Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is here, and we could not be more excited. Directed by James Gunn, the film, bringing Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians back to the big screen, has been met with excellent reviews. With the film at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and the global box office gross currently estimated at 501.80 million USD, it's easy to say this film was a huge success.
Just like he did with its predecessor, James Gunn has quite literally stuffed Vol. 2 with as many Easter eggs, cameos, callbacks, 80s references, and Marvel connections as he could possibly think of. Some are right out in the open and some require extensive digging to uncover. Don't worry, though; we've done the work for you. No stone, or planet, for that matter, was left unturned in collecting some of the finest Easter eggs in the galaxy.
For those of you who've already experienced Vol. 2 in all its glory, sit back, relax, and enjoy as The Richest takes you through all the Easter eggs of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) parentage is not the only thing that has changed in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. According to the comics, Quill's birth state is Colorado, but it appears that Gunn has changed Quill's birthplace to Missouri.
While on the surface, this may not appear to be anything special, in reality, it's a pretty cool Easter egg. It turns out that James Gunn's place of birth is Missouri as well (Saint Louis, Missouri to be exact), making Quill and Gunn birth residents of the same state.
This Easter egg is shown at the beginning of the film in a flashback where we're given the chance to see the blossoming romance between Ego (Kurt Russell) and Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock) that would eventually lead to Quill's birth.
19 Quill's Retro Gear
Look closely at the Star-Lord's makeshift inter-dimensional beast tracking radar, and you'll notice something quite nostalgic about it. The base and screen are, in fact, components of the popular 1977 handheld video game Mattel Football.
Having only experienced Earth in his youth, it's well known that Peter Quill has a strong connection to the 80s, being the only decade he was on Earth for. That's before Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the rest of the Ravagers abducted him.
It's these types of nostalgic Easter eggs and callbacks that make Guardians of the Galaxy so much fun. The classic video game was probably discovered aboard the Milano, the team's ship, by Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and reengineered into something he deemed more useful. Initially, Quill must have been pissed, but hey, at least Rocket didn't use its components to make a bomb.
Other 80s references abound in the film with shoutouts to Cheers, Knight Rider, Skeletor, and even an awesome visual gag involving Pac-Man.
18 The Origins of the Abilisk
All that's said about the Abilisk in the opening of Guardians is that it's an inter-dimensional alien monster that feeds on the Anullax Batteries kept by the Sovereign. That and that the Guardians have been hired to kick its ass. But what is it about the Abilisk that makes it inter-dimensional?
The obvious answer would be that it can travel across space through dimensional gateways, but upon closer inspection of the monster's design, Marvel fans may have cracked the code. The picture on the left is an image of a creature known to be part of the alien race called the Many-Angled Ones, primordial cosmic entities that inhabit the spaces between the universes.
They also reside in the Cancerverse, a corrupted universe at the far end of the Fault, a massive rip in the fabric of reality itself caused by the explosion of a Terrigen-bomb released at the end of a war between the Kree and the Shi'ar. While this Easter egg is mostly speculation, the Guardians have visited the Cancerverse in the comics before, and the two beasts do look very similar. If the Abilisk is not a Many-Angled One from the Cancerverse, it can easily be concluded that it was inspired by them.
17 Drax Leaps Into Battle
Does the image on the left of Drax leaping into battle look familiar? It should. It's the inspiration for the image on the right. Drax (Dave Batista) leaping into the mouth of the Abilisk is probably one of the most beautiful shots of cinematography in Guardians Vol. 2.
The creatures Drax is about to fight in the image on the left are called annihilation bugs and are part of one of Marvel's greatest comic-book arcs entitled Annihilation, a crossover storyline, released in 2006, that pitted Silver Surfer, Nova, Ronan the Accuser, and the Super-Skrull against Annihilus and his forces. Drax played a major role in this storyline, especially in relation to Thanos. It's great to see Marvel drawing their visual inspirations from such iconic moments in the comics.
