Avengers: Endgame Explained: Every spoiler, callback, Easter Egg and reference you need to know (Part 2)

With the recent release of Avengers: Endgame on digital services such as Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu and others with the Blu-ray coming out in a couple weeks (August 13), I thought it would be an ideal time to put together a post that I’ve been dancing around since Endgame came out in theaters nearly three months ago.

If you’re reading this right now, odds are you’ve already seen Endgame and looking to better understand the film as it’s packed with dozens upon dozens of callbacks to previous movies, references to comic books, Easter Eggs and deleted scenes that serves to make the three-hour film even more enjoyable.

We’ve collected every one of these and placed them in a two-part post as a Endgame Explainer of sorts.

Endgame Explained: Spoilers Ahead

This Explainer is probably more of a Endgame supplement, really. Even so, having more than hundred references will give you a fuller understanding of the incredibly-dense film. As we mentioned in part one of the series, Endgame isn’t just a long movie in duration, but nearly each sentence, action or moment is packed with meaning that’s either been mentioned in a previous film or foreshadowing something that will happen, so we broke out the film into six acts.

  1. AFTER THE SNAP
  2. FIVE YEARS LATER
  3. TIME HEIST 
  4. THE BLIP AND THE PORTALS
  5. THE EPIC FINAL BATTLE
  6. FUNERAL

We went through the first three acts AFTER THE SNAP, FIVE YEARS LATER and TIME HEIST yesterday in part one of our series, so we’ll cover the remaining three acts with approximately 70 callbacks, Easter Eggs and references in the latter part of the film.

If for some reason you got to this post and have yet to watch Endgame, this post doesn’t just have a couple spoilers, but it has all the spoilers and exciting surprises of the film — that’s the reason we created this. If you haven’t watched the film and want o be surprised, please stop here. If you’ve seen Endgame and want a richer experience then by all means, keep scrolling and enjoy.

4. THE BLIP AND THE PORTALS

After the successful Time Heist (outside of losing Natasha) the Avengers now have all the Inifinity Stones to move forward with their plan to bring back everyone that’s been snapped away.

Howard and Tony, Father and Son (Captain America) This may or may not be a callback, but there was a scene in Captain America where Howard Stark was working in the lab that syncs up almost perfectly to when Tony, Smart Hulk and Rocket were working on placing the Infinity Stones onto a Stark-designed gauntlet. We’ll let Movieweb explain it:

In Endgame, where Tony is compiling his Infinity Gauntlet, it’s nearly a shot-for-shot remake of Howard Stark working in The First Avenger, with even the same dialogue thrown in as both Starks use machinery to handle dangerous materials. The First Avengers footage ends with a huge explosion in the lab, throwing Howard Stark back a few feet. However, in a clever twist, the Endgame footage has Rocket the Raccoon yell, “boom!,” which startles and annoys Tony.

Here’s the spliced up video for your consideration:

Coincidence or just another genius move by the Feige, the Russo Brothers and the MCU team?

The Way Way Back Machine (The Dark World) While the Avengers were intently-focused on incorporating the Infinity Stones into a nanotech gauntlet, no one noticed that Nebula isn’t in the room. The 2014 evil Nebula was communicating with her father and hi-jacks the Avengers’ fully-functioning time traveling GPS machine to use against them.

When the display pops up, some eagle-eyed watchers noticed that may have revealed plans for a very different time heist than what we saw on the screen. On the far right of the screen, we see several dates that were typed in previously, including the coordinates we saw in the film: New York (2012) and Asgard (2013), but there’s an insane number sharing the same screen 2988.

Don’t let your imagination run too wild just yet, this wasn’t the future, but the past as the button next to the 2988 coordinates are toggled for B.C. and not A.D.!  As pointed out originally in this Reddit thread, the year 2988 B.C. is the year of the First Battle of Svartalfheim which was an epic battle between Asgard and the Dark Elves whom held the Aether we saw in Thor: The Dark World. Sounds like 2098 was one of the many years that Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and team considered going back to retrieve the Reality Stone.

The Strongest Avenger (Ragnarok) When Stark’s gauntlet is ready, Thor quickly volunteers to be the one that puts the glove on to reverse Thanos’ snap. As Cap, Stark and Scott Lang hold Thor back, the Thunder God says that he’s the “strongest Avenger” and thus, the most-qualified. The Strongest Avenger has been a running joke across a couple Marvel Movies, most recently in Ragnarok.

