- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
[This story contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home]
It seems almost routine at this point that every Spider-Man film produced by Sony Pictures will be stuffed full of references and Easter eggs exploring obscure comics continuity, Spider-Man film history and pop culture. It can be thrilling to trace these inspirations back to their source to get an idea of what influenced the creative impulses behind each new film.
Spider-Man: Homecoming used the comics to inspire all the various aspects of their new interpretation of the character, running his full history through a blender and reveling in the remixed result. Spider-Man felt fresh again and ready for new audiences to embrace him, while old fans of the films and comics could point out smart applications of older ideas and even a few hidden nods to obscure comics lore and numbering conventions.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse blew the vaults wide open in this regard. Every image was jam-packed with fascinating details, nods to comic continuity, pop culture riffs, artistic flourishes pulled right off the comic page and a reflection of Sony’s own contributions to the Spider-Man mythology.
Now, Spider-Man: Far From Home takes Spider-Man in a completely new direction, whisking him off to Europe to fight against his wackiest threat yet. But one thing remains true, the Easter eggs and references are stuffed into every corner of this film. Frankly, I suspect Sony loves to see us hunt for the eggs like excited parents on Easter morning.
So, let’s get to all the magical candy contained inside our compiled list of these references and Easter eggs (heaviest of SPOILERS). How many do you recognize? And let us know what we missed by tweeting @HeatVisionBlog.
1. Columbia Logo Match Shot
Let’s start with the beginning of the movie, which doesn’t actually start with a reference to anything Spider-Man-oriented, but a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark. As Spider-Man: Far From Home is being produced and distributed by Sony Pictures, under the guise of Columbia Pictures, the film opens with the familiar torch lady on a pedestal before fading into a matched shot of a statue in Mexico. This clever opening was popularized with the Paramount mountain logo in Raiders of the Lost Ark, before it was reused in that same series with a metallic relief in Temple of Doom, a rock formation in Last Crusade and a gopher hill in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
2. “463” License Plate
As Nick Fury and Maria Hill investigate the Mexican ruins, responding to some kind of disturbance, they walk past a license plate reading “463.” That’s because Sandman debuted in Amazing Spider-Man No. 4 back in 1963. Moments later this universe’s version of the character bursts out of the ground looking very different from his comic book counterpart. Audiences already saw a visually accurate adaptation of the comic book character back in Spider-Man 3.
In his debut issue, Sandman terrorizes Peter Parker and his classmates at their high school. Peter fights a losing battle to the weird, shapeshifting villain until he realizes that can could capture him in a high-powered vacuum. If only things were that easy in this new universe!
First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man No. 13, Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s most notable villains, both for his eccentric design and devilishness. Mysterio is Quentin Beck, a special effects stunt man who was dumped by Hollywood and who subsequently decided to use his knowledge of special effects to aid in his supervillainous ways. The same is basically true here, but this time he’s reacting to how Tony Stark humiliatingly renamed his advanced holographic technologies to B.A.R.F. and ultimately had him fired.
Over his comic book history, he’s done everything from convincing Spider-Man that he was going insane, was shrunken down, his Aunt May had died and so many other twisted things. Despite all this readers love him for his eccentric design, including his fishbowl head, the eyes on his shoulders, his purple cape and lest we forget his plaid suit. What’s not to love about someone so fashionably weird?
Fans have long wanted that famously odd fishbowl head to make an appearance, fearful that if Mysterio was ever brought to the screen that it wouldn’t come with him because of just how bizarre it is and that it would cover the face of whatever actor chose to portray him.
Yet, in Far From Home fans can rest comfortably because it’s here, it’s real, and it’s spectacular!
The film actually uses this weirdness to test just how much audiences and the Marvel universe’s public will believe in this fake hero. Quentin Beck designed the costume to play into the world’s love of superheroes, so the character’s weirdness becomes a sort of commentary on how the costumes for the characters in the MCU have slowly evolved to better reflect their comic book counterparts, as filmgoers become more accustomed to their unique weirdness.
Complicating this whole thing is that Jake Gyllenhaal is playing Mysterio. After the filming of Spider-Man in 1999, Tobey Maguire hurt his back threatened to back out of Spider-Man 2. As his agents played hardball with Sony, hoping to get a pay increase for Maguire, Sony went and cast Gyllenhaal as his replacement. Maguire’s agents panicked and got their guy back into the film, but for a small moment there Gyllenhaal almost played Spider-Man. But the joke is on all of them, he’s playing the even “cooler” Mysterio!