16 The Planet Berhert
The Guardians are not the only ones to have ever crash landed on the planet Berhert. The planet first appeared in Incredible Hulk #111, in which the Warlord Supreme, a Sagittarian military leader, was forced to attempt an emergency landing of his heavily damaged ship. And who was it that caused the Warlord Supreme's ship to be so heavily damaged? None other than the Incredible Hulk, who is about to go on his own galactic adventure in Marvel's upcoming film, Thor: Ragnarok.
15 Quill's Shirt Deciphered
This is probably one of the most impressive Easter eggs found in the Guardians sequel. What could have just been gibberish turns out to be an actual language invented by the Guardians team. The language is being referred to as the Klyn Typeface as the full alphabet was pulled and deciphered from the keyboard present at the Klyn Prison in Guardians Vol 1. while Quill and his companions were being processed by the Nova Corps.
When translated, the shirt reads, "Gears Shift: A Teneyck Galaxy Invention" with the words floating above the molecules reading "Dust, Cement, Stone, and Ash." Gears Shift turns out to be the brand name of one Quill's favorite candies. The name Teneyck is also relevant as Karen TenEyck is the graphic designer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. and previously, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The details of how the code to this Easter egg was cracked is actually very interesting. Look it up at slashgear.com to have a more in-depth look at one of Marvel's craftiest Easter eggs.
14 Mork & Mindy Eggship
Another speculated Easter egg is the uncanny resemblance Ego's ship has to Mork's egg ship from the famous Robin Williams television show Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978-1982.
Ego's ship, albeit much grander than Mork's, is rumored to resemble the comedic alien's space vessel as a way for Ego to subtly disarm Quill when they first meet. By showing Peter a real-life version of something that may have been a huge part of his childhood, Ego automatically creates a subconscious and very nostalgic link with his long-lost son.
13 Planet Contraxia
When we are first reintroduced to Yondu, the leader of the Ravagers who kidnapped Quill, we find him on the planet Contraxia. In the M.C.U., the planet is an underworld of sorts where robotic courtesans pleasure their visitors.
In the Marvel Comics, Contraxia is best known for being the homeworld of Jack Heart's mother, Marie. Jack Heart is the half-human, half-contraxian hybrid who goes by the superhero name "Jack of Hearts." He's been known to team up with the Avengers on a number of occasions.
My guess here is James Gunn was looking for an established Marvel planet with a really dirty sounding name for his underworld whore house, and with a name like Contraxia, who could blame him for choosing the planet where it never ceases to snow?
12 Howard the Duck
Making his second appearance in the M.C.U., Howard the Duck is probably the easiest Easter egg to recognize throughout the film. We find him, of all the places, on planet Contraxia, having a drink and enjoying the "atmosphere."
Voiced by Seth Green, Howard is seen schmoozing his date with one of the most disturbing pickup lines to ever grace the cinema: "You're out of luck until you've gone duck." And who is Howard's date, you ask? It's none other than Molly Quinn, best known for her role as Nathan Fillion's daughter, Alexis on the hit show Castle.
Played by Chris Sullivan, Taserface is no stranger to the Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, Taserface was the 31st Century Guardians' original antagonist back in Guardians of the Galaxy #1, released in June 1990.
In the 31st century, the Marvel Comics version of Taserface is a member of an alien race dubbed the Starks, after they had discovered and equipped themselves with a cache of Tony Stark's weapon he had jettisoned into space back in 2001. While the film's Taserface, being a Ravager, has no connections to his original counterpart, it doesn't stop Gunn from poking fun at Taserface and his ilk's ability to pick decent names for themselves.
10 Ravagers: Tullk & Brahl
One of the best parts of having Gunn at the helm of the Guardians films is that every character, no matter how small, can be traced back to comic book origins. This is the case with Ravagers, Tullk and Brahl. Tullk, played by Tommy Flanagan, is the Ravager who brings Yondu's attention to Ogord's presence on Contraxia. Tullk made his debut in the comic book universe working for Ronan, the villain of the previous Guardians film, as part of the Annihilation storyline. You would hardly recognize him though. Tullk's comic book appearance is that of an overweight, lumpy, green-skinned alien while Flanagan looks mostly human.