It’s Like I Was Built For This (The Avengers, Incredible Hulk) The Hulk says he’s the one whom should don the Infinity Gauntlet because most of its energy released is Gamma radiation. If you recall from the first Avengers movie, the Tesseract was emitting “low levels of gamma radiation”. That’s the reason that Banner became the Hulk in the first place. And in The Avengers, the whole reason Nick Fury called in Bruce Banner was because he’s an expert on Gamma radiation.

Hulk Holds Up a Mountain (Secret Wars) After 2014 Thanos’ battleship laid waste to the Avengers Compound, the camera pans deep underground to find Hulk propping up tons of rubble above him; protecting Rhodey and Rocket who are both struggling.

This is a reference to popular Marvel comic limited series from the 1980’s called Secret Wars. In issue #4 of the series, the powerful Molecule Man uses his super powers to lift up a mountain and then drops it on Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and others in what seems like a deathblow. Little do the villains know that Hulk’s broad shoulders created enough space for the good guys to survive much as Banner did in Endgame. Awesome.

Nebula Holds The Infinity Gauntlet (Infinity Gauntlet comic) After Clint escapes some of the space dogs from Infinity War, he lays down as Nebula steps into the picture. “Hey I know you…” says an exhausted Barton as he hands the Gauntlet to Nebula. This references the source material for this story line when Nebula not only holds the Infinity Gauntlet, but puts it on after Thanos leaves his physical body to embody Eternity.

Okay Thor Hit Me! (The Avengers) Iron Man and Thor work together in an attack on Thanos. Stark tells Thor to send an electric charge of lightning through his suit, similar to what happened when Thor attacked Iron Man with electricity, only for the suit to absorb the power in the first Avengers film.

Went for the Head, Part III (Infinity War) When Thanos had Thor pinned down, pushing down Stormbreaker into the Thunder God’s chest, it recalls the Infinity War scene when Thor had Stormbreaker in Thano’s chest. Neither went for the head.

Cap Wields Mjolnir (Age of Ultron) During the big three’s epic battle where Thanos gets the upper hand on Thor, Mjolnir begins to lift, flies toward Thor while knocking Thanos off his feet. What makes this one of the film’s more  spectacular fan service scenes is that Mjolnir flies right past Thor and ends up in the hands of Cap!

This is no doubt one of Endgame‘s biggest applause-worthy moments recalls the scene from Age of Ultron in which the Avengers are sitting around their headquarters trying to lift Thor’s hammer. No one could do even budge the hammer, but when it came to Cap’s attempt to lift Mjolnir, the legendary hammer moved a bit then it cut to Thor’s face being shocked. Thor explicitly refers to this Avengers 2 moment, but this time instead of shock he excitedly exclaims”I knew it!” Definitely one of the biggest MCU payoffs EVER! I literally and unconsciously squealed at this moment.

But Did You Notice… (Easter Egg) according to this Reddit thread, though it looked as if Mjolnir was floating as if summoned by Cap, it actually was being slowly (and carefully) lifted by Cap in a behind-the-scenes cut from the Endgame release. The filmmakers deliberately shot the scene so it looked as if Thor was summoning Mjolnir when in actuality, Cap was lifting it. If you recall, you don’t see the top of the handle in the scene where Mjolnir begins to wobble.

Oh, and one more thing… (The Avengers) The epic battle after Cap rushes Thanos with Mjolnir in hand in Endgame mirrors the fight between the two strongest Avengers Thor and Hulk from the first Avengers film. Action by action. It can’t be a coincidence. Check it out.

In a movie of parallels with older MCU films, this is certainly one of the best. h/t Cinemia Blend

Cap’s Battered Shield (Infinity Gauntlet comic) In Endgame, Thanos’ ferocious attack on Cap and Cap’s shield is reminiscent to how Cap’s shield is shattered during Thanos-Cap fight from original Infinity Gauntlet comic book.

Cap’s Shattered Shield (Age of Ultron) There’s a couple callbacks involving Cap’s shield. The way it was shattered and broken is in the same pattern as Tony foresaw in his vision from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Last Man Standing (Infinity Gauntlet comic) When a battered Captain America stands up and walks up to face Thanos’ army, this was inspired by Infinity Gauntlet issue #5 when Cap says: “As long as one man stands against you, Thanos, you will never be able to claim victory.”