4. Jason Ioello
Jason appears on a television screen in Midtown High School as one of the anchors of the school’s hastily produced morning news, his second appearance after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Introduced in the comic Untold Tales of Spider-Man No. 2, Jason was a part of Flash Thompson’s gang of “popular” kids who constantly bully Peter Parker. Yet, in an ironic twist of fate, he’s also one of the leaders of the Spider-Man Fan Club.
5. Brad Davis
Peter Parker’s lead competition for MJ’s affections in Far From Home is the hunkalicious Brad Davis. In the comics, Brad only showed up for one issue, Amazing Spider-Man No. 188. In that story, Peter and MJ were on a break from their short-lived time dating when they were invited on a cruise together. To Peter’s surprise, MJ showed up with another man, none other than Brad Davis, the star quarterback at Empire State University. The cruise is attacked by a villain named Jigsaw and readers never saw Brad again.
Early on in Far From Home, we are introduced to the Homeless Support: Food, Shelter, Hope, the new workplace of Peter’s Aunt May. They are running a charity drive, with Spidey as the guest of honor, to support all the people who’ve become homeless after the “blip” by building a Public Hall.
This borrows from the comic’s own fictional charity center, F.E.A.S.T. (Food, Emergency Aid, Shelter and Training). Introduced in Amazing Spider-Man No. 548, the charity served as a front for the villain Martin Li/Mister Negative’s criminal enterprise. In her retirement, May takes a job there and quickly rises through the ranks, until it was ultimately shutdown when Li’s true intentions were discovered. In recent comics, May is fighting breast cancer while attempting to rebuild F.E.A.S.T. as her own charitable organization.
7. Crusher Hogan vs. Bone Saw McGraw
After Spider-Man comes off the stage with Aunt May they bump into Happy Hogan. He’s carrying a giant check, signed by Pepper Potts. It is moving that Pepper continues to run Stark Industries after Tony’s death, but this isn’t the cleverest inclusion in the scene.
If you look closely behind Peter you will see a small poster advertising a fight with Crusher Hogan, a character new to filmgoing audiences. Back in Spider-Man’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy No. 15, he first tested out his new spider-powers on a wrestler named Crusher Hogan. The bet was that if anyone could stay in the ring with him for three minutes they would gain a hundred dollars. Peter made short work of Crusher by picking him up and carrying him into the rafters of the gymnasium.
What makes this scene even more interesting is that if you look behind Happy Hogan you can see another sign advertising a fight between Crusher Hogan and Bone Saw McGraw. In the original Spider-Man film the filmmakers changed the name of the wrestler character from Crusher Hogan to Bone Saw McGraw (played by Macho Man Randy Savage) in order to avoid confusing him with Hulk Hogan. Between Crusher Hogan, Hulk Hogan, and Happy Hogan, who can keep them all straight?
8. The Mets
Mets fans will notice that hanging in Peter’s bedroom is a Mike Piazza jersey. As demonstrated in the comic Peter Parker: Spider-Man No. 33, Peter would attend Mets games with his Uncle Ben and continue to do so even after his death. It’s nice to see a nod to Peter’s own fandom in the movie.
9. Uncle Happy?
Fans were probably shocked to see that Aunt May and Happy Hogan are dating now, despite May’s reluctance to call it that. This isn’t the first time that Aunt May has dated a character from the world of superheroics/Avengers. In Amazing Spider-Man #519, Aunt May, MJ and Peter move into the Avengers Tower. It is there that May strikes up a relationship with Jarvis, a butler who worked for the Starks their entire lives. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s J.A.R.V.I.S. being an artificial intelligence that was used to create Vision (now dead), May dating Happy Hogan is the closest thing we’ll get to the comics version of Jarvis.
10. Meeting Nick Fury
When we least expect it, “Nick Fury” (Talos in disguise) appears in Peter’s hotel room, tranquilizes Ned, and recruits Spider-Man for a mission.
