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AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON Easter Eggs & References

AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON Easter Eggs & References

AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON Easter Eggs & References

Hello readers, Today let us take a look at few best Easter Eggs and references found in the second Avengers outing.

If you have not yet seen Age Of Ultron, just be aware, there are spoilers ahead for the film and future Marvel movies.

In Age of Ultron, Captain America’s shield has been upgraded with magnetic elements so he can call it back to him. 

Avengers comics from the early 60s also show Tony Stark upgraded Cap’s shield in a similar manner.

The new shield also echoes Stark’s ability to call his Iron Man suits to him, as we saw in Iron Man 3, and after Loki pushed him out of Stark Tower in The Avengers movie.

During Captain America’s face-off with Ultron on top of a speeding truck, there is a subtle nod to the late 1970s Captain America TV movies starring Reb Brown.

In Age Of Ultron, Cap’s shield falls down to the road where Black Widow scoops it up and places it on the front of her motorbike, echoing the look of Reb Brown’s 70s bike which featured a round windshield reminiscent of Cap’s shield.

During the Avengers’ attack on Strucker’s Hydra Base, Thor hits Captain America’s shield with his hammer, creating a sonic shockwave that knocks their enemies on their asses and takes out their tank. 

This is a cool call-back with a twist to The Avengers movie where The Asgardian god and the US super-soldier first saw the effect of their hammer and shield combo in the movies. However, that time they were on opposing sides in an argument over Loki, and Cap demanded Thor put down his hammer which he did as he flew through the air, smashing it into Cap’s vibranium shield, causing a shockwave that razed the forest around them! 

For more on Cap’s shield and all things Avengers, check out my video 12 Things You Did not Know About the Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

The epic slow-mo shot that shows the Avengers in mid-air poses as they attack Strucker’s men during their raid of his Hydra Research Base in Sokovia feels like something that could have been torn straight from the pages of a comic book.

Director Joss Whedon said that what he wants to say with that shot that is, “Here is a comic book movie, and here is the feeling that you came to get.”’

When Tony Stark enters the HYDRA base, he discovers the remains of a Leviathan, one of the enormous beasts used as alien warships during the Battle of New York in the first.

Avengers movie. Joss Whedon and Zak Penn created the Leviathans, especially for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the word Leviathan does crop up elsewhere in the comics and in Agent Carter as the name of a secret Soviet organisation.

Tony Stark’s Dark Vision of the Avengers defeated reminds me of the nightmares he had in Iron Man 3 following the PTSD he suffered after the Battle Of New York.

Stan Lee could not budge Thor’s hammer in the first Thor movie, and in Age Of Ultron he could not keep up with Thor’s drinking either!

Playing a World War 2 veteran, Lee tries to prove Thor wrong that his unique Asgardian liquor is ‘not meant for mortal men’, but he ends up sozzled, slurring his catchphrase Excelsior, which is Latin for ‘Ever Upward’ and is also the state motto of New York.

New York-born Lee has used the phrase Excelsior repeatedly over the years in his columns for Marvel comics and in the title of his autobiography.

The liquor Thor says mortals cannot handle ‘was aged for a thousand years in the barrels built from the wreck of Brunnhilde’s fleet.’ Brunnhilde is a character in Marvel’s comics.

She was picked by Thor’s father Odin to lead a host of warrior goddesses known as Valkyrior. Brunnhilde was considered as a potential character for Thor: The Dark World though did not make the cut.

Perhaps this mention is a sign we will see her in Thor: Ragnarok, a storyline that includes Brunnhilde in the comics. During the Avengers’ party, Anthony Mackie’s character Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, tells Captain
America that he is ‘happy chasing cold leads on our missing person’s case.’

Which is a reference to Cap’s best friend and fellow army man Bucky Barnes, who became the Winter Soldier assassin after experiments by Hydra, and then disappeared after saving Cap at the end of the second Captain America movie?

Last time we saw Bucky, he was at the Smithsonian Museum, dressed in civilian clothes and looking at the ‘Bucky Barnes’ display in the Captain America exhibit.

