I spent half of The Avengers looking at every computer screen or piece of paper, searching for Easter Eggs. In past Marvel movies we've seen Captain America's shield, Roxxon Oil, a map featuring Wakanda, the Infinity Gauntlet and even the original Human Torch. This time I thought we might see a reference to Simon Williams who, as Wonder Man, became a bedrock Avenger in the comics. Or maybe Jacques Duquesne, aka The Swordsman, who taught young Hawkeye all he ever knew about fancy, trick weapons.
But I came up short. There are some references to Black Widow's past, but those feel like actual character moments and not just little handouts for the hardcore fans. By the end of the movie I had pretty much given up on hoping to see any sort of Easter Egg.
Turns out that's because there are none in The Avengers. And maybe there won't be in future Marvel movies, either. At least not if Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, has his way.
"I find that they're distracting. Joss finds that they're distracting. Frankly we want Avengers to work as its own movie, as a part one. If you keep saying 'Oh look, it's Janet Van Dyne!' everything collapses. I took out some Easter Eggs in Thor because they were getting too [involved]. Selvig would go 'I'll email Dr. Pym who knew a guy named Banner.' It was too much!
"When Tony Stark throws up the screens after Coulson gives him [the dossiers on the other Avengers], those are Easter Eggs for people who haven't seen the other movies. They're clips of Thor and The Incredible Hulk and Captain America on those screens. Those are the Easter Eggs."
Feige did hint that there could be an item or two hidden deep, deep in the movie, but it would be the kind of thing you could only find by buying an Art of the Avengers sort of book. Which sounds like maybe he's trying to sell an Art of the Avengers sort of book.
So don't waste your first viewing of The Avengers scouring the film for clues - they're not there.
What's your take? I kind of love the Easter Eggs - I actually made an audible noise when The Human Torch showed up briefly in Captain America: The First Avenger - so I'd love to see them continue in the future.