This isn’t the first time Spider-Man was recruited to help S.H.I.E.L.D. In Ultimate Spider-Man No. 24, Nick Fury reveals himself to Peter, after spying on him through a fake classroom at his school, and tells him that when he turns eighteen he’ll be forced to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. or treated like a threat to security. The threat isn’t so explicit here, as Spidey has already fought for the Avengers, but it is clear that S.H.I.E.L.D. will do just about anything to Peter’s personal life, with little respect for his opinions, in order to recruit him.
11. Iron Man Graffiti Art
When Spider-Man climbs on top of a roof to ponder his new role in the MCU, he spots graffiti depicting Iron Man, his hand extended, repulsor beam ready to fire towards the audience. This pose for Iron Man is an iconic image that the comics have used repeatedly to depict the character.
When Marvel launched volume 3 of The Invincible Iron Man, artist Sean Chen used this exact posing for the character. A few years later, The Invincible Iron Man was rebooted for its fourth volume and featured artwork by Adi Granov. Granov himself updated this pose for the fourth issue of that series, this time featuring Iron Man’s new armor. Heck, this pose has even been used for the family friendly Marvel Adventures Super Heroes: Iron Man No. 18 comic book featuring a cartoony interpretation of Iron Man.
This design was brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where it was updated and rendered in lifelike photorealism for Avengers: Age of Ultron promotional art. Continuing that trend, videogame developer Camouflaj would utilize this promo art for the box art of their to-be-released Iron Man game on PlayStation 4’s VR platform. And now that promo art appears in graffiti form in Far From Home.
It’s a strange thing to consider the confirmation of Uncle Ben’s previous existence as an Easter egg, but in the MCU that is just the way it is. The only vague reference to the character came in Captain America: Civil War where Peter mentions bad things happening when people with powers don’t act. Tom Holland’s performance suggested a personal loss associated with that lesson.
Yet, contrary to Peter’s passport’s exclusion of the name “Benjamin”, Peter’s suitcase has the initials “BFP” on it. Uncle Ben’s middle name has never been revealed, but artist Steve Ditko reportedly modeled his design for the character after Benjamin Franklin. It makes sense that this is Uncle Ben’s suitcase and that his MCU name is Benjamin Franklin Parker.
Now, please Marvel… can we acknowledge that this character meant more to Peter than some embroidered letters and a vague memory?
13. Spider-Man in Europe
In the comics, Spider-Man has traveled to Europe less times than he’s been to space. So far, in the MCU it’s the opposite, two to one.
The first time Peter traveled to Europe was to chase after Gwen Stacy, who had gone to see family after the death of her father and wanted to hide her pregnancy, carrying the Green Goblin’s child (don’t ask, this is a particularly despised story that many don’t count as canonical).
As per usual, Peter’s plane is taken over by hijackers with a bomb. He manages to slip off and change into his Spider-Man costume and disarm the bomb. The terrorists escape and a dramatic search for their hostages plays out in locations like the Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Just another day in the life of Spider-Man!
Peter would return again to Europe after J. Jonah Jameson is blackmailed and kidnapped in Paris. Traveling with Robbie Robertson, who was left in charge of The Daily Bugle in Jonah’s absence, the two fly to Paris and confront a villain named…
Yes, it is Cyclone, also known as Andre Gerard, who has kidnapped Jameson. He’s upset that his wind-making device could not be sold to N.A.T.O. because they only purchased weapons from the United States. So, instead of finding a new way to market his clearly useful invention, he begins to loathe Americans enough to seek some way to get revenge.
He’s quickly defeated by Spider-Man with a giant fan. I promise, it makes a little more sense in the comic… but not a ton more sense.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio and Nick Fury repeatedly reference a cyclone with a face that has been appearing around the globe. Eventually revealed to be a hologram of Mysterio’s, Spider-Man fights against this movie’s version of the classic Cyclone character, with all the other Elementals joining in to boost the attack.
15. Ned Leeds <3s Betty Brant
A major subplot of Spider-Man: Far From Home details the teen romance between Ned Leeds and Betty Brant. The relationship itself comes out of nowhere and ends just as abruptly; though I don’t know how much longer anyone could have endured their sickly sweet coddling of each other.
In the comics, Betty was Peter’s first girlfriend before she started dating Ned Leeds, mainly because Peter was so flakey due to disappearing and becoming Spider-Man all the time. The Ned Leeds of the comics bears little resemblance to the Ned of the films but this relationship moves him a little bit closer.
