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Mythology Gag / The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

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The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is filled with these, from allusions to The Avengers, Wasp: Agent of SHIELD, Armor Wars, and Siege, to bigger ones, like basing the plot on New Avengers.

  • The way they came up with the name "The Avengers" is basically the same one from The Avengers # 1, except Wasp takes the name from a comment from Iron Man (as seen in the main page), rather than just pulling it from out of nowhere.
  • Tony uses the Mark VII armor in the show, with the previous armor to appear in the film series at that point being the Mark VI.
    • The new suit of armor Tony wears in "The Private War of Doctor Doom" is the original horned suit his comic book counterpart wore back during the Silver Age.
  • The show uses J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark's AI system introduced in the original Iron Man movie.
  • In the first season (along with first section of the second season), Thor had a design and Asgardian armor that was similar to the one that he originally had during the Silver Age of Marvel Comics.
    • Halfway through the second season, Thor had the same design and dons a costume that's based on the Olivier Coipel design from the modern Thor comics.
  • When Tony's armor is out of power and Wasp offers to help, he asks if she has an electrical socket handy. When Iron Man first appeared in comics, this is exactly how he kept his chestplate charged. He also mentions batteries, which were another way to recharge his energy reserves at the time.
  • The Big House itself is based on a memorable She-Hulk arc; Whirlwind even has a cell next to the Mad Thinker just like Southpaw.
  • Black Widow has Champion-class S.H.I.E.L.D. security clearance. In the comics, she was a member of the short-lived team known as the Champions.
    • Considering Cap has "Champion license"—i.e. license to gather whatever team he sees fit for whatever mission he decides is important—in "New Avengers", this might be a reference to that as well.
  • Cop shorthand for a supervillain attack is "Code Blue." Code Blue was the name of a special unit of the NYPD geared specifically to deal with super villains in the comics, introduced in Thor #426 (November 1990).
  • In "Panther's Quest", Black Panther briefly fights the Avengers to assess their skill before recruiting them to help liberate Wakanda. He did pretty much the same thing to the Fantastic Four way back in his debut comic: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966).
  • At the start of the series, Hawkeye is framed for a crime he didn't commit, is attacked by Iron Man during the big prison breakout, and subsequently ends up pursued by the Avengers as a fugitive in a later episode. This references the fact that in the comics, Hawkeye started off as an Iron Man villain before reforming and joining the team.
  • The flashback in "Living Legend" presents Baron Zemo sporting his original Silver Age design.
    • When Cap's shield manages to withstand a blow from Mjolnir, he says of Cap "He will not yield.", referencing the infamously cheesy theme song to Cap's segments in The Marvel Super Heroes.
  • A newspaper (called the "Excelsior" seen in "Enter the Whirlwind" has headlines referring to The Punisher and Man-Thing.
    • A similar paper in the episode "Masters of Evil" references Xavier's School ("SECRET SCHOOL FOR MUTANTS?") and a resident of the Baxter Building claiming he had been replaced by aliens.
  • In the first part of "Gamma World", a female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent mutates into a a harpy-like monster after being exposed to gamma radiation. Something very similar happened to Betty Banner in the Hulk comics.
    • One of her male cohorts mutates into a Hulk-like creature with grayish skin and long hair, thus looking exactly like Skaar, Hulk's son in the comics.
    • One of the background monsters in "Gamma World" is a blue version of the Abomination resembling A-Bomb, Rick Jones' gamma-mutated form.
    • Wasp transforms into a wasp-like monster. This may be a reference to the brief period in the comics where she was transformed into a humanoid insect creature.
  • The reveal that Viper is a Skrull is reminiscent of Skrull!Elektra in Secret Invasion.
  • Hawkeye and Black Widow working as part of a S.H.I.E.L.D. black-ops team ( as well as Black Widow's subsequent betrayal) seems to be an homage to Mark Millar's The Ultimates series. This also syncs up nicely with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Hawkeye and Widow are both introduced as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives (rather than the original comics, where they were reformed supervillains).
  • In "Everything is Wonderful", Wonder Man is somewhat redesigned from his comic book counterpart so that he is now always a living mass of ionic energy, whereas in the comics he can change back and forth at will. However, his original comic book costume briefly appears as a safety suit that Simon Williams wears during the procedure that turns him into Wonder Man.
  • At the start of "The Kang Dynasty", one of Kang's mooks is watching a screen that shows a building that is almost certainly Xavier's school.
  • Gamma World resembles the plot of a What If? comic where the accident that created the Hulk didn't occur and Gamma bombs were used on Nagasaki and Hiroshima creating a veritable army of gamma critters ranging from the beastial types up to the highly intelligent ones.
    • The Gamma Dome was also used in the comics by the Leader in the Warbound comic book miniseries. The heroes becoming gamma mutants is a reference to Fall of the Hulks.
