Ant-Man Easter Eggs So Small You Probably Missed Them
One aspect glaringly missing from this year’s other Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron? Easter Eggs. The movie was chock full of comic book references, of course—from Ultron sitting on his throne, to the giant, Kirby-esque vents on the bottom of the floating island that was once Sokovia. But for the most part, where normally you could scan the screen for fan-only shout-outs, the movie was surprisingly more text than sub-text.
Not so with Ant-Man. The movie is appropriately full of tiny teases, for the future of the Marvel Universe, and some also just for fun. Here’s every Easter Egg we noticed — and of course, let us know what we missed.
Massive spoilers for Ant-Man past this point.
The Milgrom Hotel
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) stays at the Milgrom Hotel, home to Luis (Michael Pena). This is definitely a reference to artist Al Milgrom—who actually never drew an Ant-Man comic; though he did work on West Coast Avengers for a good long while, which starred Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Still, it’s a little surprising they picked Milgrom for the Easter Egg, since Scott Lang was created by David Michelinie and John Byrne. Michelinie Hotel has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
Is this an Easter Egg? Or, like, just Easter? Hank Pym’s wife is a major part of the movie, but only barely shows up. For fans not familiar with the character, it might not be immediately obvious that Janet Van Dyne is the Wasp in the comics — and Hope Van Dyne doesn’t even exist (except for her matching-her-Mom haircut).
But she is as — if not more — important in the comics as the movie, and a crucial part of Hank Pym’s history. So there you go! Happy Easter.
“Tales To Astonish”
In the middle of his triumphant/villainous speech in the first act of the film, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) derisively jokes that the adventures of an Ant-Man sound like “tales to astonish.” In case you couldn’t figure it out, Tales To Astonish was the main source for the comic book adventures of Ant-Man and Wasp.
Hank Pym was introduced in issue #27, became the main character in issue #35, and the Wasp was introduced in issue #44.
Every once in a while, Marvel will revive the title—sometimes with co-star the Sub-Mariner, but usually with Wasp and Ant-Man as the leads.
“Who’s To Blame For Sokovia?”
Not even “blink and you’ll miss it” so much as “if you don’t look sideways and finish the words you’ll miss it,” a passenger on the San Fran trolley is reading a newspaper with the headline, “Who’s To Blame For Sokovia?” It’s a reference to Age of Ultron, of course, but also an intriguing set-up for both the end credits scene, and Captain America: Civil War.
Seems not everyone is happy with the Avengers saving the world, this time around…
He’s in every Marvel movie, and this one is no different, as Stan The Man shows up in a bar during one of Luis’ rambling stories. Some day, we need to figure out the Orphan Black style project that made Lee able to appear everywhere.
The Shower Scene
This might not be a deliberate homage, but Scott Lang’s character in the movie owes itself not just to Lang from the comics, but his successor, Eric O’Grady. In The Irredeemable Ant-Man—created by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman—O’Grady is a lecherous a-hole who pretty much only uses the stolen Ant-Man suit for personal gain.
So what’s important about this, in relation to Scott Lang shrinking down in a shower? Because in Irredeemable Ant-Man #8, O’Grady used his powers to shrink down in a shower and spy on Captain Marvel as she bathes. It’s one of the most infamous issues in the run, and a touch-point for more recent Ant-fans. So is it an Easter Egg? Maybe. Or, it could just be a scene in a very similar looking shower.
Hank “Slap-Happy” Pym
If you ask fans what one thing they remember about Hank Pym, the second thing they mention will be that he shrinks down and talks to ants. The first thing? That one time, Hank slapped his wife Janet.
Specifically, it happened in Avengers #213, when a frustrated Hank—dressed in a new identity which interestingly became the Ant-Man villain Yellowjacket—back-slapped/punched Janet, knocking her to the floor. Hank’s status as a domestic abuser has played out for decades now in the comics, haunting him and reverberating through pretty much everything he’s done.
Except interestingly, Jim Shooter, who wrote the issue, never intended it to play out this way. It was supposed to be an accident when Hank threw up his hands in frustration, and when Janet got hit, would immediately make him realize how he needs to get back in control. Instead, the artist went for an extreme slap/punch, and comic history was made.
So in the movie, the first scene where we meet Hank happily doesn’t have him abusing Janet—but it does have him losing control of his temper, and beating a man. There you go. Classic Hank.
The Quantum Realm
The weird, fractal-esque universe that gets called The Quantum Realm in the movie is pretty well known to comic book fans: it’s called the Microverse, and it’s awesome. Granted, that may or may not be exactly true… The Microverse is a microscopic universe filled with weird beings and monsters that you get to by shrinking down to subatomic size.
The Quantum Realm, meanwhile, is a little more Interstellar than “Innerspace.” So we may see it play out very differently on screen. But for now, we’re gonna assume that the Micronauts are zooming around somewhere just right off screen.
“He jumps, he swings, he climbs walls.”
Interestingly, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige has said this line was in the end montage of the movie before they locked down Sony’s web-crawler for the Marvel Universe. But it’s pretty clear who The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the reporter are talking about when he asks if there’s any new heroes on the scene. I mean, come on.
In the second post-credits scene, Captain America (Chris Evans) references that Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) might not be able to help him and Falcon with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) because of “The Accords.” So what are the Accords, exactly?
We’re assuming a lot here, but we’re guessing that after Sokovia, the world’s governments reached an agreement to regulate superheroes, similar to the Superhero Registration Act in Marvel’s Civil War comic. In that book, Iron Man is the main proponent of the act, likening an unregistered superhero to an unregistered gun.
The movies have never feared getting far afield from the comics, but given we know Cap and Iron Man end up on separate sides in Civil War, it would make a lot of sense that the Accords are following closer to the books than usual.
The Death Of Janet Van Dyne
This is a sneaky one, but in the comics Bucky dies while he and Cap are trying to stop a drone plane shot by Baron Zemo at the United States. Bucky actually falls off as they’re stopping the explosion, losing his arm in the process and eventually being transformed into the brainwashed Winter Soldier—but Cap thinks he’s been killed in the explosion.
That “death” was never used in the movies, and instead Bucky fell from an icy train in the first Captain America. Here, we get that classic, unused story beat, but for the Wasp. There’s variations of course, including Janet shrinking to stop a missile aimed at the US and dying, instead of a drone plane; but the end result, causing the main hero guilt over the partner’s death by airborne, unmanned explosion, is the same.
And given Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) shows up in Captain America: Civil War, wouldn’t it be interesting if we found out he also shot the Wasp-“killing” missile?