Ned and Betty would eventually get married but, just like in the movies, their relationship was off and on more times than one can count. The big trouble came when right after their wedding ceremony Ned was promoted by J. Jonah Jameson to become his overseas reporter. At first this excited Betty, but she quickly grew tired of Ned being away for such long periods of time. During one such time she even tried to start an affair with Peter Parker and then with Flash Thompson.
16. “ASM 212”
When Betty is taking a picture of Ned in Venice, you can look behind Ned to see a boat that reads “ASM 212.” Fans of the Amazing Spider-Man comic will know that issue 212 features the debut of the villain Hydro-Man, created by Denny O’Neil and John Romita Jr. More on Hydro-Man in a bit…
17. Hotel DeMatteis
Peter Parker and his classmates need a place to stay while in Venice, so they pull up in a water taxi to the Hotel DeMatteis. Fans of Spider-Man comics will rightfully know that it is a reference to J.M. DeMatteis, one of the greatest writers of Spidey comics ever. I mean, he wrote “Kraven’s Last Hunt” and you don’t get a much better superhero comic than that.
When we first meet Quentin Beck in the S.H.I.E.L.D. mobile headquarters we are also introduced to an agent named Dmitri. Dmitri is used as a chaperone to look over Peter’s friends and to reroute them to all the locations that Nick Fury wants Peter to go to fight the Elementals. After a little while Dmitri disappears from the film with no fanfare.
Fans of the comics have reason to be suspicious of Dmitri and not just for his stern demeanor. In the Amazing Spider-Man No. 1, Spider-Man fights against his first supervillain, the appearance-altering Chameleon. Initially, the Chameleon had no super-powers but used elaborate costumery and masks to change his appearance into anyone he came into contact with, including Spider-Man.
Readers would eventually come to learn that the Chameleon’s real name was Dmitri Smerdyakov and that he was the half-brother to another of Spidey’s more famous rogues, Kraven the Hunter. Could this Dmitri be the Chameleon and be inserted here to set up an eventual and inevitable confrontation between Spider-Man and Kraven the Hunter?
After the battle with the water monster, Flash Thompson tells his friends a story that he heard about the origins of the creature. Fascinatingly, his story nearly matches the exact origin of the character known as Hydro-Man.
Hydro-Man was a crewman named Morrie Bench who got knocked by Spider-Man off his ship, the U.S.S. Bulldog, while a super-powerful, experimental generator was being tested. Of course, he ended up with the abilities to turn into water and had a mean streak towards Spider-Man. He’s also known for traveling to attack his victims through toilets… I’ll let you decide how much of a serious threat this guy is.
Although, one time in Amazing Spider-Man No. 217 he and Sandman accidentally combined their bodies together and became a giant creature called the Mud-Thing. In comics, this is as fitting a match as spaghetti and meatballs.
A similar thing happens in Far From Home when all the various Elementals team up to attack the Tower Bridge.
20. Universe Numbers
In Marvel’s comics their different universes are typically designated as various Earths with a number. When we meet Quentin Beck we are told that he’s from the 833 universe and that Peter is from the 616 universe, designated as Earth-833 and Earth-616. Both of these have a comic precedent, as Earth-616 is the Prime Universe where the majority of Marvel’s stories take place.
The Earth-833 universe is home to a different Spider-Man named Spider-UK, an amalgam of the characters Captain Britain and Spider-Man. Captain Britain’s powers are born from interdimensional energies concentrated around the British Isles.
Yes, that’s a thing.
These powers place Captain Britain at the center of Marvel’s multidimensional stories, as Far From Home at first presents itself to be. DC Comics had long been writing stories about their Multiverse, going back as far as a 1953 issue of Wonder Woman. But in Marvel’s The Daredevils No. 6 (1983), written by Alan Moore, the Marvel multiverse concept made its formal debut.
In this case, it was Captain Britain who discovered that, along with a bunch of other Captain Britains, it was his job to guard Marvel’s own Multiverse as part of the Captain Britain Corps. As a part of the Spider-Verse event comic, which inspired the film, we got to meet Spider-UK, a member of that very-same Captain Britain Corps.
There was some initial confusion regarding the universe numbers presented here in certain online communities because the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been referred to previously as Earth-199999, first revealed in the hardcover release of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z No. 5. Turns out, Mysterio was lying after all, so his claims of the multiverse must be untrue along with the specific universe numbers.
