So, where do I begin?
I watched Captain America: Winter Soldier yesterday. Absolutely loved it! Even better than the first one and a great piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
But today I had a revelation. Marvel movies have so many Easter eggs. And I’m not talking about just the additional scenes that are placed during and at the end of the films’ closing credits (seriously, if you get up or stop any of these films before these play out, you are missing on setups for the next films!). The films often contain subtle and easily overlooked nuggets that reference other parts of the MCU.
Since I’ve never read Marvel comics (or any comic for that matter), I often discover that I have missed some important details. Usually this happens after I read a review or listen to a podcast. These reviewers will mention something, pointing out its importance in the MCU, and I feel compelled to learn more about “it”, whatever “it” is.
For example, in the middle of the closing credits for Winter Soldier, two characters are introduced. Having read about the credits scene. I knew who these people were. But I felt compelled to learn more about them. Turns out they are kind of important and, if they are in future films, they present a possible challenge as (SEMI SPOILER!) their dad is a major character in another film studio’s superhero franchise.
Okay, so all of this means that I can’t feel like I can just watch the movies in a casual manner. I know that a casual approach to the films means I am missing out on some clues that connect the dots between the films.
Oh! Oh! Oh! Let’s not forget the freaking Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show on ABC! There are plot lines and characters from that show that play into the movies and certain elements of the movies play into the show as well. It’s a never ending cycle of Marvel madness!
So between the movies and the TV show and trying to learn about all the connecting plot lines and hidden references- it’s almost like homework to stay on top of everything happening in the Marvel films. Maybe I’m over-complicating it, but I do hate the idea of missing out on these hidden treasures. I almost feel like I have to Encyclopedia Brown every film. Oooh! Did you catch that reference? What did they mean by that? Did I just see…?
Argh! Even now I am watching Thor and looking at every little detail to see if I am missing something. I know I probably am. And that’s (probably) okay. In the end, that’s really part of the fun. The Marvel universe was created with so many crossovers that seeking all the subtle hints makes it kind of a cinematic scavenger hunt. We watch and see what we can catch and if we miss something, we still have an amazing film to watch all over again. And when we watch it a second (or third or tenth) time, this new knowledge means we look at the film in a new light.
Even as I write that last sentence, I feel compelled to go see Winter Soldier again. I wonder how long I can hold off before I head back to the theater.