During the Avengers’ after-party, when Steve Rogers tries to lift Thor’s hammer, he can’t quite manage it, but he does move it a little, which is a nod to the comic books where Cap has been deemed worthy to lift the Asgardian god’s hammer, for example, in issue 390 of The Mighty Thor back in 1988. Moreover, in the movie when Natasha Romanov refuses to take her turn to lift the hammer, her remark ‘that’s not a question I need to be answered’, is a sly allusion to the fact that Black Widow already proved herself worthy of wielding.

Thor’s hammer in issue 3 of the 2014 comic book mini-series What If? Age Of Ultron.

At the end of Age Of Ultron, Captain America wonders if Thor left his hammer in an elevator and the elevator moved whether that would mean the elevator was worthy. 

Thor laughs this off. Nevertheless, that little exchange recalls the funny moment in Thor: The Dark World, where the Asgardian god hung his hammer on a coat hook in Jane’s apartment.

Just before the Avengers have their visions, Thor warns Captain America that Scarlet Witch has tried to warp his mind, and tells him, ‘Take special care, I doubt a human could keep her at bay. Fortunately, I am mighty.’ Which is a subtle nod to the title of The Mighty Thor comics as well as the 1960s animated TV series of the same name!

When Ultron first becomes conscious and starts trawling for information, we see various images from other Marvel movies, including one of Tony Stark from the beginning of the first Iron Man movie.

While Black Widow goes for her gun during the Avengers’ first face-off with Ultron, Tony Stark grabs a fondue fork to battle Ultron’s bots.
That fondue fork is a playful nod to the movie Captain America: The First Avenger where Tony’s father Howard Stark says to Peggy Carter, ‘I thought we could stop off in Lucerne for a late-night fondue.’ Which leads Cap to ask Peggy, ‘So, are you two awkwardly… do you fondue?’

When Ultron first appears to the Avengers, he makes several references in his speech to strings and puppets. Then after Thor smashes him with his hammer, we hear Ultron sing his very creepy version of a few lines from the song “I Have Got No Strings”, which featured in the 1940 Disney animated film Pinocchio, about a wooden puppet who becomes a real boy. And we even hear a little clip from the original version of the song. When Ultron first speaks to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, he is wearing a red cloak, which is a reference to his identity in the comics as the Crimson Cowl.

When Ultron tells Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver that ‘invaders create avengers’, it is a nod to the comic-book superhero team The Invaders, which was co-created by Roy Thomas, and whose original line-up included Captain America, Bucky Barnes, and the Sub-Mariner.

Black Widow’s Vision of the Red Room gives us an insight into the painful process that made her the character we know today, and through her Graduation Ceremony also provides a link with Bruce Banner who cannot have children either.

Natasha’s Red Room vision is a nod to both Marvel’s comics and the TV series Agent Carter and their Soviet espionage training programme which turns young girls into super-spies.

The film’s ballet scenes refer back to the Black Widow’s origins in the comic books where, depending on the story arc, she either trained as a ballerina or was implanted with false memories to think she was one. As for Natasha’s enforced sterilisation, that is a nod to writer Richard K Morgan’s Black Widow mini-series.

During Captain America’s Vision, he sees Peggy Carter in a Second World War ballroom, and she asks him ‘Are you ready for our dance?’, after which we see them briefly dance together. 

This recalls the scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Cap visited an elderly Peggy in her retirement home.

Peggy was taken aback to see him after many years, to which Cap replied, ‘Well, I could not leave my best girl. Not when she owes me a dance.’

Also in the dancehall where Cap’s Vision takes place, there is a band playing called the Roy Thomas Players. 

Roy Thomas is a well known comic book writer and was Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics after Stan Lee in the 1970s. 

Thomas co-created many Marvel characters, including Ultron, Vision, and Iron Fist.

Thor’s Vision set us up for the next Thor solo movie, Ragnarok.

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok means the doom or twilight of the gods, and it is also an apocalyptic event in the comics that results in numerous significant deaths and the destruction of Asgard. 

By the way, in the comics, Ragnarok is also the name of a Thor clone co-created by Tony Stark from a strand of the Asgardian god’s hair. 

