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Mythology Gag / Avengers: Endgame

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It's a shame that Dr. Hank Pym never wore this helmet in his superhero years as Ant-Man.

While the Russos have stated that Avengers: Endgame will not be adapting any particular comic storyline, there are a lot of nods to certain stories and events in the Marvel Comics history:
  • The wipeout of half of living things from existence was dubbed The Decimation.
  • Tony's rant after his return to Earth alludes to the Meaningful Name of the Avengers i.e. how they are the Villains Act, Heroes React kind. Tony adopted the same idea in Civil War II in regards to the Precrime Arrest debate.
  • Thanos uses his discarded armor as a scarecrow, just like at the end of The Infinity Gauntlet.
  • The line "Thanos is inevitable" from The Infinity Gauntlet is adapted in the movie, where Thanos himself says "I am inevitable" twice: First at the beginning when the Avengers find out that he destroyed the Stones, and then at the end when he tries to snap Tony's full gauntlet again.
  • Natasha spends time alone in the compound mourning about the aftermath of the Snap, just like what she was going through at the end of the Onslaught saga.
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  • Scott's van is locked away in storage unit number 616. Earth-616 is the number designation of the main Marvel Universe where most Marvel comics take place.
  • Scott finding his daughter Cassie now a teenager and grown taller refers to her current age in the comics, along with becoming the size-changing heroine Stature.
  • Rocket wears a new outfit that is very similar to what he wore in the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy run by Abnett and Lanning.
  • Carol's new look after the time skip is this on two counts. Her short hair has been carried over from her modern design, as has the red sash she wears as a belt. Her new red costume with black shoulder-pads is lifted directly from Captain Mar-Vell, Carol's predecessor.
  • A subtle one, but Carol showing concern for Rhodey and telling him to be safe is a reference to their recent romantic relationship in the comics.
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  • Banner managing to join his consciousness to the Hulk's bodies is something that has happened many times in the comics. This adaptation borrows heavily from Bill Mantlo's run, with Banner keeping his "standard" mind in a Hulk body (as opposed to being a merge of all his personalities) and being weaker than other versions. Hulk wounding an arm and needing a cast is also something that happened during this run. There are also visual references to Peter David's "Merged Hulk" (also known as Professor Hulk) arc, such as the black tank top and Hulk's face becoming more like Bruce's.
  • Tony's daughter after the time skip is named Morgan. In the comics, Tony has a rarely-appearing (male) cousin named Morgan Stark, who usually brings trouble with him whenever he shows up.
  • Professor Hulk and Rocket strike up a friendship in this film. This is a nod to Rocket's first Marvel Universe appearance being in an issue of Incredible Hulk.note 
  • Following the Time Skip, Thor has established a "New Asgard" for the surviving Asgardian refugees in Norway. This is similar to the plot of J. Michael Straczynski's Thor run, which saw Thor rebuilding Asgard in Oklahoma after the events of Ragnarok. Thor having become a drunken, disheveled wreck with long, messy hair was inspired by Jason Aaron's Thor (2014) run.
  • Thor becoming fat is also similar to how in the comics during Walt Simonson's run, Thor's brother Balder became fat from overeating in order to cope with the trauma he experienced in Hela's realm.
  • Hawkeye has become the Darker and Edgier vigilante Ronin after losing his family when Thanos wiped out half of the universe's population. This mirrors the events of The Ultimates 3, where Hawkeye donned a new costume and adopted a more violent, suicidal attitude after his family was murdered in The Ultimates 2. It also refers to the 616 version taking on the Ronin identity post-Civil War.
    • Clint's take-no-prisoners vigilantism after the death of his family (in a picnic, no less) makes him similar to The Punisher, who also teams-up with Black Widow. His use of swords also refers to comic Hawkeye's Evil Mentor the Swordsman.
  • The suits that the Avengers used to travel through the Quantum Realm are similar in design and color-scheme to the space suits worn by the Avengers from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • Iron Man's Mark 85 armor resembles a somewhat modernized but otherwise completely accurate recreation of his classic Mark 2 Armor (the first red and gold one) in the comics, while Cap's new suit finally incorporates the classic leafmail design of his comics outfit on his chest and shoulders. The Mark 85 armor also has a built-in energy shield that resembles the one Iron Man has in the Marvel vs. Capcom video games.
  • Barton being the first person after Scott to enter the Quantum Realm via shrinking is a nod to his time as the size-changing Goliath.
