The Biggest Easter Eggs in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’
The biggest a-holes in the universe are back! Following their universally praised initial outing, Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot return to run from both the Ravagers, the old space pirates who helped raise Peter Quill, and the Sovereign, a new threat in the form of a race of snobby gold fiends. Along the way, the Guardians run into the mysterious figure named Ego, an ancient being who touts himself as Star-Lord’s long lost father. Alongside Ego is the clairvoyant Mantis who adds to the list of newcomers that enter the fray in Volume 2. Aside from these new characters, many other smaller characters are introduced in the latest entry of Marvel’s out of this world adventure.
In this write-up, we’ll fill you in on their place in the movie as well as go into their back stories from the comics. As a warning, this article contains spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so keep that in mind before diving in.
In the movie, Sylvester Stallone makes a surprise appearance as Stakar, leader of the Ravagers, who is so disappointed with Yondu for trafficking in kids like Peter Quill that he’s made the mohawked space pirate persona non grata among space pirates. Stakar, aka Starhawk, himself has a long history in both the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Marvel Universe. While the latest incarnation of the Guardians with Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and the rest is the one that is the most famous to the general population, the original team consisted of Starhawk, Major Victory, Charlie-27, Martinex, and several others, who actually make appearances in the film. As one of the many post-credit sequences to be found here, one of them shows Stakar uniting what is actually the first incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy following Yondu’s death. It’s a scene that may leave some scratching their heads as to the significance of it but rest assured, this team could honestly work with a movie of their own under their belts considering the lineup.
Starhawk has a much different appearance in the comics than he does here as he looks much closer to a costumed hero in the original Guardians’ series. He was originally created by Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema as part of the team the Defenders in 1975, but eventually found his way into the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy as he had helped form the team. Starhawk’s powers involve being able to see into the future, which he would use in order to change current events to work in his favor, and creating a team to benefit the universe was one of those benefactors. Starhawk’s powers came from a pact he made with the Hawk God, a strange cosmic entity, and he was absent when the current incarnation of the Guardians was formed. After their formation however, Starhawk returned in a female body, looking to end the Guardians of the Galaxy as, according to Stakar, they weren’t supposed to exist at that time. As it stands, Starhawk died in the comic book crossover, “War of Kings”, which involved both the Guardians and the Inhumans.
This one was the showstopper for yours truly. In a very unexpected scene, the man himself, Stan Lee, made an appearance as a man in a space suit talking with large, bald, humanoid figures that hung on his every word. These creatures were none other than “the Watchers”, who have been a fixture in the Marvel Universe since the early days of Lee and Jack Kirby. What makes this so unexpected is the fact that the Watchers should fall under the Fox umbrella along with the Fantastic Four as they are considered to be a part of that family of characters. To see them here means that either Marvel made a deal with Fox to use them, the Watchers never really fell under that umbrella in the first place, or perhaps even Marvel has been able to do some behind the scenes deals with Fox to the point where the MCU may have more characters available to use for films than we had originally thought.
The Watchers themselves are an ancient alien race that literally is sworn to only observe and not interfere with the citizens of the universe. The most prominent of them, Uatu, first appeared in the Fantastic Four in 1963, acting as a warning to the Earth that Galactus was approaching. Galactus was an otherworldly being with one sole purpose: to satiate his hunger by eating planets whole. Uatu decided to abandon his oath to only observe and informed the Fantastic Four how to defeat Galactus by using the weapon the Ultimate Nullifer to essentially scare the titan off earth. While Uatu the Watcher had a long history in the Marvel Universe, mostly by showing off how serious certain fights or events had become simply by appearing before the heroes, he is currently deceased unfortunately. In a comic crossover dubbed “Original Sin”, the Watcher was killed by Nick Fury who took his place as overseer of the Earth after taking Uatu’s eyes for himself. Needless to say, it was quite a strange way for this long standing character to meet his end.
I think most comic fans saw this coming when they saw the designs of the Sovereign themselves. Adam Warlock has long been a pretty big character in the Marvel Universe, especially considering his role in the original storyline, Infinity Gauntlet, which is presumably the story that Avengers: Infinity War will be loosely based on. Warlock himself is teased at the very end of the film in one of the post credit scenes, as the Sovereign queen laments her loss at the hands of the Guardians. Showing a large cocoon like machine, the queen states that she is helping to create a “perfect being” that will hunt down the Guardians named Adam. The Sovereigns’ gold skin is reminiscent of Adam Warlock’s appearance and gives you good idea of what he’ll look like when he’s brought to life.
Warlock himself, in the comics, was actually originally created on Earth as part of a science experiment to create the perfect human being in the Fantastic Four in 1967. He was originally called “Him”, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, and Gil Kane, and ironically enough had a bride named “Her”. He eventually settled into his role as a hero, focusing mostly on extraterrestrial affairs and primarily hanging out with the Guardians’ Gamora along with Pip the Troll. Adam was instrumental in defeating Thanos during the Infinity Gauntlet saga and eventually created his own team called the Infinity Watch, which actually included Drax and Gamora. Each member of the Watch was given one of the Infinity Stones to use at their discretion and this team predated the Guardians that we know and love. Seeing Adam Warlock’s role in future Marvel films should be interesting.
This one is a bit of a cheat as he doesn’t actually appear in his full glory, but Eternity is referenced by Peter Quill after his father Ego grants him the ability to see the universe as a whole. Eternity is arguably the most powerful character in the Marvel Universe as he is the complete sum of the universe only with a personality and a physical form. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the pages of “Strange Tales” in 1963, Eternity encountered the sorcerer supreme, Dr. Strange. Humorously enough, Strange simply sought out Eternity for a pep talk in fighting Dormammu and Mordo and Eternity was happy to supply. Eternity’s powers are endless and he’s basically the God among Gods in the Marvel Universe. Whenever he’s brought into a storyline, you know that something serious is about to go down. When Thanos acquired the Infinity Gauntlet, the Mad Titan fought against all the gods and heroes of the Marvel Universe with his last brawl being with Eternity. To show how powerful the Gauntlet was, Thanos even managed to defeat the deity and placed himself into the role of Eternity. Luckily, when Thanos was defeated thanks to his own arrogance, Eternity once again took his rightful place.
Recently, Eternity was killed by a race of aliens known as the Beyonders in their bid to end our current universe to create a new one. Luckily for him, Dr. Doom defeated the Beyonder by stealing their power and using it to create a new universe in the comic crossover, “Secret Wars”. Doom was eventually dethroned as king of the universe and everything went back to normal with Eternity going back to his rightful role. Eternity is a long line of characters that one would never expect to actually appear in a modern day film but we like in some interesting times and this deity fits right into the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s catalogue.
Other Easter Eggs
- Cosmo, the Russian telepathic dog, who is a member of the Guardians in the comics, makes another appearance here in the sequel during the credits.
- Howard the Duck appears at the Ravagers’ party, talking it up and sharing some drinks with the space pirates.
- Ego is of course called Ego The Living Planet in the comics, and always appeared as a giant face on the side of a planet. In the movie, Ego is a Celestial, an ancient race in the Marvel Universe that was also quickly featured in a scene during the first Guardians of the Galaxy when the Collector was explaining the Infinity Stones.
- Jeff Goldblum’s upcoming character, the Grandmaster, in this year’s Thor Ragnarok doesn’t make an appearance in the film proper, but is shown dancing in the film’s credits.
Any Easter Eggs we missed? Feel free to let us know in the comments!