Like any movie in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home is filled with plenty of references to the movies’ comic book roots, the wider MCU, and, with this being the end of ‘Phase 3’ plenty of hints at what’s to come. In Spider-Man: Far From Home Easter Eggs, References and Cameos, we’re taking a look at the best nods, hints, and secrets in the second MCU Spider-Man movie.
Arguably Mysterio turning out to be a bad guy wasn’t really a huge ‘twist’ as most fans will have expected the reveal sooner or later – the actual twist comes in his backstory, and how he along with a group of others are disgruntled former Stark employees, hellbent on revenge against Tony Stark, and are out to use his death as an opportunity.
We see Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck was actually lurking in the wings of Tony Stark’s illusion tech demonstration in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and that Tony basically took credit for Beck’s life’s work, and only added salt to the wound by calling it ‘B.A.R.F’, which was the last straw for Beck.
Similarly, we also see the return of William, played by Peter Billingsley, who originally had a very small role in the first Iron Man movie in 2008. There Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane berates William for not being able to shrink the arc reactor tech as Tony did. William returns as Beck’s second in command and is the only other character to get a flashback to a previously seen scene.
After Peter’s unsuccessful attempt at trying to sit next to MJ on the flight to Europe, he resorts to flicking through the in-flight movies. As he does we get a glimpse of a number of in-universe documentaries, including ‘Heart of Iron’ which looks to be a Tony Stark retrospective, ’Finding Wakanda’, ‘Hunting HYDRA’, ‘The Snap’, and ‘NOVA’ which as well as being a reference to the superhero Nova is seemingly hosted by Dr. Erik Selvig (from Thor, Thor the Dark World and the first Avengers movie) where he explains Einstein Rosen Bridges (also featured heavily in the first Thor movie).
One of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s biggest plot threads revolved around the suit, and ultimately what made him a hero. Spider-Man’s appearance continues to play a prominent role in Far From Home, where, at various points, we get a glimpse of every suit he’s had so far, as well as some new ones.
At the start of the movie Peter is still wearing his Iron Spider Suit from Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, but when he heads to Europe May packs the original Stark Suit from Civil War and Homecoming. Later in the movie, Peter’s main excuse for not working with Fury (aside from the fact that he just wants a vacation) is that he’d probably be recognised, given that Spider-Man had already shown up at Midtown School of Science and Technology school trip (Washington D.C trip in Homecoming), and doing so again Europe would be too obvious. Fury’s response is to simply get Spider-Man a new suit, namely a black, covert, espionage looking suit that is very reminiscent of the Spider-Man Noir costumes from the comics.
In a brief shot of Peter’s passport we see that he was born on the 10th of August, which was the date Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s comic book debut, was released, back in 1962.
The Avengers tend to get some sort of reference in most non-Avengers MCU movies, and Far From Home is no exception. The now-dead Captain America, Black Widow, Vision, and Tony Stark all get an early nod during the hilarious montage set to Whitney Houston’s cover of ‘I Will Always Love You’.
Thor and Captain Marvel get mentions when Peter is trying to avoid helping Fury, with that being the first in-universe reference to Carol Danvers’ superhero name, and Doctor Strange is mentioned when the kids are watching the footage of Mysterio.
In a more physical nod, whilst in the Tower of London, Happy throws an old circular shield, with very little success, and questions how Cap was able to do it. And in another Cap reference, we see Spider-Man create a makeshift hammer and shield out of drone parts, towards the end of the movie, which feels very reminiscent of Captain America in Avenger’s Endgame.
So far there has only been some vague allusions to Ben Parker in the MCU, such as Peter talking about what his Aunt May had ‘been through’ in Spider-Man: Homecoming. And although there still isn’t any large nods or mentions in Far From Home, with Tony Stark (and arguably now Happy) taking on more of an Uncle Ben mentor-type role in the MCU, we do get confirmation that Uncle Ben existed, with Peter’s suitcase adorned with the initials ‘B. F. P’; Benjamin Franklin Parker.
Zombie Iron Man
During Mysterio’s illusion bombardment on Peter, we see a zombie Iron Man suit rise from the grave and attack Peter. The shot serves as more than just a clever, cool, and creepy visualisation of the lasting legacy of Tony Stark, in fact, it is likely a reference to the Marvel Zombies comic book series, which sees a number of Marvel’s most popular heroes become zombies.
Earth, Wind and Fire (and Water)
Although the real villain of the movie is eventually revealed to be Mysterio, he makes himself out to be a hero by fighting a number of giant elemental creatures, claiming that they destroyed his world in an alternate universe.
Despite being illusions, the elemental creatures have some roots in the comics, and could well be the only MCU version of a number of Spider-Man villains. The water-based elemental is a reference to Hydro Man, who’s alter ego Morris Bench is mentioned by Flash whilst reading a BuzzFeed post. The earth/sand looking elemental is a reference to Sandman, who made his cinematic debut as one of the villains in Spider-Man 3. The fire elemental is a reference to Molten Man, and the air/wind elemental references Cyclone.
Crusher Hogan vs. Bonesaw McGraw
Early on in the movie, as May holds a fundraiser for people displaced by the Blip, we see a poster behind Happy whilst they are backstage. The poster advertises a wrestling match between Crusher Hogan and Bonseaw McGraw. Crusher Hogan dates back to Spider-Man’s very first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, as Peter’s wrestling opponent. Bonesaw McGraw is Crusher Hogan’s stand-in character in Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie, played by Randy Savage.
