(SPOILERS: Do not read if you haven’t seen “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”)
With Spider-Man’s move into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character’s first solo outing was bound to include plenty of fun nods to the other famous superheros. From Robert Downey Jr.’s appearance as Tony Stark/Iron Man, to Peter’s school showing PSAs featuring Captain America, and references to Thor, SHIELD, and more, there was plenty for fans to take in.
But there were also more subtle nods to the ever-expanding MCU as well as to the wall-crawler’s own 55-year history. Here are 10 Easter eggs from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” you may have missed.
Spider-Man Theme Song
The film starts right off the bat with a nod to Spider-Man’s long history. Rather than include the usual music that plays over the Marvel logo opening that’s included in every film, the music in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is actually the theme from the 1967 “Spider-Man” cartoon.
Peter’s school life is a much bigger part of this film than it was in the previous ones, and as such, he spends more time with his classmates. Among them are a lot of familiar names from Spidey’s history.
Ned Leeds: In the film, Ned (played by Jacob Batalon) is Peter’s best friend and “the man in the chair.” In the comics, however, Leeds actually becomes the Hobgoblin. It doesn’t seem likely that the film’s version of the character will head down that path.
Liz Allan: Peter’s love interest in the film actually debuted the same time Spider-Man himself did in “Amazing Fantasy” #15. She was a love interest of both Peter and Flash Thompson.
Flash Thompson: No matter the universe, Flash is always Peter Parker’s high school bully.
Betty Brant: In the comics, she works for the Daily Bugle (ditto to the Sam Raimi films where she was played by Elizabeth Banks), but in “Homecoming,” she’s another one of Peter’s classmates. She’s getting a jump on that journalism career as a reporter for the school news channel. Fun fact: in the comics, Betty Brant has a relationship with Ned Leeds before he breaks bad.
“My friends call me MJ”
Michelle (who’s played in the film by Zendaya) sticks to the background for most of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — more content to be reading her book than caring about what’s going on around her. It isn’t until one of the last scenes of the film — when she is nominated to be the new captain of the academic decathalon team — that she reveals her friends call her MJ.
In the comics, MJ is the nickname of Mary Jane Watson — the love of Spider-Man’s life.
Michael Keaton’s character Adrian Toomes (aka the Vulture) has a pretty decent operation going by the time Spider-Man starts interfering, but there are two members of Toomes’ team that stand out as other villains to the wall-crawler.
Herman Schultz: Herman Schultz (Bokeem Woodbine) gets his super-villain name in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” He’s the Shocker. Not exactly the biggest villain in Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, but it’s fun to see him on the screen after year’s of Green Goblins.
Phineas Mason: Phineas Mason (Michael Chernus) doesn’t actually get his villainous moniker in the film, but in the comics he’s known as the Tinkerer.
The man who the Vulture meets on the ferry for the weapons deal, and later runs into in prison, is Mac Gargan (played by “Better Call Saul’s” Michael Mando). If you couldn’t piece it together by the large neck tattoo he sports in the film, Mac Gargan eventually becomes the Scorpion.
“I got a nephew who lives around here.”
Donald Glover has a small role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” but an exciting one for Spidey fans. Glover plays Aaron Davis, a low-level criminal who eventually becomes a villain called the Prowler. That isn’t what makes him special to the film though.
While being interrogated by Spider-Man, Davis mentions he has a nephew who lives in the area. Aaron Davis is the uncle of Miles Morales aka the Ultimate Spider-Man. In the comics, Miles took the place of the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker after he was killed by the Green Goblin. He now resides in the main 616 Universe alongside the Peter Parker we know and love, as it seems is true in the MCU.
What makes Glover’s casting as Miles’ uncle even better is that the “Atlanta” star actually campaigned to play the role of Spider-Man in 2010 before Sony went with Andrew Garfield. His campaign eventually led him to voice Miles in a couple episodes of the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated series.
Karen, the A.I. inside Spider-Man’s suit, was a last-minute addition and is voiced by none-other than Jennifer Connelly. Connelly is married in real life to Paul Bettany who, before becoming Vision in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” voiced Jarvis the A.I. in Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit.
In a great, and subtle, nod to the larger MCU, Kenneth Choi plays the principal of Peter’s school, Principal Morita. In “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Choi played Jim Morita — a member of the Howling Commandos. He’s returned to essentially play his own grandson in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” In a scene in his office where he is speaking with Peter there are photos of Jim and the Howling Commandos.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” #33
The Spider-Man films have paid homage to famous covers and scenes in the past (think Peter throwing away his Spider-Man costume in the garbage in “Spider-Man 2,”) and “Homecoming” is no different. Near the end of the film, after the Vulture drops a roof on Spidey, Peter struggles to push the rubble off himself as water rains down on him. This is a tribute to a famous Steve Ditko sequence from “The Amazing Spider-Man” #33.
The Iron Spider
After the final battle and the dust settles, Peter is driven to the new Avengers complex in upstate New York where Iron Man offers him an Avengers membership as well as a shiny new suit. While not exactly the same, it does bear a resemblance to the Iron Spider suit Stark builds for Peter during the Civil War comic book storyline.