WARNING: Spoilers for Captain Marvel ahead
Marvel films are full of Easter eggs, hidden secrets, and references to the comics, and Captain Marvel was no different. Did you notice Cap’s beard was back in the end-credit scene or that there were a lot of Marvel cameos sprinkled throughout the film? If not, let’s get higher, further, faster, and check out everything you missed in Captain Marvel.
Nick Fury’s Scene Provides Proof the Avengers Save the Day in Endgame
During the fight scene in the records room, Nick Fury is hit by the Skrull impersonating his boss and he lands on a giant yellow “30” painted on the floor. The comic, Nick Fury Agent of Shield #30 is entitled “Infinity’s Not Forever”. So, could this be a reference to the future of the MCU? Does this mean the Avengers will reverse the events of Infinity War?
Scott Pilgrim References
Brie Larson has made her mark on many comic book worlds and one of them is Scott Pilgrim. In the 2010 film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Larson played Envy Adams whose first appearance in the comics was in Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness. Therefore, there’s a shout out to Envy Adams in Captain Marvel. When Vers lands on Earth, there are a bunch of posters for the Smashing Pumpkins album, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” next to the phone booth she uses to communicate with Yon-Rogg.
The scientist that performs the alien autopsy on Skrullson, the Skrull who impersonated Phil Coulson, is also a reference to Larson’s role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He’s played by Nelson Franklin, who also appeared in Scott Pilgrim as Michel Comeau – the first person to give Scott information about Ramona Flowers. Therefore, it’s fitting that he’s also the first person to give Fury some information about the Skrulls.
The Security Guard in Front of Blockbuster
One of the coolest Easter eggs during Captain Marvel’s crash landing is the security offer that tells her to go to Radioshack for communication devices. The man playing the security officer is actually Marvel Studios’ Security Director, Barry Curtis.
The security guard also has the identification number “LA-67” on his uniform. The LA most likely stands for Los Angeles, since that’s where the film took place. However, the 67 represents Mar-Vell’s introduction into the Marvel Universe. He first debuted in the comics in 1967.
Pulp Fiction Reference
When Talos arrives in Monica’s house, he randomly starts drinking out of a fast food cup through a straw. This scene mirrors a very similar scene in Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction.
In Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules Winnfield busts into Brett’s apartment and questions him about Marsellus Wallace and mocks his Big Kahuna Burger “breakfast”. Winnfield then starts eating Brett’s burger and slurps from his cup, just like Talos does in Captain Marvel.
Maria Rambeau’s Daughter Will Become Another Captain Marvel
In the film, we head into Carol Danvers’ memories and see a shot of Maria Rambeau in her plane. On the outside of the plane, we see her name painted on the shell along with her callsign “Photon”.
The name “Photon” is actually a reference to Maria’s daughter, Monica. In the comics, Monica was a lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor Patrol until she gained superpowers from a mad scientist’s energy disrupter weapon. She was given the name “Captain Marvel” by the media and eventually joined the Avengers.
Although Monica spent most of her years called “Captain Marvel,” she agreed to change her name to “Photon” out of respect for her predecessor. She eventually gave the Captain Marvel title to Genis-Vell, the son of the original Captain Marvel.
With Monica’s introduction in Captain Marvel, the MCU could be setting up their next phase with a whole new potential cast of heroes. Fury even teases her future by telling the kid she could save the world too “only if you learn to glow like your Auntie Carol”.
Captain Marvel’s Writer Makes a Cameo
Right after Carol Danvers loses the Skrull on the train and heads to the station in search of him, she passes by a woman running to catch her train. The moment is very quick, but you can clearly see Carol acknowledge the rushing commuter. That’s because this woman is Kelly Sue DeConnick, the original comic book writer of Carol Danvers.
The Tribute to Maj. Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno
At the end of the movie, we see that the movie was dedicated to Major Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno of the US Air Force Thunderbird 4. This pilot was a consultant for Captain Marvel before he died on April 3rd, 2018 when his F-16 crashed near Las Vegas. Brie Larson visited Nellis Air Force Base, where the Thunderbirds are based, to research her role. As a tribute to Del Bagno, the Thunderbirds also flew over the red carpet for the May 4th Hollywood premiere of the film.