Image from https://welshyfilms.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/why-this-scene-should-happen-in-avengers-infinity-war/comment-page-1/

Leviathans (The Avengers) The epic battle features Thanos bringing together his Chitauri army which means the return of the Leviathans, those gigantic flying cybernetically-enhanced space serpent-worms (I’m actually proud of that description) that laid waste to New York City in The Avengers.

ON YOUR LEFT (Winter Soldier) In the greatest character entrances ever and one of the best Endgame moments, a battered Captain America approaches Thanos’ horde to what will certainly be his death. As Cap stumbles forward, we faintly hears garbled communication that stops him in his tracks. A stunned Cap is clearly confused when we all hear a clear “Cap, can you hear me?” coming from his earpiece. As his right hand reaches up to touch his earpiece, we hear Sam Wilson say “On your left” as a portal begins to open.

I’m not crying, you’re crying. If you don’t know (or don’t remember) “On your left” were the first three words Steve Rogers said to Sam Wilson at the beginning of The Winter Soldier, as he passed Wilson several times while the two jogged the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s certainly one of the best and most-clever callbacks in the entire film — whether you remembered it as it happened or just learning about it now.

Portals: Wakanda (Black Panther, Infinity War) The first portal that opens feature Black Panther, Shuri and Falcon — the players that were dusted in Infinity War, but they didn’t come alone — in the second scene of that particular portal shows they came with their Wakandan army… from Wakanda as seen in Black Panther and Infinity War.

Portals: Titan (Infinity War) The second portal that opens shows the five characters that were dusted on Titan in Infinity War.  Doctor Strange, Mantis, Drax, Star-Lord and Spider-Man are now undusted and arrive ready to battle from Thanos’ home planet.

Portals: Kamar-Taj (Doctor Strange) When Wong walks out of his portal with his fellow sorcerers and sorceresses, they’re arriving from Kamar-Taj from Doctor Strange. Kamar-Taj is Dr. Strange, Wong, The Ancient One and other Masters of the Mystic Arts train.

Portals: Yibambe (Infinity War) The camera returns to T’Challa, Shuri and Okoye as they march forward to reveal the Wakandan armies with the familiar battle chant: “Yibambe! Yibambe!” which is the same battle cry we heard in Infinity War.  Yibambe’s meaning according to Quora is hold fast or hold strong in the language Xhosa, which originated in South Africa.

Portals: Contraxia (GOTG 2) One of the many portals that open up also briefly shows Contraxia where the Ravagers fly into the battle.

Portals: Valkyrie (Ragnarok) Coming out of a portal with the New Asgard army is Valkyrie riding a Pegasus.  These winged steeds were first seen in Thor: Ragnarok and were the legendary regal horses of Asgard’s women warriors.

Portals: Howard the Duck (Howard the Duck, GOTG, GOTG 2) In the portals scene where Wasp shows up and looks confuse, if you look closely where the warriors are coming from the portals,  you’ll see Howard the Duck emerging right behind Hope Van Dyne. Howard the Duck is a running joke in the modern MCU riffing on the spectacularly bad Howard the Duck movie from 1986.

Howard the Duck first appeared in the MCU debut during the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy, and then appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Feige’s Fave If we were to take a survey and asked which scene in the entirety of all 22 Marvel movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was your favorite, we have little doubt the vast majority would vote for the above “portals” scene. This is when the battered Captain America stumbles towards Thanos’ armada when every dusted character returns for the showdown. This moment also happens to be Kevin Feige’s favorite scene too.

“We’re entering this moment, which I’ve said before is the happiest and proudest moment of my career with Marvel Studios,” Feige said during a fan Q&A. “Which is when Steve [Rogers] is standing up against all of Thanos’ army and it looks like all is loss. And he’s still going to do it even with a Titan-broken shield on his hurt arm. He steps forward then all of a sudden he hears something in his ear and over his shoulder.”

Pepper Potts Lands… (Iron Man 3) When an Iron Man lands and it’s revealed to be Pepper Potts in the suit that Tony made for her birthday, this isn’t he first time she has worn one of the Iron Man mark armors. Gwenyth Paltrow donned one in Iron Man 3

Or is it Rescue? (Iron Man: Animated Adventures) The blue and purple colorway of Pepper’s Iron Man suit helmet is a nod to how Potts appeared as “Rescue” on the Iron Man: Animated Adventures series.

