With so many characters and highly limited screen time, it’s clear that not everyone (or thing) from the Marvel catalog will make it into the MCU. Even with plans to have over 30 characters in one scene of the in production Avengers: Infinity Wars, there’s just so much filmmakers can do with such a vast catalog. No matter their expertise in getting the brand to translate into big box office returns, it’s always a balancing act between the comics and the creative element. When you name check a story arc like Civil War or Apocalypse, the fans don’t want to feel cheated. Mess with the storyline all you want, but you better have the characters present to provide the necessary link.
Still, you can’t fit everyone into a 150 minute film, no matter how clever your screenwriters are. Instead, Marvel has made it a goal to add as many references and Easter Eggs to other players worthy of the MCU into their main events, and if you blink you might just miss them. It’s those kind of details that keep the audiences engaged, each trip to the Cineplex (or binge on Netflix) providing more and more fuel for their fan fire (or ire). Below are ten examples of how it is done, as well as a video highlighting the studios devotion to the practice. Check it out:
Not actually a comic book character, “The Gentleman” actually comes from a series of Spider-Man novels from the ’90s. After showing up in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, we haven’t seen much of the character since.
This one is confusing. The character is part of the terrorist group who kidnaps Tony Stark at the beginning of Iron Man, and yet the version we see is actually based more on a space pirate character, sans the metal faceplate. Odd.
The Human Torch
No, not Johnny Storm. This is Jim Hammond, an early effort from the company that eventually became Marvel, Timely Comics. He can be seen on display in Howard Stark’s expo in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Glimpsed briefly in X2, this is another strange variation on a known character, in this case, Jason Wyngarde from the comics. He’s usually a potent foe for the mutants, but in this case, he’s been reduced to an atmospheric afterthought.
He was actually the government liaison for the Avengers at one point. As with many minor movie characters, this turncoat (he kidnaps Senator Kelly in X-Men) gets his moment, and then is killed off. He was a much more viable villain in the comics.
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