However, this wasn’t the only tribute to Del Bagno found in the movie. If you take a look at the artwork in Maria Rambeau’s house, you might have noticed a picture with the words “Cajun Fest” on it. This is another tribute to Del Bagno, whose callsign was Cajun.
The Right Stuff Reference
When Carol crashes into the Blockbuster, she stops to look at a VHS tape for the film, The Right Stuff. As a movie about a group of Air Force test pilots that are selected to become astronauts for the United States’ first manned spaceflight, the plot mirrors Carol Danvers’ journey. This is probably why she takes a moment to appreciate the film.
Nelson Franklin Cameo
Nelson Franklin played the scientist performing the autopsy on Skrullson. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him in the Marvel Universe. Franklin also played Steve Wilson in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode entitled “Many heads, one tale”. In this episode, he was an Advanced Threat Containment Unit (ACTU) member stationed at Endotex Labs and was in charge of IT security.
As mentioned earlier, Franklin also played Michael Comeau in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World alongside Brie Larson.
Carol Danvers’ Memories Point to the Future of Avengers: Endgame
During the flashback of Carol Danvers’ past, we see her riding go-karts as a child. If you take a look at the numbers on the vehicles, you’ll see the number 5 on the left car and the number 7 on the right, making the number 57.
The comic, Captain Marvel #57 features the death of Thanos. Before dying, Thanos destroyed suns and the aftermath of that action caused problems with Captain Marvel’s (as Mar-Vell) powers. Ultimately, if Mar-Vell doesn’t control his powers, he could explode and destroy the universe. This causes him and Thor to go head to head.
Bret Johnson, the Soldier that Criticizes Carol Danvers
In Carol Danvers’ memories, we see moments of overcoming failure and negative criticism. One of the characters that constantly appears in these memories is a man in uniform with the name “Brett Johnson” written on his chest. In these memories, Bret Johnson constantly tells Carol that she’s “too emotional”.
So, I scoured the internet trying to figure out who this Bret Johnson was, and the closest thing I could find was a man named Brett Johnson that was a character in the video game Half-Life. However, something that’s interesting is that this character was also nicknamed “Thanos”. Could this be an interesting reference to the man that snapped half the universe away?
Everyone Calls Nick Fury, Just “Fury”
When Fury and Carol enter the S.H.I.E.L.D. building, he flashes his credentials and says that no one calls him anything other than “Fury”. This is why he could tell his boss was a Skrull when he called him “Nicholas Fury”. However, Fury’s quick-thinking apparently didn’t last too long.
In Captain America: Winter Soldier, Fury asks Secretary Pierce to call for a vote so that Project Insight can be delayed. To this request, Pierce responds with, “Nick, that’s not a favor, that’s a sub-committee”.
Since Pierce calls him by his first name, Fury should’ve known the man was going to betray him.
True Lies and Babe References
When Carol Danvers crashes into the Blockbuster video store, there’s a very clear shot of a True Lies cardboard cutout in the window. Later in this scene, she also shoots the cutout with her hand blasts. True Lies is all about spies and deception, much like Carol Danvers’ journey. The fighter jet used in True Lies was also reused in The Avengers and was ultimately destroyed by the Hulk.
Another movie poster displayed in the Blockbuster is the classic family film, Babe. You can catch the poster right as Carol is leaving the store.
Babe is about a pig that doesn’t conform to a farm’s hierarchy. He acts like a border collie and embarks on a career in sheepherding. Much like Carol Danvers, he doesn’t fit in and has to adapt to his new family.
Kevin LaRosa File in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Records Room
When Carol and Nick Fury find Dr. Lawson’s file in the records room, you might have noticed a file behind Carol labeled “Kevin LaRosa”. LaRosa is a stuntman, pilot, and aerial coordinator who worked on the Marvel movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Since Captain Marvel is a film about Air Force pilots, it was a fitting choice to include a shout out to LaRosa in the film.
The ASIS Engine
When Carol and Fury find the photo of the lightspeed engine, it’s labeled with the name “ASIS”. This name comes directly from the Ultimate Captain Marvel storyline. In this parallel universe, Mar-Vell is known as Pluskommander Mahr Vehl, and he goes undercover as physicist Dr. Philip Lawson to investigate the human race. He ultimately grows fond of the humans and joins S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ASIS program to help them reach the stars.