5. FINAL BATTLE

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! (Age of Ultron, comic books) As the newly-resurrected heros arrive through the portals with armies from across the galaxy, the Marvel heroes on on the front line. As the camera pans at the most-awesomest superhero gathering in movie history, Captain America yells out “AVENGERS….”

And as the camera reaches Cap, Mjolnir returns to his hand. He looks over in Thanos’ direction with Hulk, Rocket, Thor, Iron Man and others in a blurred background and finishes the battle cry by calmly whispering “assemble“. As we all know this kicks off the film’s insane Lord of the Rings-esque battle scene.

It took 22 Marvel Movies including four Avengers movies before Captain America finally uttered the iconic “Avengers Assemble!” battle cry. As a comic book reader, this recalls the thousands of times the phrase has been uttered in the Marvel comic universe, and it pays off the ending of Age of Ultron. 

At the end of Age of Ultron, Cap was about to say Avengers Assemble for the first time on the silver screen, but stopped short. In that scene, we got to hear Cap stand before the new Avengers line-up and say “Avengers…” before the movie cuts off. In hindsight, we’re happy Joss Whedon purposely went to great lengths to leave it out of Avengers 2 as it sets up this very memorable moment.

Giant Man Punches a Leviathan (The Avengers) During this mega conflict, Ant-Man/Giant-Man punches out a Leviathan reminiscent of when Hulk did the same during the Battle of New York. “I’m always angry” said Banner before turning into the Hulk and taking out one of huge flying space monsters with one equally-huge punch.

Drax the Back Stabber (GOTG 2) In Endgame, Drax attacks Cull Obsidian the same exact way he fought Thanos child while in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, by launching himself on to Obsidian’s back then stabbing (and yelling) relentlessly.

Thor and Cap Again (The Avengers) When Cap and Thor are side by side on the battlefield during Endgame, you see the two simultaneously receiving Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. Though not exactly beat for beat, this scene recalls The Avengers moment when Thor and Cap are in the midst of the Battle of New York when Cap’s shield returns to him and Thor’s hammer comes back simultaneously – the only difference is Thor’s hair and belly and that in Avengers it’s in slow motion.

Tony Hugs Peter (Homecoming) When Peter Parker meets Stark on the battlefield, Parker motor mouths-explains how he got to Earth. Having not seen Peter for over five years, he hugs Parker in one of the movie’s more-emotional scenes. This is a run back to Spider-Man: Homecoming when Stark reaches across Parker in what looks like a hug, but actually is just opening the door for Parker to exit his car.

Thor and Cap Again Again (The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Infinity War) Cap and Thor find themselves once again standing side-by-side in the middle of a battlefield as they did in the first Avengers, then in Age of Ultron, and then Infinity War.

In Infinity War, the two hadn’t seen one another in some time when they chat in Wakanda about the changes in their respective beard and haircuts. This leads to a funny moment when Thor introduces Groot to Cap, “I am Groot!” to which Cap earnestly replies “I am Steve Rogers.”

In Endgame, Thor and Cap meet again (for the last time?) to quickly resolve whom should have Mjolnir and who should wield Stormbreaker.

Battle Mantis As Cap and Thor work out hammers, many likely missed Mantis using her psionic powers on one of Thanos’s space gorillas putting the huge creature to sleep.

Thrice, Actually (GOTG) After Quill sees the 2014 version of Gamora, he walks up to her and touches her cheek, she responds by violently removing his hand, kicks Star-Lord in the groin not once, but twice just as she did when she first met him in volume one of Guardians of the Galaxy.

I Didn’t Care Then (Civil War) When Black Panther comes face to face with Hawkeye in Civil War, the archer introduces himself by saying “Hey, I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Clint.” to which T’Challa replies with curt “I don’t care.” As seven years go by, their memory remains intact. While they’re fighting Thanos turns to Hawkeye and asks him for the Infinity Gauntlet, referring to Clint by name.

It’s All New York City, Baby (Civil War) In the same battle, Captain America comes across Spider-Man and ends up learning that Peter comes from Queens. Later, Steve sees Peter Parker swing by and gets his attention by yelling out “Hey Queens”. Captain America calls Spider-Man “Queens,” a nod to dialogue between the two in Captain America: Civil War.

Instant Kill: Spider-Man activates Instant Kill mode, a reference to Spider-Man: Homecoming that does feel a little out of character.