  • In "Widow's Sting", Madame Hydra mentions an arrangement with a man called Gorgon in Japan. The Gorgon is one of Wolverine's deadliest enemies in the comics, and has strong ties to HYDRA through the Hand. Count Nefaria (a longtime Avengers foe), the Maggia (enemies of Iron Man), the Yashida clan (the Japanese family Wolverine's lover Mariko and the X-Man/Avenger Sunfire both belong to) and Aleksander Lukin (the mastermind behind the Winter Soldier plot in the comics) are also mentioned. In the same episode, the Grim Reaper reports to Strucker that he's made a deal with "the fat man" - The Kingpin.
    • The command code Baron Strucker uses to initiate HYDRA Island's self-destruct mechanism is "Fenris". In the comics, Strucker is the father of a pair of mutant twins who are collectively known as Fenris.
    • During Hawkeye's duel with Black Widow, his quiver of trick arrows catches on fire, causing it to explode. This is actually how he died in Avengers Disassembled, though this time he has the good sense to toss the quiver away seconds before it blows up.
  • In "Hail HYDRA!", Hawkeye helps take down the villain by firing an arrow that has Ant-Man as a passenger. This references a famous Avengers issue where Hawkeye did the same thing, albeit with the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man rather than Hank Pym.
  • In "Come the Conqueror," Black Panther notes that Kang's weapons are designed with a vaguely Egyptian aesthetic. In the comics, another time-travelling version of Kang went back in time to Ancient Egypt and attempted to conquer it, becoming a foe of the Fantastic Four.
    • When Kang meets alternate versions of himself in "New Avengers", one has something that looks like the Egyptian false beard, hinting at Rama-Tut, while another appears to be a child, like Iron Lad, another version of Kang.
  • A reference to the Red Room Academy, where the Black Widow was trained to be a KGB agent by the Winter Soldier.
  • Hawkeye's S.H.I.E.L.D. password is "Trick Shot", which in the comics is the nickname of the guy who trained him.
  • In "The Casket of Ancient Winters", Hawkeye muses "We should move [the Avengers] to the West Coast." In the comics, Hawkeye founded the West Coast Avengers.
  • During the intro, as the words "Our world's about to break..." go by, Bruce Banner/The Hulk is seen. In the comics, one of the Hulk's many names is the World Breaker.
  • Ultron's address to the world in "The Ultron Imperative" is taken almost word for word from a similar scene in Brian Bendis' first Mighty Avengers arc.
  • The various Iron Man armors Ultron hijacks resemble classic suits from the comics, including the Hulkbuster, the Silver Centurion, and the classic 1970's armor.
  • While Hawkeye is fighting Chemistro in "This Hostage Earth", he tries to guess which villain he is, mentioning Paste-Pot Pete and the Hypno-Hustler, two notoriously goofy Marvel villains.
  • In "A Day Unlike Any Other", Wasp wears an armored costume that is very similar to her original costume in the comics.
  • Another one for "A Day Unlike Any Other". Valkyrie is knocked off her Horse during the battle on the Rainbow bridge, and is caught by the Hulk. Both were part of the Un-Team The Defenders.
  • In "Meet Captain America", Cap storms the castle using Charging Star and Stars And Stripes.
  • In "The Ultron Imperative", when Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Panther rejoin the battle against Ultron, Thor declares, "Ultron, we would have words with thee."
  • Tony Stark wordlessly plonks down the newly-created, still-steaming Thorbuster Armor faceplate in front of the dwarves, much like he did with the Mk I in the first movie. The image of Tony Stark building his armor with hammer and anvil goes back quite a bit further than that, of course.
  • In "The Private War of Doctor Doom", during the scenes when Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man are inside of the Baxter Building and attacked by Doctor Doom's Doombots, Iron Man asks Mr. Fantastic about the fact that Doctor Doom had trapped the members of the Fantastic Four inside of the Baxter Building when he sent it into outer space. This is a reference towards the same event that happened in the comics in Fantastic Four #6 during the early 1960's.
  • Doctor Doom's Doombots closely resemble the Ultimate Fantastic Four version of Doom, with more angular features and goat-like legs.
  • Throughout "Welcome to the Kree Empire", there are several references to the the genetic potential of humans and the Kree wishing to study Earth. In the comics, the Kree experimented on early humans to exploit their hidden genetic potential, creating The Inhumans in the process.
  • In "Alone Against A.I.M.," the energy shield generator gauntlet Tony was making for Cap is similar to the one James (the son of Captain America and Black Widow in Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow) uses, which is also based on the energy shield from the mainstream continuity.
  • In "Who Do You Trust?", the Avengers are reduced to four members due to Skrull-induced paranoia. This is a reference to the second line-up of Avengers, which fans have nicknamed Cap's Kooky Quartet. It came about when the founders left the team. It even has Cap and Hawkeye, with Wasp and the Hulk replacing Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the lineup.
