The Marvel Cinematic Universe may not be a perfect, live-action copy of the comic books that inspired it, but Marvel Studios has always done a good job of paying tribute to the source material while telling new stories at the same time. Everything from the creation of Professor Hulk to Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame has a precedent in the comics, but sometimes, the MCU goes even further to create perfect copies of iconic comic book moments in live-action.
These moments are few and far between, and when they do happen, you might miss it if you don’t know what to look for. Thankfully, one Marvel fan assembled 12 of them on Reddit. These range from the obvious to the much more subtle, and they cover everything from the big crossover movies like Avengers: Endgame and Captain America: Civil War to solo films like Spider-Man: Far From Home and Black Panther.
Here’s all 12 in one awesome image (and read on for a breakdown of each, plus one bonus picture, below):
Here’s a quick explanation of where all these screenshots come from, starting at the top and moving left to right:
- Captain America: Civil War took the idea of Ant-Man riding Hawkeye’s arrow from Avengers #223, which took place at a carnival, not an airport.
- Near the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tom Holland reenacts this famous moment from Amazing Spider-Man #33, which also got a shoutout in the Spider-Man game for PS4.
- When Thanos hung up his armor in Avengers: Endgame that was a direct reference to the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet story where the Mad Titan similarly retires to a life of humble farming.
- In Spider-Man: Far From Home, when Mysterio uses holograms to confused Peter Parker, that’s a clear nod to the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man’ #198.
- That iconic scene where Iron Man and Captain America go toe-to-toe in Civil War is a direct copy of that moment in the Civil War comic. Except, in the comic, they fight on top of Spider-Man’s limp body.
(Here’s where things get a little confusing. And also where I lost momentum. Sorry.)
- Loki claims the throne in Thor: The Dark World
- Bucky Barnes punches Cap’s shield in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (Captain America vol. 5)
- Thanos looking perturbed… ?
- T’Challah gets tossed off a cliff in Black Panther. (Jungle Action #17.)
- Hulk gets suited up gladiator-style in Thor: Ragnarok. In the comics, something similar happened in the Planet Hulk storyline.
- Captain America is “worthy” to wield Mjölnir in Avengers: Endgame, and also in Fear Itself #7.
- Captain America faces down Thanos in Endgame, referencing a similar moment in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book saga that inspired the movie.
Bonus: As one Reddit commenter pointed out, there’s at least one more moment where Marvel Studios almost recreated a comic book moment. Remember in Infinity War when Bruce Banner comes crashing through the Sanctum Sanctorum? Well in the comics, the same thing happened, just with Silver Surfer.
At the time, Marvel Studios didn’t own the rights to Silver Surfer. So they had to use another character instead.