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Easter Eggs You Missed In Ant-Man

One of the most endearing superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd in a fan-favorite portrayal across several films. Rudd's tenure as everyman superhero Scott Lang began with the 2015 film "Ant-Man," which saw the master thief with a heart of gold team up with original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The two men, along with Hank's estranged daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), work together to stop Hank's size-changing technology from falling into the wrong hands, leading to Scott becoming a bona fide superhero.

With a comic book history stretching back for decades, Ant-Man's debut in the MCU is chock full of references to a shared cinematic universe and an extensive comic legacy of the underdog hero. Here are all the tiny details and hidden Easter eggs throughout "Ant-Man" — because, even when it comes to Scott Lang, no detail is too small.

Mitch Carson has an even more villainous comic history

"Ant-Man" opens with a prologue set in 1989, showing Hank Pym angrily cutting ties with S.H.I.E.L.D. in a heated confrontation with Howard Stark (John Slattery), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Mitch Carson (Martin Donovan). Carson would go on to become a villainous bureaucratic figure after leaving S.H.I.E.L.D., attempting to obtain the size-altering Pym Particles for Hank's estranged protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). As Carson grew close to his goal, it was revealed that he was secretly working on behalf of Hydra before escaping with a briefcase containing a sample of Pym Particles.

In the comic books, Carson is more than just a mole working for Hydra but a full-on supervillain for the third Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady. Created by Robert Kirkman and Andy Kuhn, Carson was a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who stole an old Ant-Man suit and battled O'Grady before being defeated and arrested. With Carson still on the loose in the MCU, and presumably in possession of Pym Particles, Scott Lang and his friends may not have seen the last of this shadowy double agent.

Darren Cross directly name-drops Ant-Man's debut

Cross is a character who attempted to replicate and profit off Hank's research, including the development of Pym Particles, after the two scientists acrimoniously parted ways. Despite this estrangement, Cross still uses Ant-Man's legacy to better position himself with potential investors as he regales them with Hank's Cold War exploits. During his presentation for the planned military uses for Hank's stolen research, Cross refers to Ant-Man's unbelievable adventures as "tales to astonish," putting special emphasis on the phrase.

The original Ant-man, Hank Pym, was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby for 1962's "Tales to Astonish" #27, the superhero mantle officially debuting later that year in "Tales to Astonish" #35. Interestingly, "Tales to Astonish" would also feature stories starring the Hulk and Namor the Sub-Mariner before being rebranded as "The Incredible Hulk" in 1968. Coming from Cross in "Ant-Man," the emphasized phrase takes a mocking tone to bristle Hank, while referencing an important title in Marvel's publishing history.

Bruce Banner's soda employer lives on

The 2008 film "The Incredible Hulk" saw Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) hiding out from the American government in Brazil while making ends meet working at a soda factory. Bruce's South American secret was exposed after he accidentally contaminated a bottle of the soda with a drop of his gamma-radiated blood before it was shipped to the United States. While the factory Bruce worked at may have suffered some severe damage after the American military tracked him down, resulting in a violent showdown, the Pingo Doce soda brand lives on in "Ant-Man."

After Scott is released from prison and moves into a dingy hotel in downtown San Francisco, poster ads for Pingo Doce can be briefly glimpsed around the city in blink-and-you-miss-it moments. Pingo Doce would continue its association with the world of "Ant-Man" at Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. At the Pym Test Kitchen, visitors can order Pingo Doce from the restaurant's soda foundation — fortunately, without the added kick of Bruce's radiated blood.

Scott's home is named for a Marvel creator

Upon being paroled from prison and divorced from his wife Maggie (Judy Greer), Scott moves in with his old cellmate Luis (Michael Pena). The two ex-convicts share a room in the dingy Milgrom Hotel, located in the heart of San Francisco, as Scott attempts to get back on his feet. The hotel's namesake is Al Milgrom, a prolific comic book creator who had a long-running career with Marvel Comics as an artist, writer, and editor.

Milgrom worked at Marvel for decades, including as part of the original creative team on the comic book series "West Coast Avengers," which prominently featured Hank Pym in its initial lineup. Milgrom's staff position at Marvel ended in 2001 after he was discovered hiding a disparaging message targeting a former Marvel editor in background artwork, and he then transitioned to a career as a freelance artist. While Milgrom may not have gotten an on-screen cameo like Ant-Man co-creator Stan Lee, it's still nice to see an acknowledgement of the longtime artist and editor's Marvel contributions.