I Love Led Zeppelin
A huge part of Spider-Man: Far From Home revolves around Peter struggling with the responsibility of becoming ‘the new Iron Man’. Ultimately Happy helps Peter realise that even Iron Man couldn’t live up to his own legacy and that the only way Peter can succeed is to be true to himself. That leads to a scene where Peter unintentionally shows off just how like Tony Stark he really is, and almost shot for shot recreates the scene where Tony starts to design the MK II Iron Man suit in the first Iron Man movie.
But just in case the scene was a little too sentimental, Happy decides to put on some music, aptly choosing AC/DC’s Back in Black, which opened the first Iron Man movie, only for Peter to say “I love Led Zepplin”. The mistake from Peter not only perfectly sums up Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, but perhaps doubles as a subtle reference to Thor: Ragnarok, where Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant song features prominently.
The Skrull are one of the most important alien races in the Marvel Universe, able to shapeshift into nearly any form they have featured promptly in a number of big Marvel comic storylines, namely in Secret Invasion, where it was revealed that they had replaced a number of prominent Marvel characters. The Kree actually debuted as early as 1961 in Fantastic Four #2, which was a year earlier than Spider-Man himself. The species made their MCU debut in 2019’s Captain Marvel (at least we think that is the first time we see them), and reappear in Far From Home.
The second credits scene reveals that the Nick Fury and Maria Hill we’ve seen throughout the movie, who at least in terms of Nick Fury has been a little more brash and blunt than the usual Fury, were actually Skrull the entire time, specifically Skrull leader Talos (played by Ben Mendelsohn) and his wife Soren (played by Sharon Blynn). The scene gives a whole new context to much of the movie and of course sets the stage for other MCU characters being replaced by Skrull, possibly even leading to an MCU adaption of the Secret Invasion storyline.
After the second post-credits scene delivers the Skrull reveal, it continues with some teases at the future of the MCU. After turning back into his Skrull form, Talos calls up Nick Fury and explains the plot of the movie, the scene then cuts to Nick Fury who is on board a giant, partly-built, space station. The station is likely Fury’s attempt at a Sentient World Observation and Response Department or ’S.W.O.R.D’.
In the comics, S.W.O.R.D is the space-faring side of S.H.I.E.L.D, and in terms of the MCU it’s a fair assumption to think that Fury, who intended to use the Tessaract after seeing the power of Thor, Loki, and the Destroyer in the first phase of the MCU, would likely want to build a giant space station/weapon to protect Earth (and seemingly the Skrulls) in a post-Thanos universe.
J Jonah Jameson
With Far From Home setting the stage for the future of the MCU and Phase 4 in particular, it wasn’t wholly surprising that there would be a fair amount of reflection on the story so far, especially in the wake of Avengers: Endgame. What is surprising however is the debut of a very important Spider-verse character, which actually turned out to be the return of a version from a totally different live-action iteration of Spider-Man.
J. K. Simmon’s turn as J. Jonah Jameson is without a doubt one of the best castings in a comic book movie, and despite much of the Remi trilogy ageing somewhat poorly Simmon’s Jameson is still universally loved. And so even though the MCU has continuously reinvented characters in new and interesting ways bringing back Simmons as Jameson felt like the right thing to do.
But Jameson’s return does come with a clever MCU twist, the Daily Bugle is now an InfoWars style website, described as a ‘rouge blog’, which not only explains why it hasn’t been mentioned in the first eleven years of the MCU but also perfectly updates the ever-sceptical and conspiracy enthused Jameson for the modern world.
Spider-Man PS4 References
In 2018 Insomniac Games released the PlayStation 4 exclusive ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’. The game was a huge hit and delivers not only a great Spider-Man game but a fully realised Marvel Universe that truly felt alive. The game will go down as a huge part of Spider-Man’s legacy and so it was only fitting that there were some references to the game in Far From Home.
Towards the end of the movie, after Mysterio is defeated, Spidey swings through New York and takes a selfie, just like the player can do in the PS4 game. Another similarity is the new take on J Jonah Jameson, who in the PS4 game has been fired from the Bugle and now hosts a Spider-Man bashing podcast, although the similarity with Jameson is likely more of a coincidence in trying to update the character rather than a direct reference.
Tony Stark sold the former Stark Tower, and then Avengers Tower, during Spider-Man: Homecoming, and during Far From Home (which takes place over five years later) we can see the building is still under renovation. One of the biggest possibilities as to who is taking over the large tower in the middle of New York are Norman Osborn, building a new headquarters for Oscorp and eventually leading to the MCU’s version of Green Goblin. Or in terms of future planning, considering Marvel will always be reliant on Sony for the rights to Norman Osborn, a more likely candidate is the Fantastic Four (to whom Marvel have rights for again after Disney’s Fox buyout), which would mean that the tower will eventually become the Baxter Building.
Furthering this idea, there is then a sign saying ‘1-2-3-?’ ‘We can’t Wait to Show You What Comes Next’, this could be a reference to the fourth phase of the MCU, or of course the Fantastic Four.
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