Which is interesting because in Age Of Ultron, after Stark fails to lift Thor’s enchanted hammer, he suggests the handle is imprinted with a security code matched to Thor’s fingerprints. So, according to Stark’s logic, anyone with Thor’s fingerprints could wield it. For example, a clone!

Age Of Ultron marks the fifth film where an MCU character has grabbed Tony Stark by the throat. 

In the first Avengers movie it was Loki who did it, in Iron Man 3 it was Guy Pearce’s character Aldrich Killian, in Iron Man 2 it was Black Widow, and in Iron Man, it was Jeff Bridges’ character Obadiah Stane.

This time it is Thor who gets to grips with Stark’s jugular, and Ultron has a go too! However, Stark is not the only Avenger to get throttled in this movie: Thor gets similar treatment at the hands of Ultron as does Vision, and Captain America, not only gets it from Ultron but also two of his drones! Moreover, that is not all: The Hulk also gets it in the neck from Iron Man in his Hulkbuster suit. While, in his Vision, Thor gets choked by Heimdall.

Joss Whedon has said he gave the name Veronica to Tony Stark’s new armour system which deploys the Hulkbuster suit via satellite because Veronica is the opposite of Betty.

Betty is Bruce Banner’s love interest in the comics and The Incredible Hulk movie.

Furthermore, the Veronica Whedon refers to is likely Veronica Lodge from Archie Comics, who is a rival to Archie’s girlfriend who also happens to be called Betty!

It is possible that Stark’s new armour system Veronica is also a nod to a Marvel comics character called Veronica Benning, a physical therapist employed by Stark Enterprises.

Veronica Benning helps Tony Stark recover the use of one of his hands, which is attractive as in Age of Ultron, the Veronica system replaces Tony Stark’s damaged Hulkbuster arm.

In The Avengers, Loki was locked up in a steel and glass cage built to contain the Hulk in case if he became a problem onboard. 

Although that cage was never used for the Hulk, in Age Of Ultron Veronica traps him in another metal cage during the Hulkbuster scene. Interestingly, neither Loki nor the Hulk could be contained by either cage.

When Iron Man tries to calm down the Hulk during the Hulkbuster sequence, he mentions Bruce Banner, which only makes the Hulk angrier. However, Iron Man realises what he has done and says to himself, ‘Right! Do not mention puny Banner!’

Which is a call-back to the comic books and the Hulk’s catchphrase ‘Hulk hate puny Banner!’

During the Hulkbuster scene, the Hulk smashes into a “Crawford” food truck.

The name Crawford is likely a reference to Dr Geoffrey Crawford, a physics professor who was initially Bruce Banner’s mentor before he turned into the Hulk-like beast Ravage and became the Hulk’s enemy.

When Bruce Banner hulks out after Scarlet Witch messes with his mind, Tony Stark in his Hulkbuster suit tries unsuccessfully to bring Banner back by hammering the Hulk’s head while repeating the words “go to sleep, go to sleep”.

That was a very Tony Stark interpretation of the lullaby Black Widow used to talk the Hulk back down to being Bruce Banner at the start of the movie.

Moreover, it is an exciting role reversal from The Avengers movie where the Hulk roared at Stark to bring him back to consciousness after he fell back to earth through the portal.

Oh, and it also calls to mind the scene where the Hulk repeatedly smashes Loki into the floor of Stark Towers in the first Avengers movie.
During the Hulkbuster scene, the way the Hulk punches and smashes Iron Man as they blast up the side of a skyscraper is a call-back with a twist to the first Avengers movie where the Hulk saved Iron Man as they moved down the side of a skyscraper after Iron Man fell out of the wormhole.

Remember that powerfully comic moment during the Battle Of New York when Hulk punched Thor from the side, sending him flying off-screen? Well, Age Of Ultron gives that a twist during Iron Man’s battle with the Hulk. 

This time we see Stark in his Hulkbuster suit punch the Hulk from the side, making the Hulk disappear off-screen!

Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige has said there is a Star Wars easter egg which involves a character getting an arm or a hand-cut off in all of Marvel’s Phase 2 movies.

In the Avengers sequel, not only does Iron Man’s Hulkbuster shed an arm during his fight with the Hulk, but arms dealer Ulysses Klaue also has his arm chopped off by Ultron.