Now, we can all rest peacefully knowing that great numbering injustice has been settled. But stay vigilant readers, for we’ll never truly know when the next great universe-numbering crime could take place!
When explaining the threat that Mysterio and S.H.I.E.L.D. are out to thwart, four, giant, nature-oriented monsters, it is spelled out to Peter that they are called “Elementals”. In the comics, the Elementals are a supergroup of villains who first appeared in Supernatural Thrillers No. 8, created by Tony Isabella and Val Mayerik. They have never interacted with Spider-Man before, but the group consists of Hellfire, Hydron, Magnum and Zephyr. These extradimensional characters were immortal and ruled over Earth and nature before the rise of ancient Atlantis (which is also a real thing in the Marvel universe).
In Far From Home it seems that Marvel has just adopted the name and idea of this supergroup but swapped in more conventional Spider-Man villains into the four roles: Molten Man, Hydro-Man, Sandman, and Cyclone.
22. “Calle Sterno”
When Peter’s classmates and chaperones are leaving Venice they turn a corner in the streets of Venice. On the wall, where their street names are displayed, is a group of slightly-altered Spider-Man writers’ names. Basically they just added the letter “o” to the end of their last name. In Venice the term “calle” refers to the streets that form the complicated maze of a city.
First up is “Sterno”, standing in for legendary writer Roger Stern. Stern started off his Spidey career writing Spectacular Spider-Man No. 43 in June, 1980. He then took over Amazing Spider-Man starting with issue No. 224 in January, 1982. His run is one of the most celebrated runs on the character and included several stories that are often considered amongst the best in the character’s history, including: “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man”, “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut”, and the creation and mystery of the Hobgoblin. His run ended with Amazing Spider-Man No. 250 a little over two years later.
Stern would write additional Spider-Man stories from time to time, but his legacy on the title helped to reshape and redefine what modern Spider-Man stories could be.
23. “Calle Slotto”
The next street with the name “Slotto” is in reference to Dan Slott. Unlike Stern, Slott wrote Spider-Man for over a decade straight and to this day boasts the all-time record of issues written about the character. He started out by writing a Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries in 2005 and quickly ascended to writing Amazing Spider-Man as part of a rotating team, where many of his teammates have said that he was the main idea generator. In the meantime, he also wrote the story for the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions video game, which ultimately provided inspiration for his creation of the “Spider-Verse.”
In November, 2010, he took over the sole writing duties on Amazing Spider-Man with No. 648and would write until No. 801 just over a year ago. He’s best known for his sometimes controversial story, Superior Spider-Man, which saw Peter Parker and Dr. Octopus switch bodies, Peter’s temporary death, and Doc Ock’s reign as Spider-Man.
24. “Calle Bendiso”
There’s probably no writer more influential to the unique take on Spider-Man in the MCU than Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who reinvented Spider-Man for a modern audience with his Ultimate Spider-Man comic in 2000. In that series he retold the origins for Peter, as a high school sophomore, facing off and contending with a revitalized universe of enemies, bullies, and unique challenges. Any fan of that record-breaking comic can see the obvious influences that he had on the character in the films.
Bendis solidified his impact on the character by killing off Peter Parker and introducing Miles Morales as the new Spider-Man within that universe of comics. While Miles Morales does not appear in Far From Home many of his characteristics have been absorbed by this new adaptation of Peter, including his attendance of an elite prep school, partnership with a friend who knows his secret, and even elements from the design of his costume.
25. “Calle Michelinio”
David Michelinie wrote Amazing Spider-Man during one of the biggest artistic explosions in the series’ history. Partnered with Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, and Mark Bagley, they reinvented the way that Spider-Man looked on the page, throwing out Marvel’s house-style to lean into a visual style that emphasized what looked “cool”. The most notable creations from his run, lasting from 1987 to 1994, were the introductions of Venom and Carnage in No. #298 and #361 respectively.
Michelinie also wrote a fun Mysterio story in Amazing Spider-Man No. 311 where the New York Public Library comes to life to attack Spider-Man. The cover famously has Mysterio taking his head off with Spider-Man’s image reflected inside the fishbowl helmet. The image is so iconic that Jake Gyllenhaal used it to announce on his Instagram that he would be portraying Mysterio.