Brahl, on the other hand, is full-on alien. Played by Stephen Blackehart, this red-skinned Ravager is one of the first to meet his end at the shaft of Yondu's arrow during Rocket and Yondu's fantastically sequenced breakout scene. Brahl is a member of the Achemonian race and a comic book foe of the 31st Century Guardians. His first appearance was in Thor: Annual #6 and has been associated with the Minions of Menace. Ironically Brahl's comic book counterpart had the ability to become intangible at will, a power that probably would have prevented Yondu's arrow from shooting straight through his head.
9 Yondu Rocks the Mohawk
It was a shock in the first Guardians of the Galaxy to see that Yondu had strayed so far from his original origins. Nothing negative about this. Michael Rooker's portrayal of the arrow-wielding Ravager is phenomenal and, in many ways, an upgrade from the original character. Still, it was great to see Yondu called back to his roots in the second installment of Guardians. We saw this first with Stakar Ogord's (Sylvester Stallone) reference to the Horns of Freedom, a staple of the Centaurian race and faith, and then later in the film where Yondu dons his Mohawk fin. This gave the audience an awesome blend of original and new age Yondu, with the added bonus of it being Yondu's fin that activates his famous levitating arrow.
A blink and you'll miss it Easter egg. The Kronan race makes their second appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When Rocket and Yondu are blasted into inter-galactic overdrive, for a moment, we see two of these rock-based aliens on an unknown planet in the midst of combat. One is about to decimate the other when it's distracted by the presence of Yondu and Rocket's ship.
This is definitely a nod to the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, which has recently been revealed to have adopted James Gunn's style and take on the cosmos. The Kronans first appeared in Thor: The Dark World, where Korg the Kronan was shattered to pieces by Thor's hammer after challenging him to combat. Korg also fought Thor in the comics in Journey Into Mystery #83, Thor's debut comic and first appearance. It's confirmed that Korg will be appearing again in Thor: Ragnarok and will be played by Waititi himself.
One of the more fascinating aspects of Marvel's Universe is that ideas and concepts such as infinity and death can actually be living entities. Marvel's mythology is very similar to the Greeks in this way. One cosmic being that has come to the forefront of our attention since the release of Guardians Vol. 2 is the one known as "Eternity."
In the comics, "Eternity" is a being that has existed since before the universe started. This cosmic being shares the stage with other eternal beings such as Infinity, Entropy, and Death. Seeing as the mural on the right, which was an uncovered Easter egg from Guardians Vol. 1, features the four of them surrounding the six Infinity Stones, it's safe to say that Peter uttering the word "Eternity" after being dosed with some Celestial perspective, allowing him to see all of time and space, is no coincidence.
6 Stan Lee & the Watchers
The award for most iconic Easter egg in the film goes to the man himself, Stan Lee, in the mother of all cameos. Since the inception of Marvel Studios, Stan Lee has made an appearance in all 14 of their franchise films, from being mistaken for Hugh Hefner to delivering UPS packages to Tony 'Stank,' Stan Lee has done it all.
One of best parts of his cameos is that the audience never knows when they're going to happen because Stan Lee never plays the same man twice. However, when he does show up, it's always unmistakably him. This has led fans to come up with the fascinating theory that he's actually Uatu the Watcher, an entity in the Marvel Universe whose soul purpose is to witness and document the most important events of the cosmos.
James Gunn is no stranger to this theory, and the proof is in the pudding. In one of the greatest services to his fans, Stan Lee's cameo is, in fact, him sitting on an unknown planet surrounded by Watchers as he regales them with tales of his previous cameos. It's genius because it neither confirms nor denies that Stan Lee is Uatu. But it does connect him to the Watchers, and it does reveal that Stan Lee has been playing the same character the entire time!