  • Rhodey suggesting to go back in time to kill Thanos as an infant alludes to Thanos Rising, where Thanos' own mother Sui-San tries to kill him the moment she saw him after his birth.
  • The very premise of the Avengers splitting up into several smaller groups to travel across time and space, complete with copious amounts of Continuity Porn, seems to have been inspired by Kurt Busiek's Avengers Forever. The official sampler that Marvel released for new readers who might be interested in getting into comics after seeing Endgame even listed Avengers Forever alongside other stories that were relevant to the movie, like the original The Infinity Gauntlet mini-series.
  • When discussing the recently-located Power Stone on Morag with his daughters, and Ronan's campaign of death, Thanos says, "Ronan's obsession. It clouds his judgment." Thanos's obsession with Death was his primary motivation for forty years of comics, and, indeed, often blinded him and hindered him.
  • Ant-Man with the Avengers during the Battle of New York is a nod to the fact that Ant-Man was one of the original members of the Avengers in the comics, along with the Wasp (although in the comics it's Hank Pym instead of Scott Lang).
  • Tony Stark partnering up with Scott Lang during a time-travel incident is a reference to the fact that Scott Lang spent a significant part of his publication history as a supporting character and sidekick to Iron Man in the comics.
  • Captain America says "Hail HYDRA." in the film. The difference here is that he's masquerading as a HYDRA operative to get what he needs, instead of being an actual HYDRA agent like he was in Captain America: Steve Rogers.
  • Thor using Mjölnir as a Magical Defibrillator is straight out of the comics where he has done this several times in the past, sometimes even summoning entire bolts of lightning for more sturdy patients. Of course, in the comics Thor actually has extensive medical knowledge from his time living as Dr. Donald Blake, so he actually knows what he's doing.
  • Steve fighting with his 2012 self is a direct reference to Captain America #156.
  • While Steve infiltrates Pym's lab in the '70s, a prototype Ant-Man helmet can be seen on the table, looking identical to that originally worn by him in the comics.
  • Nebula's significant screentime in this movie is true to the comics on how she was instrumental in Thanos' downfall in Infinity Gauntlet.
  • After the Sanctuary II destroys the Avengers compound, Professor Hulk holds the rubble long enough to save the other heroes from being crushed to death,a nod to Secret Wars (1984) Issue #4 when the Hulk holds up a 150 billion ton mountain dropped on the heroes by the Molecule Man. Interestingly, the Hulk also had the rational mind of Bruce Banner during this miniseries.
  • 2014-Nebula being Thanos's lackey who sets up the final battle is the closest the MCU has to Terraxia, Thanos's Distaff Counterpart created via the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Black Widow calls Rocket a raccoon, causing Hawkeye to try and say he’s not technically a raccoon, only for Nat to dismiss him; almost certainly a reference to the notorious “not a raccoon” Retcon from Brian Michael Bendis' run on Guardians Of The Galaxy.Explanation 
  • Bruce asks if "Morag" is the name of a person, which it originally was in the comic books.
  • When Red Skull meets Clint, he calls him "son of Edith", despite having called Thanos, Gamora, and Natasha the child of their respective father. In the comics, Harold Barton was abusive and an alcoholic.
  • Clint and Nat's "fight" for the Soul Stone (requiring the death of someone you love) recalls their turbulent relationship in the comics.
  • Nat sacrificing herself for Clint to obtain the Soul Stone (which eventually revives his family) is the direct opposite of The Ultimates where Black Widow is the one who killed Clint's family.
  • Clint compares himself to Thanos against criminals; he later hands over the Nano-Gauntlet unknowingly to 2014-Nebula. In the comics, Nebula steals the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos' physical body after he has assumed the form of Eternity.
  • After 2014-Thanos bombards the Avengers' compound, Tony tells Steve "you mess with time, it tends to mess back". In Age of Ultron, this is pretty much what an alternate Tony Stark says when Wolverine and Invisible Woman attempt to avert Ultron's reign through time travel and cause a different Bad Future.
  • The finale has Thor Dual Wielding two hammers, similar to the climax of Jason Aaron's The God Butcher/Godbomb story where Thor dual wields the hammers of his present and future self's at the same time. It also recalls the scene from The Avengers (Jonathan Hickman) where the Unworthy Thor used both his axe and an alternate Mjölnir that previously belonged to a Mirror Universe version of Thor during the battle against the Beyonders.
