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Since 2005, Marvel Studios has been planning to make their superhero films interlink with each other in order to setup for the ultimate superhero film, The Avengers. All this started with the releases of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk and now it has continued with Thor. So let's look closer at the references to The Avengers. (Please note there will be SPOILERS).
1. Mjolnir in Iron Man 2
At the end of Iron Man 2, there was a post-credit scene setting up Thor. Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, ended up in a crater in New Mexico indicating that the events of Thor happened around the same time as the previous film.
2. Agent Phil Coulson’s Return
One of the prominent and most obvious references to The Avengers is Clark Gregg respiring his role as Phil Coulson from the Iron Man films. His role is more prominent as well as S.H.I.E.L.D’s, being a little more antagonistic as he is interfering with Dr. Jane Foster’s research and gets S.H.I.E.L.D to study Mjolnir.
3. Hawkeye’s Appearance
One of the worst-kept secrets in film at the moment is the appearance of Jeremy Renner as S.H.I.E.L.D sniper Clint Barton, armed with a bow and arrow. He serves both as a wink to the fans and introduces a lesser-known character to non-comic book fans. Barton has yet earned his codename or costume, but Renner is a fine addition to The Avengers Initiative.
4. A Friend Working with Gamma Radiation
Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skargard) has a throwaway line that a friend of his was working with Gamma radiation. Even people with a basic knowledge of superheroes can guess that Selvig is referring to Bruce Banner. Added to that, Jon Faverau, director of the first two Iron Man movies, stated that events from The Incredible Hulk happened after the events of Iron Man 2, so the timeline could fit.
5. One of Stark’s?
Another little line is from the S.H.I.E.L.D agents when Loki sends down the Destroyer (I’m guessing subtlety is not Asgardians strong suit), asking if it was one of Stark’s, again establishing that Thor is happening in the same universe as Iron Man.
6. The Post-Credit Scene
This is the big one: the post-credit scene linking the events of Thor to The Avengers. If you stay behind you will see Dr. Selvig being recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in an underground bucker. Fury shows Selvig a mysterious powerful cube. But unknown to Fury, Selvig is being controlled by everyone’s favorite trickster, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). We are all now wetting ourselves with anticipation for The Avengers.