Ant-Man crashes on the original live-action Ant-Man's cab

Scott's first use of the Ant-Man suit and its size-altering Pym Particles sends him on a crash-course across the Milgrom Hotel as he experiences the dangers of the technology. This eye-opening sequence ends when Scott crashes on a cab parked in front of the hotel, mustering just enough strength to regain his normal size. This understandably confuses and frightens the unassuming cab driver inside, played by actor and comedian Garrett Morris, who holds the distinction of (sort of) being the first live-action Ant-Man.

Morris, one of the original "Saturday Night Live" Not Ready for Primetime players, appeared in a superhero sketch in a 1979 episode. The sketch depicts Superman (Bill Murray) and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) throwing a party for superheroes, in which both DC and Marvel characters come together for the shindig. Morris plays Ant-Man in the sketch, making his "Ant-Man" cameo a subtle callback. Now, somebody just needs to get Dan Aykroyd a cameo in the next "Flash" film.

The Battle of Sokovia remains fresh in the public's memory

"Ant-Man" premiered about two months after "Avengers: Age of Ultron" in 2015, with the specter of the second Avengers film looming large over Ant-Man's introduction to the MCU. Hank is audibly displeased with how Earth's Mightiest Heroes have been conducting themselves, making a passing dig at the Avengers being "too busy dropping cities from the sky" in reference to the climactic Battle of Sokovia. While exploring the city shrunk down by Pym Particles, Scott soars past a man reading an issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, with the headline pondering who is to blame for the Sokovian incident.

The biggest nod to the legacy of "Age of Ultron" and the Battle of Sokovia, however, is in the "Ant-Man" post-credit sequence, itself an excerpt from the following year's "Captain America: Civil War." Having recovered Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) consider how the Accords will impact their next move. This stinger sets up Ant-Man's MCU return, as Scott finds himself roped into the legacy of Sokovia in the cataclysmic "Civil War."

Janet Van Dyne's supposed death mirrors her comic book demise

Hank and Hope remain haunted by the apparent death of Hank's wife (and Hope's mother) Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) during the Cold War. While on a secret mission disabling a Soviet nuclear warhead mid-flight, Janet shrank herself down to a subatomic level and was presumed lost forever as she entered the Quantum Realm. This is reminiscent of how Janet was assumed to have died, only to later be revealed to have survived on a subatomic level, in the Marvel comic book universe.

In the issue "Secret Invasion" #8 by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu, a Skrull plot has Janet changing sizes uncontrollably, with Thor transporting her to her apparent death to prevent further collateral damage. Janet was revealed to have survived in 2012's "Avengers" #32 (vol. 2) by Bendis, Mike Mayhew, and Brandon Peterson, albeit trapped in the Microverse — the comic term for the Quantum Realm. The 2018 film "Ant-Man and the Wasp" confirmed that Janet similarly survived in the Quantum Realm all along, rescued by Hank and brought back to the larger MCU.

The Avengers have already settled into their new digs

To obtain the components necessary to construct a Pym Particle regulator for the Ant-Man costume, Scott and Hank orchestrate a heist on what Hank recalls is a lightly guarded warehouse in upstate New York. As he approaches the target, Scott is shocked to discover that the warehouse has since been transformed into the Avengers' new headquarters; he subsequently has to fight the Falcon while escaping with the device. This significant tie-in to the wider MCU not only sets up Sam Wilson recruiting Scott in "Civil War" but contains additional nods to "Age of Ultron."

Following the Battle of Sokovia, the Avengers relocated to their upstate headquarters from their original base of operations at Stark Tower in Manhattan. After Thor departed from Earth to investigate the mystery of the Infinity Stones further, he summoned the Bifrost Bridge to return to Asgard. The burn marks left by the Bifrost in the grass next to the main compound can still be seen  as Ant-Man approaches the base from the air.

Spider-Man gets a subtle shoutout ahead of his MCU debut

While Spider-Man wouldn't make his official MCU introduction until "Civil War," with Tom Holland taking on the fan-favorite role, there is a passing reference to him at the end of "Ant-Man." As Luis provides a typically long-winded explanation, the resulting montage includes Sam approaching an unnamed reporter (Anna Akana). As Sam asks the reporter for information about superheroes, she notes that she has heard of heroes capable of swinging and climbing walls.