Michelinie’s run saw tremendous sales for the comic, enough that he has the third longest run on Amazing Spider-Man as a writer, if you go by date rather than issue count. The only thing to bring that run to an early end was the departure of Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen who used their new superstar status to launch Image Comics.
26. “Calle G. Convayo”
The final and largest name on the wall is the one that has been most abstracted. This street name refers to writer Gerry Conway, who most famously killed Peter’s first true love Gwen Stacy. Gerry was also the first full-time writer to take over from Stan Lee when he stopped writing Amazing Spider-Man as the dedicated author. What made this accomplishment particularly unique was that he was only 19 years old at the time, an unthinkable assignment in today’s comics culture.
He also introduced the Punisher, wrote the first of the famous Clone Saga stories, nearly married Doctor Octopus to Aunt May, and was behind sending Peter to Europe a number of times.
In recent years, Conway has come back to writing Amazing Spider-Man through a variety of series, making him both the youngest and oldest writer to consistently write Spider-Man stories.
27. MJ’s Tiger Shirt
Throughout the film, MJ wears a shirt with a tiger printed on it. We’ve seen the Kirsten Dunst interpretation of the character say, “Go get ‘em tiger!” at the end of Spider-Man 2, but the tiger association with the character started all the way back in Amazing Spider-Man No. 42.
For months Aunt May had been threatening to introduce Peter Parker to her friend’s niece, Mary Jane Watson. She described her as have a “nice personality”, so Peter obviously suspected the worst. When she famously showed up on the last page of issue 42, with Peter opening the door, she made her stunning debut on the comics’ page with her famous catchphrase, “Face it tiger… you just hit the JACKPOT!”
As for why this MJ is wearing a shirt with a tiger on it, it could be because their school mascot is also the Midtown Tiger.
Peter quickly finds out that the pair of sunglasses gifted to him by the late Tony Stark are actually home to advanced and potentially deadly A.I. named E.D.I.T.H., cleverly named because, as Tony puts it, “Even Dead I’m The Hero.”
There’s no comic alternative to this other than the A.I. systems we’ve already seen portrayed in the films, Jarvis and Friday. But, Tony’s father Howard once dated a woman named Edith Oberon in the show Agent Carter. Did Tony have an alternate inspiration for why he was drawn to the name Edith for his final gift?
29. Night Monkey
Spider-Man has had many alternative names given to him by the public over the years, but none quite as weird as the one Ned cooks up for him during his battle with the Molten Man: “Night Monkey.” When MJ confronts Peter about his dual identity as Spider-Man, showing him the webbing on Mysterio’s holographic device, Peter jokes, “Maybe he was a Spider-Monkey?”
However, in 2008, Marvel released a miniseries called Marvel Apes starring Spider-Man and the simian-looking Gibbon, one of his lamer enemies and Stan Lee’s final creation before leaving his Spider-Man writing duties behind. In the story, the Gibbon travels to another universe populated by intelligent simians, including Spider-Monkey and the Ape-Vengers. Together they are able to defeat the evil Doctor Ooktapus and though the Gibbon questions the heroes’ bloodlust (they lynch Doctor Ooktapus) he decides to stay behind in this reality.
Comics have rarely been this exciting.
30. Fireworks at the Carnival
Right before Spider-Man and Mysterio’s carnival fight with the Molten Man there is a sequence involving the stealth Spider-Man where he’s climbing a building, with only the pop of fireworks to reveal him in the shadows.
In the videogame Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions there is a whole level featuring Spider-Man Noir that takes place at a carnival where fireworks are used to illuminate the shadows. The goal of the level is to sneak your way through the carnival, taking out guards and avoiding the spotlight, and ultimately defeating their unique version of the Green Goblin.
31. Nick Fury’s Spider-Man Suit
Early in the film, Nick Fury designs a suit for Peter to wear so that he won’t be recognized as Spider-Man while on a trip with his friends. The hilarious thing about the suit is that it clearly reflects Nick’s design aesthetics: all black and covered in straps. The suit itself looks like a cross between Spider-Man Noir and the stealth suits that were first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man No. 650.