We’re on it, Cap (Ant Man & the Wasp) Wasp says – an funny callback to Hope giving Scott a hard time for referring to Captain America as Cap in Ant-Man & the Wasp. In Endgame, when The Wasp says “We’re on it, Cap” Scott and Hope share a knowing smile before both getting small.

Captain Marvel’s Entrance (Captain Marvel): When Captain Marvel finally appears in the battle, we can briefly hear the theme from Captain Marvel before she destroy’s Sanctuary II, Thanos massive ship.

She’s Got Help (A-Force comics) This wasn’t a true direct reference to A-Force, the all-female superhero team of Earth 616 in the Marvel comic universe, but a combination of several factors including many of the female MCU actors pitching an all-female superhero team, the current Girl Power movement, and Marvel Studio’s work to diversify characters on screen and those behind the cameras. Either way, the scene was a little much, but it worked.

Doctor Strange Finally Lifts a Finger (Infinity War) Doctor Strange didn’t get to do much in Endgame, but plays a critical role because his mystical abilities allowed him to see into not just the future, but multiple futures. Toward the end of the battle as Thanos puts on the Infinity Guantlet, Strange locks his eyes with Tony and slowly raises his index finger is the most obvious callback.

Referencing the Infinity War scene when Strange looked into the 14,000,605 possible futures to which Stark asked him “How many did we win?” Strange paused and said “One” setting up the three hour film.

I AM IRON MAN (Iron Man) After Tony secures the Infinity Stones to the glove of his Iron Man suit — but before he snaps his fingers to make Thanos and his army turn to dust — Tony stares down Thanos and proclaims “I.. am… Iron Man.”

This is the same line Tony spoke at the end of Iron Man, revealing his secret identity and shocking the world.

Thanos Snapped (Infinity War) After Tony’s snap, we see Thanos’ army being dusted and Thanos himself dissipating into thin air. As we all know, this is exactly what happened to the Avengers and gang in Infinity War. When the purple titan obtained all the Infinity Stones in Wakanda and snapped his fingers, several heroes were snapped away at the end of Avengers 3 including: Spider-Man, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Mantis, Falcon, Groot, Star-Lord, and Drax.

Have a Seat, Thanny (Infinity War) When Thanos realized what was happening, he slowly sits down as he did at the end of Infinity War — this time instead of looking out at a “grateful universe,” he turns into dust. This scene is a beat-for-beat play on the ending of Infinity War after Thanos sits down and looks into the sunset. There’s a video of this somewhere. “Perfectly balanced” as Thanos would say.

Peter Witnesses Tony’s Death (Infinity War) After wielding his nano Infinity Gauntlet to vanquish Thanos and his horde, Tony’s death scene inverts the scene when Spider-Man was dusted in Avengers: Infinity War.

You Can Rest Now (Iron Man 3) As Tony lays dying on the battlefield, Pepper tells him “You can rest now.” Not only was this a direct answer to Pepper’s earlier question to Tony “but will you be able to rest?” after Tony says something about tossing his time travel discovery, forgetting about it and “going to bed,” but this also most certainly refers to Tony’s restless nights he was having in Iron Man 3. 

Tony Stark’s Arc (The Avengers): When Tony dies, it’s in a sacrifice that satisfies a running theme in every movie Stark has been in.

Tangibly, it’s an Avengers callback to when Captain America called Stark out for his utter 100% self-interest no matter the scenario “The only thing you really fight for is yourself.” Cap tells Iron Man in his corny metaphor. “You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on the wire and let the other guy crawl over you.”

But it’s true, Tony has always been about his needs first; something Stark hears his father allude to in the elevator earlier in the film. But by the end of the film, Tony essentially lays down on the landmine so that everyone else could survive was. In this one move, Tony Stark’s character arc was now complete; one that started out as a selfish billionaire only concerned with himself, to a Stark making a heroic sacrifice for the greater good. 

6. AFTER BATTLE & FUNERAL

Peter Reunites with Ned (Infinity War, Homecoming) Peter sees Ned at their high school after the blip and from the looks on their faces, it’s been awhile. Confirmed in Spiderman: Far From Home, Ned was snapped and the last time to two friend saw one another was when they were both headed on a field trip in the school bus during Infinity War.