In an interview with ComicBook.com, "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed revealed that the inclusion of the Spider-Man reference was incorporated into the film late in the game. Holland's casting as Peter Parker would be publicly announced within a week of the "Ant-Man" premiere, confirming Spider-Man's MCU presence. The late inclusion of the reference signals just how fluid MCU productions can be, as they shift to accommodate the shared universe behind-the-scenes.

The Ten Rings appear at the villainous auction for Pym Particles

While the threat of Hydra was still looming in the MCU following "The Winter Soldier" and "Ultron," another terrorist organization makes an appearance in "Ant-Man." As Cross prepares to auction off his replicated Pym Particles to the highest bidder, a shady figure with the familiar Ten Rings tattoo on his neck is present at the proceedings. Introduced as the villainous organization behind Tony Stark's kidnapping in the original "Iron Man," the Ten Rings predate Hydra as clandestine evil organizations active in the MCU.

Visible at the end of the film when Carson forcibly moves to seize the Pym Particles for Hydra, the man with the Ten Rings tattoo was originally slated to appear at the beginning of "Ant-Man" in a deleted scene. In addition to the Iron Man trilogy, the Ten Rings would play a central role in 2021's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." By appearing stealthily in "Ant-Man," the nod expanded the Ten Rings into not only an antagonist for Iron Man, but indeed the wider MCU.

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters gets an early look

While "The Avengers" had Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) command S.H.I.E.L.D. from a helicarrier moving worldwide, "The Winter Soldier" revealed that the intelligence agency's headquarters on terra firma is at a facility known as the Triskelion. Located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, overlooking Washington, D.C., the Triskelion serves as a base of operations for Fury and his fellow high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officials when they're not on the move. The facility will be devastated when a helicarrier crashes into it in "The Winter Soldier," but its early days are revealed in "Ant-Man."

In the "Ant-Man" opening prologue in 1989, an exterior shot of the Triskelion is briefly shown before Hank confronts his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. officials, revealing that the building is still under construction. 2019's "Avengers: Endgame" would explain that, prior to the Triskelion's construction, S.H.I.E.L.D. was based out of a secret bunker under the military base Camp Lehigh in New Jersey, with a young Hank working there. While S.H.I.E.L.D. may have still been rebuilding itself in "Ant-Man," its legacy and history loom large over the 2015 film.

Luis references Marvel's parent company in a sly way

Charismatic Luis is tasked with infiltrating Pym Technologies ahead of Cross unveiling the successfully replicated Pym Particles to his shadowy benefactors, disguised as a security guard. From the inside, Luis is able to help Scott and a swarm of telepathically controlled ants enter the facility in an effort to stop Cross, but not without difficulties. Luis barely avoids harm from security guards on the premises discovering his deception, making light of the situation with a reference to Marvel Studios' parent company, Disney.

As he moves towards a secure area within Pym Technologies to allow Scott access, Luis enters the restricted area while nonchalantly whistling "It's a Small World," theme to the popular Disneyland attraction of the same name. More than just referencing Disney, however, the song serves as a joke about the size-changing stakes of an Ant-Man adventure.

Luis' prison yard reputation has some strong circumstantial evidence

When the audience is first introduced to Scott, he endures a prison yard exit ritual where he exchanges punches with a physically imposing fellow inmate named Peachy (Robert Crayton). While Scott was unable to take down Peachy before the two men parted ways, Luis has his own history with the inmate. As Luis picks up Scott following his release from prison and drives him to San Francisco, Luis notes that he was able to knock out Peachy with a single punch.

While Luis' boast may seem a bit far-fetched, given how innocently pleasant he comes across, the film's climax suggests the claim may be true. As Luis infiltrates Pym Technologies and confronts several security guards, he manages to knock them out, each with only one punch. For a good-natured, hyper-verbal sidekick, Luis seems to possess the skills to back up his boasting.

Paul Rudd's children get name-dropped

As Scott struggles to get back on his feet after being paroled from prison, he briefly takes a job at a local Baskin-Robbins. Before being swiftly terminated when his criminal history is discovered, Scott has to contend with a clueless customer who attempts to order hot food instead of ice cream. Frustrated and unable to explain to the hapless customer what Baskin-Robbins specializes in, Scott passes him on to one of his co-workers, Darby.

When Scott gets fired, his manager can be seen wearing a name tag that reads "Jack." In actuality, Jack and Darby are the names of Paul Rudd's children with wife Julie Yaeger. Since Rudd is one of the credited screenwriters on "Ant-Man," he seems to have found a subtle way to name-drop both his kids, making them both MCU characters in a sweet, fatherly way.