  • Elements of Fear Itself are also derived. Tony and Thanos' final showdown is built up to parallel the fated duel of Thor and Cul Borson, Ragnarok. Both Thor and Iron Man killed their nemeses, but they also die from mortal injuries.
    • In this arc, Stark's failure to save the petrified and smashed victims of Mokk (Grey Gargoyle) reduces him into a drunken mess, resorting back to his alcoholism. In the movie, Thor's loss of his friends, loved ones and failure to save half the universe proved too much for him — turning him into a drunken hermit with a large beer gut. In short, Tony and Thor had a complete reversal of roles from the comics.
    • The Avengers break into small teams to recover the Infinity Stones across time and space, much like various Marvel teams are deployed to take down the Worthy and their hammers all around the globe.
    • The Nano-Gauntlet is analogous to the Odinsword/Odin-weapons as the Avengers' Infinity +1 Sword. These weapons are returned to Asgard afterward, similar to Cap returning the Infinity Stones in their original timelines.
    • Steve finally lifting Mjölnir with the warcry "Avengers Assemble!" is right out of this story arc, where he rallies Avengers and civilians in the battle against the Serpent. In the movie, he rallies the resurrected heroes in the final battle against Thanos.
  • While he does not say it, Captain America being the last man standing and being ready to fight Thanos and his army, even though the odds are against him, calls back to the moment in The Infinity Gauntlet comic where Cap tells Thanos that as long one man is left standing, he has not won yet. Additionally Thanos destroys Cap's shield during their battle which is something that also happens in the original comic.
  • A grand battle that destroys the headquarters of the Avengers with a fierce battle between surviving Avengers and an army of villains also recalls the scenario of Under Siege which ended with the total destruction of the Avengers base.
  • Captain Marvel's fight with Thanos in which she proves to be his physical match is a subtle nod to the original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) and Thanos being bitter foes to one another before the former's death.
  • During the final battle, Thanos spins his double-bladed sword in front of himself like the rotor blade of a helicopter, possibly referencing the "Thanoscopter" from the Spidey Super-Stories comic.
  • Pepper's Rescue armor is purple, which is what it was colored in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures cartoon rather than the comics.
  • Mantis briefly does a martial-arts style stance during the battle, as a nod to the comic book Mantis being a martial-artist.
  • Spider-Man is noticeably flustered when he meets Captain Marvel, a nod to the occasional Ship Tease the two get in the comics, where they're around the same age.
  • The female heroes joining together to help Captain Marvel get to the quantum tunnel serves as a nod to the Lady Liberators in the '70s and the A-Force first introduced in Secret Wars (2015).
  • Thanos being Iron Man's antithesis and personal archenemy for the MCU lies on Thanos' original appearance as an Iron Man villain back in 1973.
  • In Marvel Super Heroes, Iron Man's ending has Tony wear the Infinity Gauntlet which fully heals him. In the movie, Tony's snap of the Gauntlet takes a fatal toll on his body due to the gamma radiation.
  • Tony leaving behind an epitaph in the form of a hologram recalls the time Iron Man fell into a coma but his consciousness was preserved as an A.I. techno-ghost.
  • Hulk ends the film with his arm in a sling thanks to using the Infinity Gauntlet. At the end of the original Secret Wars, Hulk also ended up with a broken limb, though in this case it was a leg.
  • The suit Hulk wears at Tony Stark's funeral looks eerily similar to the suit that the Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit wears.
  • Thor referring to the Guardians as the "Asgardians of the Galaxy" after he joins them at the end is a reference to the recent comic team of the same name.
  • The film ends with an elderly Steve Rogers passing the shield and Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson, much like in Rick Remender's All-New Captain America series.
  • The presence of the multiverse that debuted in Doctor Strange (2016) is further expanded by introducing alternate timelines akin to the numbered universes in Marvel Comics.
  • Tangential realities like the escape of 2012-Loki and Steve settling down with Peggy hearkens back to Marvel's own What If? series, which was also explored in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • This wouldn't be the first time the Hulk wore the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • One of the more subtle allusions to not just the Marvel Universe, but the nature of long-standing fictional universes as a whole, was the clever nod to the Sliding Timescale. Given how everyone decimated by the Snap was brought back to the present day, which was five years into their future, it all makes them legally five years older than they are biologically, much in the same vein that comic-book characters do not age relative to the timeline, like how Peter Parker has been in his mid-to-late twenties for the last few decades. By having those who had been decimated be five years younger than they should be, it acknowledges that aspect of the comics.
  • Captain America with Thor's hammer and his shield could be a reference to this cover.