Which is an especially lovely touch as Andy Serkis who plays Klaue is also in Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

While we are on the subject of Andy Serkis’s character, did you notice the document on Klaue that the Avengers consult in the movie? Well, that revealed that he was hired to kill T’Chaka, the leader of the African nation Wakanda, to ensure access to the rare metal Vibranium. Vibranium is what Captain America’s shield is made of and what Ultron buys from Klaue in this movie.

T’Chaka was the father of T’Challa aka the current Black Panther, whom we will meet in Captain America: Civil War before he returned in his own movie in 2018.

So, it looks likely we will see Serkis back on screen as Klaw, the villainous enemy of the Black Panther, just as he is in the comics.

In the salvage yard where Ulysses Klaue is based, there is a ship called HMS Churchill, named after the British wartime Prime Minister who took over from Neville Chamberlain during the Second World War. Chamberlain claimed to have brought “Peace For Our Time” by arranging a peace treaty with Hitler, which failed less than a year later leading to World War Two. Tony Stark slightly misquotes the phrase as “peace in our time” to justify his creation of Ultron, and Ultron later repeats these
words by himself.

When Captain America says to Tony Stark, ‘earth’s mightiest heroes – they pulled us apart like cotton candy’, it’s a subtle nod to the fact the Avengers are labelled the ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ in the comics, and to Marvel’s animated TV series, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!’, which ran for two seasons from 2010.

In the movie, Helen Cho is a renowned geneticist and ally of the Avengers. However, in the comics, she is known as the mother of teenage genius Amadeus Cho, who is often featured in stories alongside the Hulk and Hercules, and from December 2015 is the lead character in Marvel’s Totally Awesome Hulk series.

When Tony Stark sifts through his AI chips to find a replacement for JARVIS, the one he picks is marked FRIDAY, which is a reference to the AI programme that Stark created in the comics to act as his secretary. Also, Stan Lee sometimes referred to 1960s Marvel secretary Flo Steinberg as their ‘gal Friday’.

There are also at least two other chips that Tony Stark does not choose. One is marked JOCASTA, who in the Marvel comics was a robot created by Ultron as a mate.

The second chip that Tony does not use is only shown in part, but looks like it could be labelled “TADASHI”. Tadashi was Hiro’s older brother and the creator of Baymax in Disney’s Big Hero 6, which was inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name. 

It is interesting that there are also lots of Iron Man references in Big Hero 6. 

For example, Baymax’s first flight is reminiscent of Tony Stark’s test flight in the first Iron Man movie.

Moreover, in the SanFransokyo Nerd Lab, there is a cat wearing flying boots a la Iron Man, a robot assistant that resembles Stark’s robot helper Dum-E, a student who obviously modelled his facial hair on Tony Stark’s, and what looks like an arc reactor!

Moreover, it is also possible that the Big Hero 6 nod continues in the Hulkbuster scene where we see the Hulk and Hulkbuster’s fist bump send a shockwave through the streets.

Ok, so it was not exactly the same as the fist bumps between Baymax and Hiro in Big Hero 6. But, it is interesting that the Vice President
of Production at Disney Interactive Studios has called Baymax the “Hulk meets Iron Man”, which is what we see in that Age Of Ultron scene!

Fox may have the movie rights to Marvel’s X-Men, but that did not stop Age Of Ultron giving a cheeky nod to the mutant superheroes after Hawkeye’s motivational speech to Scarlet Witch, who in the comics has mutant powers and parentage herself.

As Hawkeye leaves Scarlet Witch to fight in the Battle Of Sokovia, we see a brief shot of his hand, out of which seem to pop some Wolverine-style claws.

However, they are actually three sets of arrows that the bowman is readying to battle some bots.

The SHIELD tech who refused to launch the Insight helicarriers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a brief cameo in Age of Ultron.
Moreover, like in The Winter Soldier where he was saved by SHIELD Agent 13 Sharon Carter, in this movie it is former members of SHIELD Maria Hill and Nick Fury who save him from being attacked by one of Ultron’s robots.

The incredible circle shot that showed the Avengers ready to take on the aliens in the Battle Of New York is revisited in Age Of Ultron’s epic final battle against Ultron and his drones in Sokovia.