Peter and Ned’s Handshake (Homecoming) As the two friends come together they do a handshake used by the two several times, during much less confusing times, in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Teacher Talos? (Captain Marvel, Far From Home) After Endgame came out, there was a theory positing that Ben Mendelsohn’s Skrull leader Talos was in the background of Peter and Ned’s high school directing students — we now know that Talos played a big part in Spiderman: Far From Home. You are too good, Marvel Studios. TOO GOOD.

Spider… Gwen? (comic books) In a Reddit thread titled “Pink backpack. Black skirt with spider web pattern. Blonde hair” the user posted a photo of a fellow student that walks by as Ned and Peter hug it out in the hallway. The title basically describes it all for Spider-Man fans that follow the comics. That color scheme and design of the skirt align with Gwen Stacy’s Spider-Woman in the comic books, also known as Spider-Gwen. What would we do without Reddit?

Like Father Like Son (Iron Man 2) Just in case he died in battle, Tony leaves a holographic message for Morgan as he did for Pepper on the Benatar in the beginning of Endgame. That wasn’t the only recall, this method of communication was reminiscent of Tony’s dad’s recording for him back in Iron Man 2.

A Bigger Universe (Iron Man) Tony’s visual voicemail mentioned how surprised the technologist was about how big the universe actually is, “If you told me a few years ago that we weren’t alone in the universe, I wouldn’t have believed the extent.” The thing is, some one did tell Stark this, specifically when Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury’s gave an ominous message at the end of Iron Man to Stark: “Mr. Stark you’ve become a part of a bigger universe, you just don’t know it yet.” He now knows.

Part of the Journey is the End (All Marvel Movies) As we heard in the first Endgame trailer, Tony tells Pepper via a recorded message on the Benatar that “part of the journey is the end,” this of course wasn’t included in that part of the film, instead it’s one of the last things he says during his prepared holographic message to his family.

What does it mean? Within the film, it’s a way of saying that his individual journey is over and that’s life, but in the larger context it means that Stark’s character arc in the MCU is over. It’s a not-so-hidden message that Iron Man kicked off the Marvel films, and that this is the end of his chapter, as well as the chapter for other primary characters that have moved on, buuuuuut mostly Tony Stark. It’s his endgame and destiny to have gone out sacrificing himself for others which is a contrast to the selfish Stark we witnessed over decade ago..

Tony Stark’s Heart (Iron Man) After the holographic message and right as Stark’s funeral commences, the first thing we see is Tony’s first Arc Reactor created in the first Iron Man.

It’s another proper — this time visual — reference harking us back from the film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe all the way to Tony’s funeral. The Arc Reactor has been placed on the funeral bouquet and sent down the lake near their cabin, the inscription on it is as it was in the first Iron Man: “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart,” is the same one that he gave to Pepper way back when.

A Teenage Harley Appears (Iron Man) Every member of the Avengers — and their extended family, like Maria Hill and Thunderbolt Ross — stand somber in a staggered formation at Tony’s funeral. Standing in front of Hill and Ross is Harley (Ty Simpkins), the little boy who helped Tony in Iron Man 3.

American Cheeseburger (Iron Man) Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has a quiet moment with Morgan during her dad’s funeral. He asks her if she is hungry and what she wants to eat. Morgan responds with “Cheeseburgers.” Happy pauses, smiles and says explains that “your dad liked cheeseburgers, too” which was what Stark requested after returning from Afghanistan. To be exact “an American cheeseburger.”

Asgardian as a Guardian (comic books) When Thor boards the ship with the Guardians at the end of the film, it was an exciting prospect with a clever name: The Asgardians of the Galaxy. But it wasn’t just a clever name made up for Endgame, the AOTG are definitely in Marvel comic books. Not surprisingly, as with other Marvel super teams on the big screen, it’s a much different lineup than what’s the pages of the comic book.

You’re Taking All the Stupid With You (Captain America) When Steve Rogers goes back in time, it’s obvious that Bucky has figured out he’s not coming back. Their farewell inverts the exact same lines from Captain America: The First Avenger; “Don’t do anything stupid until I get back,” Cap says. “How can I? You’re taking all the stupid with you,” Bucky replies.

Steve’s Tan Jacket (Captain America) The much older Steve Rogers is (probably? very likely) wearing the same tan jacket he wore as the younger, weaker Steve Rogers before being injected with the Super Soldier serum in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Sam Wilson is the New Captain America (comic books) When Steve returns to 2023, he was clearly up to something. As his confidants and friends, Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson walk up, they see Steve has aged significantly. It’s obvious when he went back to put the Infinity Stones back, he made the decision to stay in one of those timelines.