  • The bomber jacket with an A logo that Cap sometimes wears is the same one the Avengers briefly wore during the 90's. Yes even Black Knight. Over his armor. Marvel doesn't like to talk about it.
  • The short speech Abomination gives to Hulk in Gamma World is taken almost word for word from a confrontation they have in The Ultimates. Hulk even interrupts both speeches.
  • In Season 2, the costume the Skrull posing as Captain America wears is the same one Cap wears in The Ultimates.
  • The code for overriding the security system of Beta Ray Bill's spaceship, "337," matches the comic that introduced Bill, issue #337 of The Mighty Thor.
    • The episode is basically the entire four-issue introduction of Beta Ray Bill brought down to 22 minutes, complete with the shot of Thor, Sif and Bill riding in the chariot drawn by Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. Even Bill's pre-Mjolnir costume is what he wore in #337.
  • After Wasp says that Red Hulk can't be the Hulk, since he has different-colored skin, Maria reminds her that the Hulk originally had gray skin. While his green form is the most iconic and well known iteration, the Hulk was indeed colored gray in his earliest Silver Age appearances, and he's returned to that form several times since.
  • In "Prisoner of War," the Skrull Queen says she's going to get humanity to "embrace change," which was the tagline of the Secret Invasion event in the comics.
  • Various pieces of Jackson Pollock artwork are hanging in Stark Tower, as well as Avengers Mansion. This is a nod to the Iron Man movie, where Tony decides to buy a Pollock painting Pepper mentioned to him.
  • In "Infiltration", the impostor Iron Man states that the Skrull prison ship is stationed behind Titan, one of Saturn's moons. In the comics, Titan is home to Thanos and the Eternals.
  • In "Ultron Unlimited" the Robotic Iron Man says "Who said anything about ME being TONY", which is what the Robotic Iron Man said when referred to as Tony in Ultimates 3.
  • In "To Steal an Ant-Man," Hank Pym hits Cassie Lang with Pym Particles, shrinking her down to size. After being rescued by her father and restored to her normal size, Cassie asks her father if they can "do that again." In the comics, Cassie would eventually become the size-changing Stature of the Young Avengers.
    • The episode features a ton of cameos from minor villains who were featured in Marvel's various street level and martial arts books from the 70's.
    • At the end of the episode, Iron Fist asks Scott Lang if he'd be interested in a job. This is a nod to Lang's role in the short-lived Heroes for Hire series that launched after Onslaught.
  • The Hulk turning into Bruce Banner after Hawkeye makes him laugh is a reference to how Spider-Man once "defeated" The Hulk, though Hawkeye did it with a much more serious face.
  • "New Avengers" has a cop called Bendis. Brian Bendis was the writer of New Avengers for most of its existence, until the Marvel NOW! relaunch.
  • In "The Man Who Stole Tomorrow", when Tony and Steve talk, you can see a chart comparing Stark Industries' stock with various other companies, including Roxxon, Rand Industries (the company of Iron Fist), Oscorp, Stane International, Hammer Industries, and Richard Robotics.
  • In the comics, the Korvac saga featured the original Guardians of the Galaxy (and Korvac came from their universe). On the show, the story introduced the modern Guardians.
  • In "Avengers Assemble", when Captain America commences the Code White protocol to call in all available heroes, Mr. Fantastic activates a rocket that creates a flare in the sky in the shape of a 4. This is a reference to Fantastic Four #1 from the early 1960s, where Mr. Fantastic uses a similar flare as to call the rest of the Fantastic Four.
    • The Fantasti-Car Mk-1 makes an appearance and it has the same design as the original Silver Age version.
    • When the Code White combat unit disbands, Spider-Man web-slings away in the same way as in the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon.
    • The overall plot of the episode, in which Earth's heroes band together into teams of four to fight the Heralds of Galactus (who play up the Four-Element Ensemble aspect) in different parts of the world, is strikingly similar to the four-part "Heroes Reunited" event, part of the short-lived Heroes Reborn reboot in the '90s.
  • In the micro-episode "The Man in the Ant Hill", Hank Pym's recording is numbered 011962-27. Hank Pym debuted in Tales to Astonish #27 in January, 1962.
  • In "Powerless", Thor's mortal form resembles Sigurd Jarlson, a mortal identity Thor adopted in the 1980s. He also immediately breaks his leg, a reference to Dr. Donald Blake, his original mortal form. The spell is broken if Thor learns humility, and in the comics he was transformed into Dr. Blake to teach him humility.
  • In "To Steal an Ant-Man", Ant-Man (Scott Lang) is confronted by an officer named Michelinie, a reference to David Michelinie, the writer who created Scott Lang.
  • The titles of the micro-episodes "Iron Man Is Born", "Meet Captain America", and "The Man in the Ant Hill" are all the titles of the first comic book stories featuring their respective characters.