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So Guardians of the Galaxy just premiered and boy let me tell you, it’s probably the most reference-packed Marvel movie to date. There’s quite a bit to get through. So with that in mind, lets take a look.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!
In the early section of the film, Peter Quill sashays through the abandoned wastes of Morag, pushing aside the skeletal remains of some kind of humanoid with a horse-like skull. To the uninitiated observer, it would seem like an odd, if cheap throwaway attempt at an alien creature. But lets face. Almost everything’s a reference at that point.
Some think it could be a nod to the horse-headed species the Kymellians. Having a storied history with cosmic Marvel, both helping to create the Universal Inhumans and the Power Pack, it’s a pretty good guess.
However, I think there’s also a good chance it’s a reference to another, even more famous horse-faced Marvel character: Beta Ray Bill.
To be honest, Beta Ray Bill was my first thought due to his head looking horse skull-ish to begin with and, again, he’s more well known. However, to be fair, Beta Ray is an anomaly among his species, the Korbonites, having been genetically modified from a regular noseless humanoid into his hulking, vaguely horse-ish form. So it would need to be Beta Ray Bill himself or another Korbinite modified as he was. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
For a surprisingly brief amount of time we meet The Collector, an Elder of the Universe in the comics, who has an impressive collection. Obviously.
I’ll get to a couple of the big pieces later on, but there are a few smaller things to take note of. Specifically, a Dark Elf from Thor: The Dark World and a Chitauri warrior from Avengers can be seen in and amongst the other items.
Supposedly the collection is jam packed with even more nods to Marvel and more, but as I am yet unable to pause movies while in the theater, I’m stuck with only these obvious ones.
This is what surprised me the most. I knew Knowhere — the severed head of a Celestial that acts as a kind of port of call — was going to be in it. I figured they’d side step talking about it by being pretty vague. After all, the Celestials are such a heady concept to begin with. And in a way, I was right. Gamora describes it as “the head of an ancient celestial being”.
BUT, when The Collector explains the origins of the Infinity Stones he shows an imagine of an ACTUAL Celestial wiping out a planet. A mile tall, Kirby design, everything. In fact, it’s a Celestial straight out of the comics, Eson the Searcher.
By far my favorite easter egg of the movie, it gives the promise of a deep and mythology-rich universe the MCU can now dwell in. I am excited.
A big, featured piece of The Collector’s collection was a dog from the Soviet space program. Although it didn’t get a lot of time, it’s actually a rather large character in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics.
Launched into space by the Soviets in the 60s, Cosmo is a telepathic and telekinetic dog who ran things in Knowhere for quiet some time. Surviving till the end of the movie, maybe we’ll see more of him in the future.
Towards the beginning, as Quill cycles through news stories, there’s brief mention of the Shi’ar Empire. While a throwaway line, we may see some of our favorite weird-haircut pals in the future. How cool would Gladiator be? Guys? Gladiator?
In the comics, Adam Warlock is an incredibly powerful being and possessor of the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Gems. There is a segment of his history in comics wherein he gestates in a cocoon and emerges anew.
In the post credits of Thor: The Dark World, we see one such cocoon in The Collector’s collection that bares a weird resemblance to the cocoon in the comics. In Guardians of the Galaxy, we see the cocoon yet again.
With the collection more-or-less destroyed at the end of the movie, perhaps there’s a chance that we’ll see Warlock escape. After all, the character deals very closely with Thanos, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Infinity Gauntlet.
So chances are, you’ve heard of the big post credits reveal. Howard the Duck. Howard the Duck is there. Are you people happy now? Howard the Duck, or at least a version, is in the MCU.
Yes, a member of the Collector’s collection now freed after its destruction, we see the be-suited duck sipping drinks and cracking wise.
Howard the Duck rose to popularity in the 70s with his own comic that was both parts satire and counterculture. In the mid 80s George Lucas of all people turned it into an almost so-bad-it’s-good movie that, most tragically, included a young Tim Robbins.
Also, whatever this is:
SO, what do you think? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!