After some back-and-forth with Wilson, Cap’s final act is to pass his shield to Sam, meaning Falcon will become the new Captain America in the MCU. Though this seems like an odd decision, “it isn’t” as Steve says to Sam. That’s because Sam became Captain America in the comic books, specifically in 2014. That turn would give birth to another comic series Captain America: Sam Wilson.

Cap Finally Gets That Dance (Captain America) The final shot of Steve finally getting to dance with his best girl — and now future wife — Peggy, echoes the dance he promised Peggy they would have more than 70 years ago at the end of First Avenger. the ultimate callback arrived with a dance between lovers that had been promised 70 years before, just before the screen cut to black.

Wastes No Time (Captain America) If you watch the final scene where Peggy and Steve are dancing, you can see that the door is left wide open. That’s because immediately entering the house, they get to that belated dance.

It’s Been a Long, Long Time (Winter Soldier) The song that Steve and Peggy are dancing to was also playing in his apartment in Winter Soldier. The song is “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” and it was originally written to with the purpose of capturing the longings of the American soldiers who were returning from the war to their wives and familes after the World War II.

Tony Hammering His Mark I Suit (Iron Man) Appropriately, Endgame doesn’t feature an end credits scene. Instead, fans that stayed until the end wondered: what is the hammering at the end of endgame? So what What does the sound mean at the end? Endgame audiences were left with the faint sounds of Tony banging on metal recalling sonic memories of Tony forging his first armor in a cave from Iron Man.

We’ve Been in the Endgame (Age of Ultron, Infinity War) Our final Easter Egg / callback / shout out / reference is the actual Endgame name. Many recall that endgame was said in Infinity War when Doctor Strange saved Tony Stark’s life by giving the Time Stone to Thanos. When Stark asked him why he did that, Strange famously responded “We’re in the endgame now.”

However, the word endgame has a longer history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Back in Age of Ultron when the Avengers were interrogating Tony for accidentally creating deadly android Ultron, Tony responded by saying: “Anyone remember when I carried a nuke through a wormhole to save New York?” Stark continued. “A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We’re standing 300 feet below it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the live-long day but… that up there? That’s the endgame.”

“How were you guys planning on beating that?” Stark rhetorically asked The Avengers. Here’s the scene in its entirety:

This one conversation between Stark and Rogers not only set up the tension for Captain America: Civil War, but for Avengers: Endgame. Bravo Kevin Feige and Marvel, you guys are geniuses; you all took a decade to set us up for your Endgame and it paid off.

Next Up: The Eternals, Shang-Chi, Blade, X-Men and Fantastic Four

With that, we’ve completed all phase three and what Feige and team called the Infinity Saga. No more Tony Stark, no more Steve Rogers. They’ve closed out the arcs of several of the biggest names that helped carry the MCU through a decade of increasingly interconnected movies (and increasingly successful financially and critically).

With Spider-Man: Far From Home being the official close, now Marvel Studios begins anew with a new slate of stories to tell and new characters to fill the huge void left by stars Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. At San Diego Comic Con, Kevin Feige announced the new slate of movies coming down the pipe over the next two years as Phase 4 includes Black Widow, The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder. Not to mention a schedule of five new Disney+ series that will impact the films.

Feige also teased that Phase 5 is already locked down and likely will include Blade, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men and Deadpool.

We haven’t even had time to fully process the Endgame, but the future and new beginnings look very bright. We’re excited to see what Marvel does in the next several years and how they decide to they’ll introduce the “old” guard of Nick Fury, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Spiderman, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the new (and more diverse) guard of The Eternals, Wolverine, Mr. Fanstastic, Shang-Chi, Deadpool, Cyclops, Silver Surfer, Storm and Blade.

Thanks for reading. This was a passion project that took hours to write out, but certain there are so many more. Please let me know if I’ve missed any callbacks or Easter Eggs in the comments below.

Even though many of these Easter Eggs and callbacks from years and years spent reading comic books and watching Marvel films. That said, I definitely had some help collecting all these Easter Eggs and callbacks. We’d like to tip our hats to the following news sources that assisted in putting this comprehensive Endgame Explainer together. This includes several posts from Screen Rant, Atom Tickets, The Wrap, Mothership, this guide from Den of Geek, and of course CBR.

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