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James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Is Full Of DC Easter Eggs

James Gunn has the distinction of having probably the most experience dabbling in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Universe. He has written and directed all the "Guardians of the Galaxy" projects in the MCU, including "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" and the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." He's also the brains behind the second "The Suicide Squad" film and created and directed the "Peacemaker" series on HBO Max.

Now James Gunn and Peter Safran will lead the redubbed DC Universe, which, according to Deadline, makes Gunn exclusive, and means that "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" will be his final projects for Marvel. Despite the perceived rivalry between Marvel and DC, MCU czar Kevin Feige has offered nothing but support regarding Gunn's promotion to head of the DC Universe. "How he'll have any time to work on DC until May I don't know, but once he does have the time I'll be very excited. I'll be first in line," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter.

With "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" being Gunn's penultimate project within the MCU, it seems only fitting that the special would be loaded with possibly the most DC Easter Eggs in the history of the MCU. Since Gunn was only tapped to lead the DC Universe in late October, it's unlikely that any of these Easter Eggs are meant as intentional references to his rise to his new position at DC, but they're certainly some funny coincidences.

Kevin Bacon is Batman!

One of the most striking references to Marvel's chief competitor, DC, comes after Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) succeed in kidnapping Kevin Bacon only to realize he's not the hero they thought he was, but merely an actor who plays heroic characters. Bacon, realizing that his captors are disappointed, puts on a British accent and pretends to be a World War II fighter pilot. Mantis insists he uses his own voice, at which point he strangely chooses to put on the persona of a character that Bacon has never played before, announcing, "Hello, I'm the Batman. Hello, I'm Bruce Wayne."

Like many directors, James Gunn does like to reuse the same actors that he's used before since he has good reason to trust them again. In "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," actor Tinashe Kajese makes a small cameo as Officer Fitzgibbon. Kajese previously played ARGUS agent and Suicide Squad support staffer Flo Crawley in Gunn's "The Suicide Squad." Similarly, German comedian Flula Borg has a cameo in the special as the bartender. Borg also played Javelin, a member of the doomed first wave of cannon fodder characters, in "The Suicide Squad." Additionally, after Drax and Mantis are given a copy of the Map to the Stars, which lists the addresses of several celebrities, an animation shows them going to these celebrities' homes on the map. The celebrities shown include "The Suicide Squad" stars Margot Robbie and John Cena, the latter of whom starred in "The Peacemaker."

But for all the DC Easter Eggs in the special, there are almost as many Disney and Marvel Easter Eggs to be caught, particularly in one scene.

The Disney Easter Eggs

The scene with Drax and Mantis visiting Hollywood Boulevard gives the most obvious callbacks to other Marvel and Disney properties. One of these is an actor appearing as a lookalike of Johnny Depp from Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, a reference that's a little surprising given the recent controversy regarding Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.

In the scene, the two Guardians also see several impersonators of other characters from the MCU, including someone wearing an Ant-Man mask, an actor dressed as Black Widow, another dressed as Captain Marvel, and another actor dressed as Captain America, particularly the Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) version of the character. This fools Mantis into thinking that she's seeing the real Steve Rogers.

After taking pictures with Drax and Mantis, a tourist family thinks they've just taken photos with the God of War. It's unclear who they were referring to, although Scandinavia Facts lists multiple gods of war in Norse mythology, including Odin, a character who appears in the MCU played by Anthony Hopkins. However, it's quite possible the family confused Drax with the popular video game character, Kratos, who is also known as the God of War. Drax proceeds to beat up an actor dressed as a Gobot, and while Gobots are not Marvel or Disney properties, the costume does look vaguely similar to the Iron Man Mk. 1 suit from the first "Iron Man" movie.