This isn’t the first time Nick Fury has designed a nearly all-black costume for Spider-Man. In 2004’s Secret War No. 1, Nick Fury recruited a group of heroes to overthrow the villainous Lucia von Bardas in Doctor Doom’s country of Latveria. This mission was to be kept a secret, so Spidey was given a stealthy new costume to match (designed by Gabrielle Dell’Otto). Fans of Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4 know that this costume appears in the game and is also not particularly striking.
Look, Nick Fury, stealth and fashion don’t have to be mutually exclusive!
32. Mysterio’s Hallucinations
In the film, Mysterio rigs up a carnival to accommodate his Molten Man hologram, including bombs and other special effects. The result is a huge success, convincing Peter to hand over E.D.I.T.H. and surrender his role as Tony’s heir apparent.
In the comics, Amazing Spider-Man No. 67 to be exact, Mysterio conducted one of his most elaborate and infamous plans ever. He convinces Spider-Man that he’s been shrunk down in size and is stuck in a giant carnival where Mysterio can smash him. That comic, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita Sr., heavily utilizes a similar carnival aesthetic as the film. The comic also features several visuals of Mysterio’s giant hands grabbing at Spider-Man, also featured during a hallucinatory sequence in Far From Home.
These hallucinations that Mysterio creates form the backbone of his comic book attacks on a variety of heroes, but most prominently Spider-Man. He even created the alternate persona of Doctor Ludwig Rinehart for himself so that he could take Spider-Man into his psychiatric care. He then tormented him with holograms of his enemies hoping they would drive Spider-Man to insanity. Even the green mists that fill the hallucinatory scenes in the film are staple of Mysterio appearances in the comics.
But the unique conceit that dominates Far From Home’s interpretation of the character is his centralized, personal control over various robots and holographic performances; this idea also comes from the comics. The concept was first presented in Amazing Spider-Man No. 618-620, written by Dan Slott and illustrated by marvelous Marcos Martin. In the issue, Mysterio returned after a long absence/death to use drone technologies and robots to remotely trigger a war between the gangs and the cops. He even had a team of technicians with fake blood, guts, and explosives to convince Spider-Man that he had murdered a number of people. It was a radical take on the character and the clear influence for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version.
During the action sequence with Molten Man, one of the license plates on a S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicle reads “ASM28965″. This is in reference to Amazing Spider-Man No. 28, an issue that was released in September of 1965. It’s the first appearance of the character the Molten Man. In the story, a fight breaks out and a liquid metal alloy spills all over a man named Marc Raxton, who happens to be the uncle to Liz Allan. It gave him superhuman strength and fire abilities, but also drove him mad and threatened his life. Marc would eventually gain control over his metallic skin and become an ally to Spider-Man, but not after some seriously scary fights that nearly left Raxton dead.It’s a reach.
34. MJ Knows Peter is Spider-Man
In a pivotal scene, MJ reveals to Peter that she’s known that he’s Spider-Man for some time. She suggests that the reason she’s been staring at him this whole time wasn’t for romantic reasons but because she’s been putting all the pieces together. This isn’t entirely true, we’ll come to find, but this does have a precedent in the comics.
In Amazing Spider-Man No. 258, writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz had Mary Jane reveal to Peter Parker that she had known that he was Spider-Man. It was not revealed how long that she had known but for years the comics treated her as if she didn’t know. Then in a graphic novel called Amazing Spider-Man: Parallel Lives, writer Gerry Conway revealed that Mary Jane had known his secret from the very beginning. One night when looking out her window she saw Peter crawl out his window as Spider-Man to go stop the burglar that had murdered his Uncle Ben. Apparently she had been playing dumb to keep his identity a secret this whole time. It was a controversial reveal at the time and many readers still aren’t clear on whether this is canonical or not.
On the back of a car, as Peter rushes to warn Nick Fury about their discovery of Mysterio’s fakery, a license plate reads “MTU83797”. This is in reference to the comic Marvel Team-Up No. 83 from July, 1979. The Marvel Team-Up series presented a story each issue featuring Spider-Man joining up with another Marvel hero. In this particular issue he teams up with Nick Fury, as he does in the film, to defeat a fan-favorite villain named Boomerang.