5 Ego, The Living Planet
Another easy-to-spot Easter egg. Fans will be excited to see Ego in his true planetary form (as if there was ever any doubt that Marvel would include an image of the monstrous planet with a face). The "dark side" of the planet is revealed when Yondu and Rocket arrive to retrieve Quill and the rest of the team. Earlier in the film, when Ego brings Quill, Gamora, and Drax to his planet, the face is not visible. This is because Ego actually brings his guests to the other side of the planet. In other words, they enter Ego from his backside.
4 The Original 31st Century Guardians
Appearing in one of five end credits bonus clips, fans of the original 31st-century Guardians rejoiced to see a version of the team assembled at the end of the film. Not only that, but they were composed of an awesome cast. Ving Rhames as Charlie-27, Michelle Yeoh as Aleta Ogord, Miley Cyrus as Mainframe, Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex, and the one and only Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord. There was also one silent member of the team that could not escape any devout Marvel fan's notice: Krugarr the Sorcerer Supreme made an appearance in this cut scene, and he even used a bit of strangely familiar-looking magic to create a pair of thumbs up symbols in approval of the 31st Century Guardians reuniting. One could only hope that Marvel plans to take this team into their own film in the not-too-distant future.
3 Rob Zombie, Steve Agee, and Jimmy Urine
One thing is for sure about James Gunn: he sure does love his cameos. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has tons! Some mentioned in other parts of this article, others perhaps too good to share. Who am I kidding? When Yondu's crew mutinies in favor of Taserface, these three Ravagers played by Jimmy Urine (Halfnut), Steve Agee, and Rob Zombie are not easily missed. Well, perhaps Rob Zombie's is as he's the only one of the three without a proper name. Zombie's character is actually credited as "Unseen Ravager." Good luck trying to find him in the film.
Other notable cameos are Grandpa Quill (Gregg Henry), who is almost swallowed up along with his car by Ego's amorphous blob on Earth in the climax of the film. Guess who doesn't survive the attack? James Gunn's parents, that's who. They were too busy taking pictures of the blob just before it comes to life again, and it crushes them. What's even funnier is that Gunn credits them as "Weird Old Man" and "Weird Old Man's Mistress." Check it out on IMDB, and see for yourself.
There's one more cameo that's spectacular, and it involves the one and only David Hasselhoff, but you're going to have to see the movie to find out what it is. It's just too good to spoil.
2 Adam Warlock
Marvel fans, rejoice! Adam Warlock has officially joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For those not in the know, Adam, commonly referred to as simply "Him," was created by the Enclave, a group of scientists on Earth desiring to create the "perfect being" that would end war and bring peace. Adam Warlock plays a central role in the Infinity Gauntlet & Infinity War storylines so it's safe to say this post-credits reveal is a major one.
What's interesting is that it appears that Ayesha, who in the comics was also created by the Enclave and called "Her," will be Adam's cinematic creator. Whether Adam's first appearance will be in Avengers: Infinity War or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Adam Warlock is about to turn the Marvel Cinematic Universe upside down!
1 Credits Easter Eggs
Post-credits scenes are not the only Easter eggs the credits have to hide. If you're quick enough to catch them, you'll see the title cards for various credits read, "I Am Groot" before they change into the real person being credited.
The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), set to appear in Thor: Ragnarok, and Astro the Dog, also make appearances in the background artwork of the credits. Goldblum even joins in with the rest of the cast in dancing to the credits theme song.
What's that theme song, you ask? "Guardians Inferno" performed by The Sneepers featuring David Hasselhoff. It's as amazing as you can imagine. Check it out below.
Finally, closer to the end of the credits, if you keep your eyes open, you'll catch this blurb:
“No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this feature. The same cannot be said for handlers of said raccoons and tree creatures.”
The previous Guardians had this blurb in its credits as well -- a disclaimer to let its audience know that those in charge of taking care of Groot and Rocket on set probably have the most difficult job in the universe.
Well, that's all 20! I hope you enjoyed this tour through the Easter eggs of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Until next time, "I AM GROOT."