On the day the ASIS 01 test was going to be launched, the base was attacked by a Kree sent to stop Mahr Vehl’s aid to humanity. Refusing to stop, Mahr Vehl destroyed the Kree but was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. He was then questioned by General Nick Fury and Captain CarolDanvers, security chief at the ASIS project.
What I Can Do with a Paper Clip
After copying the S.H.I.E.L.D guard’s fingerprint with tape, Fury tells Carol, “You should see what I can do with a paper clip.” This is a reference to MacGyver, who has used a paperclip to unlock just about anything and can even diffuse a bomb with one. With MacGyver being big in the 80s, it was highly likely that Fury was a fan.
Paperclips could also reference “Operation Paperclip” which was a program put in place after World War II in which S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited German scientists from Nazi Germany for employment. One of the most widely known of these recruits was Arnim Zola, the scientist whose mind was transferred into the computer system Cap and Black Widow found in Captain America: Winter Soldier.
The Arcade Games in the Film are Huge Shout Outs
Throughout the film, we see arcade games hiding out in the corners of certain scenes. When Carol Danvers and gang are on Lawson’s space lab, there’s a shot of the “Space Invader” arcade game right before the Kree arrive. This is a cute and quick reference to the fact that the Kree are space invaders coming to destroy Carols’ plans.
When Carol and Fury are in a pub in Carol’s hometown, she shoots at an arcade game with her hands. This game is “Street Fighter 2” and serves as a shout out to the Marvel vs. Street Fighter game series.
Project Pegasus is a Link Back to The Avengers
In the film, Project Pegasus was the name of the program Dr. Lawson (or Mar-Vell) started to generate a lightspeed engine and bring the Skrull refugees to their new home. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Project Pegasus in the MCU. It’s also mentioned in The Avengers and serves as the secret research group that was investigating the Tesseract. We can only assume Fury set this up after his encounter with Carol Danvers and that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been studying the space stone ever since.
Interestingly, the Kree were sent to take down an enemy named Solarr at the beginning of the film. Solarr was a villain in the comics that was captured in Project Pegasus.
Goose is an Intergalactic Alien
Fury develops a loving relationship with Goose, the cat. However, to his dismay, the cat isn’t a cat at all – it’s a flerken Flerken.
In the comics, Captain Marvel’s cat is also a Flerken – a dangerous alien species with pocket dimensions hidden inside their bodies. However, the cat’s name in the comics is Chewie, as a shout out to Star Wars. In the film, the cat’s name was changed to Goose, as a reference to Top Gun.
During Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury tells Captain America, “The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye”. Now we know that the “someone” Fury trusted was his furry feline friend, Goose.
Nick Fury’s Back Story
Captain Marvel didn’t only serve to introduce the heroine, but it also provided us some background on Nick Fury. During the movie, we find out Nick Fury’s first pet was named Snoofer and he hints at his life as a spy. The story he tells is very much canon and is from Nick Fury: Spies Like Us. Fury left the military as a colonel, became a spy during the Cold War, and went to Budapest to expose a mole.
We also learn that Fury was born on the fourth of July when he hands his credentials to the S.H.I.E.L.D. guard. We’ve never really known Fury’s age or his date of birth in the MCU. When Fury “died” in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the shot of his tombstone purposefully doesn’t reveal any dates.
Each Suit Color Carol Danvers Considers is an Easter Egg
When Carol Danvers finds out the truth about the Kree, she abandons the Kree colors and asks Monica to help her choose new suit colors. Throughout the different changes, we see Carol and Monica stop on a red and yellow color scheme. This suit looks a lot like Captain Marvel from the DC Universe, who is also known as Shazam. Ultimately, Carol and Monica determine this suit wasn’t good enough, throwing some slight shade at the DCEU.
The bright, neon-colored suit Carol tries out is also a reference to Disney’s Tron movie, and the green one that we see right for her final decision is the original Kree uniform of Mar-Vell in the comics.
