenced in the movie, was also invented by Reed Richards.
XM-89248 in X-Men: The Last Stand
When the government tries to test the cure on Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand, someone grabs a tablet with the code XM-89248 on it.
This is a tricky easter egg, but there is a meaning behind it. You have to look back to the comic book issue The Uncanny X-Men #248, which was the very first X-Men comic to be illustrated by Jim Lee, one of Marvel's most well known artists who also illustrated for DC. This issue was released in 1989. So the code can be broken down. XM (X-Men) - 89 (1989), 248 (The Uncanny X-Men #248).
Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 3
In Spider-Man 3, there is a yellow version of the Green Goblin's helmet sitting in Harry Osborn's (formerly Norman Osborn's) lab.
This is widely believed to be the Hobgoblin mask, who is another Spider-Man villain. Director Sam Raimi had originally planned for Harry Osborn to become Hobgoblin in the third movie, but for simplicity Sony wanted him to just be another Green Goblin. But Raimi still managed to sneak the mask on screen.
Those are only a few of the Marvel Easter eggs outside of the MCU. I'm sure there are plenty more out there just waiting to be found!