Ultron fires on the Hulk from his plane during the Battle Of Sokovia, which leads to the Hulk leaping on to the plane and throwing its pilot, Ultron, down to the ground.

This is a nice call-back to the first Avengers movie where a pilot also fired on the Hulk while he was on the helicarrier which caused the Hulk to jump on to the plane and throw out the pilot.

As the flying Sokovia starts to fall to the ground, Vision comes in and saves Scarlet Witch in a cute little nod to the comics where Vision and Scarlet Witch marry.

In Marvel’s Ultimates comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch share an incestuous relationship and actors Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson decided to play a little with that idea so in Age of Ultron you will often see them close together and holding hands.

The superhero team’s famous comic book catchphrase, ‘Avengers Assemble!’, never made it into the first movie. Furthermore, at the end of Age Of Ultron, Captain America opens his mouth to address the new Avengers, but all he gets to say is ‘Avengers’ before the camera cuts to the credits as his mouth forms what looks like the letter ‘a’!

Funnily enough, Joss Whedon did use the famous phrase in season 4 episode 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Xander talks about getting the team together. 

Speaking of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Whedon included a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it easter egg to his Buffy spin-off show Angel during Thor’s visions of Asgard.

In the archways, there are three men wearing masks – one is a wolf, one is a ram, and the other is a hart or deer. On Angel, Wolfram & Hart is a law firm and front for a trio of demons called the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart.

There is also a wink to Whedon’s Firefly TV series too.

When the Avengers are in the Quinjet after the Hydra raid, Tony Stark asks JARVIS to take the wheel, and then we see a “Jarvis is my co-pilot” sticker on the cockpit dash.

That is a nod to Firefly in which Wash is the pilot of the spaceship Serenity and a reference to the famous car license plate frames and stickers which include the words ‘Wash is my co-pilot.’

Age Of Ultron also sets up some of the background for Captain America: Civil War, including the conflicting philosophies and burgeoning opposition between Cap and Iron Man.

First, there are Stark’s words early on that Cap is the boss while ‘I just pay for everything, design everything, and make everyone look cooler’.

Then, there is Cap and Stark’s clash over the “suit of armour around the world” issue. 

Stark deliberately hides his Ultron plans, only sharing them with his Science Bro, Banner. Also, while Stark is worried the Avengers will not be able to deal with another alien invasion, Cap takes a different position: that they will win or lose together. 

Oh, and of course, Cap, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver all unite to try and stop Stark’s AI project.

Moreover, do not forget the exchange between Stark and Cap while they are chopping wood at Hawkeye’s house. 

Stark says, ‘I do not trust a guy without a dark side’, to which Cap replies, ‘Let us just say you have not seen it yet.’

By the way, that next Captain America movie is inspired by the Marvel comics crossover storyline, Civil War.

In the mid-credits scene, we see Thanos put on the Infinity Gauntlet and say ‘Fine, and I will do it myself.’ Which sets us up nicely for the Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2 in which it looks like Thanos is going to stop relying on others like Loki to do his dirty work for him and start kicking ass and taking Infinity Stones himself! 

Thanos’ gauntlet is very similar to the one in Odin’s vault in the first Thor movie. However, this one is for a left hand and has no Infinity Stones in it yet. 

Indeed, Kevin Feige has confirmed there are two different gloves in the MCU. Thanos is the MCU’s big bad. He is the ‘someone’ who is ‘been playing an intricate game and has made pawns of’ the Avengers,
to quote Thor from the end of Age of Ultron. Not that Thor knows it is Thanos who is the puppet-master at that point. However, thanks to the Vision he has, Thor does know about the incredible, potentially destructive power of the 6 Infinity Stones.

So far, only four stones have appeared in the MCU: the yellow Mind Stone, the purple Power Stone, the red Reality Stone, and the blue Space Stone.

That means, at some point in the movies running up to the Infinity Wars, we should see the Soul Stone and the Time Stone appear.

Now, let me know in the comments below: What other easter eggs and references did you spot in Avengers: Age Of Ultron? If you enjoyed this article, do please share it, see ya next time.

Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers!


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