Stunning action sequences, unparalleled performances and plots that tie in as seamlessly as possible… This is just an excerpt from the laundry list of things we’ve come to love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But if there’s one thing that makes the franchise a class apart from its contemporaries, it’s the Easter eggs. From Iron Man to Guardians of the Galaxy, each film has featured references that have blown our minds! Though everyone has noticed the post-credits scenes and Stan Lee’s appearances, others aren’t as easy to spot. As we gear up for some more hidden gems in Avengers: Age of Ultron, here’s a look back at 10 things you might have missed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

1. Iron Man’s first appearance outside the comics was in the 1966 cartoon series, The Marvel Super Heroes. Anyone who has watched it would recognize the superhero’s theme music in a heartbeat. In fact, it’s probably playing in your head right now!

Flash forward 42 years. When Tony Stark calls James Rhodes in Iron Man, his ringtone is revealed to be the very same theme song!

2. Every comic book fan grew up reading the Captain America graphic novels. Apparently, Howard Stark was one of them!

When Tony rummages through his father’s belongings in Iron Man 2, we get a glimpse at a Captain America comic that he had stashed away with some other papers!

3. Speaking of Captain America, everyone knows that the first Avenger was also the first superhero to be scientifically created. However, he wasn’t the only one to be injected with the Super-Soldier Serum.

Emil Blonsky, who took on Bruce Banner in the Incredible Hulk, was also administered the same serum. 

4. Iron Man 3 is far from the finest film in the franchise. But if there’s one nice Easter egg that we saw in the film, it’s Mandarin’s tattoo. Hawk-eyed viewers observed a shield tattooed on the supervillain’s neck. The interesting part? It’s actually Captain America’s shield with the symbol for anarchy right between it!

5. Towards the end of Iron Man, Tony can be seen reading a newspaper that features a blurry image of Iron Man on the front page. This is actually a frame from leaked footage of the film!

6. New Mexico is known as a lot of things, but "Land of Enchantment" isn’t one of them. However, this is what a billboard in Thor advertised it as! What most people may not know is that the tagline "Land of Enchantment – Journey into Mystery." is a reference to the comic series Journey Into Mystery, which featured Thor’s very first appearance!

7. That isn’t the only reference to Journey Into Mystery, though. In Thor: The Dark World, we see another billboard with the caption, "Is your journey really necessary?", hinting at the comic books.

8. There’s also a Pulp Fiction reference thrown in for good reference! Nick Fury’s tombstone at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier reads "The Path of the Righteous Man, Ezekiel 25:17". This is a reference to Samuel L. Jackson’s iconic dialogue from Pulp Fiction, the film that cemented his place in pop culture.

9. Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, makes an appearance in Iron Man 2. Can’t remember him? Well, he’s the guy Tony calls "The oracle of the Oracle"!

10. When Tony Stark and Nick Fury meet in Iron Man 2, the map behind Iron Man isn’t any ordinary map. It’s one that marks the location of every superhero. Look closely enough, and you’ll see one spot marked in the Atlantic Ocean!

These are just 10 of the many Easter eggs that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has treated us to so far. With Avengers: Age of Ultron all set to release, we’re all set to spot some more. Are you?

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