We See the Pager Nick Fury Uses to Page Captain Marvel
We all saw Nick Fury page Captain Marvel right before he gets dusted in Infinity War. Now, Captain Marvel has shown us where this pager came from. Carol Danvers takes it from him when he calls for back-up in the records room and tells him that he can’t be trusted with it. Then, at the end of the film, she returns it with some slight modifications. He can now use it in emergencies if he ever needs to get into contact with her.
Interestingly, we’ve never seen Fury use the pager until Infinity War. However, Kevin Feige has told fans that this doesn’t mean that he’s never used it before.
The Protector Initiative References Another Captain Marvel
At the end of the film, Nick Fury ties all of the past films together with his new initiative. Originally, he calls it “The Protector Initiative,” but changes the name to “The Avengers Initiative” after he sees Carol Danvers’ callsign painted on her plane.
Although this scene is a clear reference to the Avengers, “The Protector Initiative” is also a reference to Marvel Comics. In the comics, another Kree named Noh-Varr joined the Avengers under the name, Captain Marvel. He ultimately became Earth’s protector after the Skrulls invaded the planet and became known as “The Protector”.
The Stan Lee Tribute and Cameo
The beginning of the film started out with a nice tribute to the legendary Stan Lee. During the montage of superhero images that are typically shown at the start of MCU movies, we actually see all of Stan Lee’s amazing cameos, followed by the words “Thank you, Stan”.
Later in the film, we also see Stan Lee’s cameo. On the train when Carol is looking for a Skrull, she passes by Stan Lee who is repeating the lines “Trust me, true believer,” while holding a script for Mallrats. He’s essentially rehearsing his line from the 1994 movie, Mallrats where Stan Lee appeared as himself and started his long run of cameos. Kevin Smith, who directed Mallrats is an avid comic book fan, and apparently, now exists in the MCU.
The Film Never Says “Captain Marvel”
Interestingly, the film never calls Carol Danvers by the name, Captain Marvel. In fact, the word isn’t even uttered. So, what does this mean? Was it simply an oversight, or is there something in store for Carol Danvers in the future?
CAP HAS A BEARD!?!
One of the best memes that came out of the first Endgame trailer showed Captain America’s beard being dusted out of existence. This is because fans have been devasted that the hero lost his glorious beard in the Endgame trailers. However, in Captain Marvel’s end-credit scene, the beard is mysteriously back.
The scene seems to take place during the aftermath of Infinity War. However, what if Cap’s beard is a clue to time travel. What if this scene doesn’t actually happen after Infinity War. His facial hair suggests that the timeline doesn’t line up with the rest of the Endgame trailer clips.
Also, Nick Fury paged Carol right before he disappeared. So, Captain America’s beard could suggest that it took the Avengers awhile to find the pager and bring it to their new headquarters. However, if this is true, what took Carol so long to come to Fury’s aid?
All the 90s References
Captain Marvel was clearly filled with 90s references, so here’s a quick rundown of everything I was able to catch.
- The green “Rock the Vote” sign when Carol is using the phone to call Yon-Rogg. “Rock the Vote” was a campaign used in the 90s to encourage young people to vote.
- There’s a poster for the band 311 behind Fury when he meets Carol.
- When Carol picks up her dog tag from her box of things, there’s a Guns and Roses ticket hiding behind it.
- Monica tells her mom she needs to go to space and help Carol instead of sitting at home and watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with her.
- The security guard in front of Blockbuster is listening to “Whatta Man” by Salt N’ Pepper.
- Blockbuster and RadioShack
- Carol uses a Gameboy to configure the pay phone to call Yon-Rogg.
- Posters for the Smashing Pumpkins’ album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” appear all around the phone booth.
- When Carol goes to the very 90s internet café, she uses Alta Vista which was more popular during the time.
- Carol wears a Nine Inch Nails shirt.
- Nick Fury offers to give Carol his AOL password when she tries to figure out if he’s a Skrull.
- Mar-Vell’s lab has some crazy-haired troll dolls and Koosh balls everywhere. We also see Nerf guns and Uno cards.
- When the Kree put a mask over Goose’s mouth, Fury says, “It’s a cat, not Hannibal Lecter.” Silence of the Lambs came out in 1991.
Did you catch any other Easter eggs or hidden references in Captain Marvel? Let me know in the comments!