36. Zombie Iron Man
During one of Mysterio’s hallucination sequences we see a zombified version of Iron Man grasping towards the screen. Obviously, this is just a hologram conjured forth from Mysterio’s machines but there is some precedent for zombie Iron Man in the comics. In Ultimate Fantastic Four No. 23, Reed Richards discovers an alternate dimension where a zombie virus has overtaken the world, turning heroes and villains alike into zombies. Iron Man is one of these zombies and would be an ongoing player in the popular Marvel Zombies comic written by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead).
37. Iron Spider
When Peter recoups with Happy, after getting picked up in the Netherlands, he’s allowed to play with Tony’s customizable, armor creation machine. He pokes around in the options and finds a number of pre-made Spider-suits ready to go.
The first and most prominent suit that we see is the Iron Spider suit. We’ve seen Spider-Man wearing a version of this suit in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but the one presented here is the original, simplified, spider-dominant design from the comics. Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed this suit in Spider-Man’s secret lair in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Right before the events of the comic book Civil War, Tony built Spider-Man a new suit, dubbed the Iron Spider suit. It allowed him to fly and generally do all the things Iron Man could. When Spider-Man decided to turn against Iron Man in the midst of the battles, Tony attempted to control Spider-Man through the suit, but he wasn’t counting on Peter’s intellect to allow him to hotwire it against Tony.
38. Velocity Suit
Another suit that appears in the armor creation suite is the Velocity Suit from the Marvel’s Spider-Man game on the PlayStation 4. The suit was unique to the videogame and was advertised as a new creation by comic book artist and conceptual designer Adi Granov. Granov became famous for his painted comics work on the miniseries Iron Man: Extremis, which inspired the movie Iron Man 3. He would later be hired to do concept artwork on The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 films.
The suit itself is utilized for its extreme speed which Spider-Man can use as a weapon, plowing through his enemies. The design features unique, silver visors, a glowing blue spider that covers Spider-Man’s chest, and red and gray plated-armoring.
39. New Spidey Suit
Marvel revealed Spider-Man’s new black and red suit almost a year ago, but here we got to see it in glorious action. It’s great to see that the web-pits are back, but something even more classic has returned with this suit.
In the earliest Spider-Man comics, like Amazing Fantasy No. 15, his costume was shown to be red and black, with blue highlights where light hit his suit. You could interpret the design either way, that the black was the shadows or the blue colors were the highlights. It has sparked an intense debate over what the original color scheme for the costume was, red and blue or red and black. It seems like the MCU wants to have it both ways.
Fans of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will note that Miles Morales’ costume is black and red, like this new costume, and that this suit and his suit share a number of other visual design similarities, specifically the fingers being colored independently from the rest of his gloves.
The suit also features angular cuts of red on the shoulders, which are clearly modeled after both the costume designs for Spider-Man’s clone Ben Reilly (first appearing in Sensational Spider-Man No. 0) and the Superior Spider-Man (from issue No. 1).
40. “Kree Sleeper Cells”
Right before Nick Fury and Maria Hill, Skrulls in disguise, join the fight against Mysterio, audiences can hear Nick Fury discussing that, “I thought the Kree sleeper cells were supposed to be a secret.”
There are many things this could be a reference to regarding the Kree. The first one that comes to mind is the Inhumans. The Inhumans have already had a failed television program after getting demoted from being a part of Marvel’s slate of upcoming films. The Inhumans are a race of human that had been experimented on by the Kree, in hopes of breeding a genetically superior race. The Kree abandoned their experiments when a genetic prophecy told them that the results of their experiments would yield a being powerful enough to destroy the Kree Supreme Intelligence, which audiences saw depicted in Captain Marvel.
The Inhumans eventually began to form their own society and cities where they experimented with mutagenic Terrigen Mist that would allow them to go through something called Terrigenesis and come out with genetic damage and deformities that often took the shape of superpowers, but it was equally likely they could come out of the process as deformed monsters.
Either way, I don’t actually think this is what Nick is referring to, even if it seems the most obvious. Instead, I think that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking to upend conventional wisdom from the comics to do something entirely new.
In the comics, the Skrulls, typically villainous, use their shapeshifting powers to launch a “Secret Invasion” on Earth, slowly replacing Avengers, government figures, and villains with Skrull warriors. It kicked off a famous line-wide event called Secret Invasion and really put the Skrull threat back on the map in the Marvel comics.
After the fight with Mysterio and his Cyclone illusion, an overturned car on the bridge has a license plate that reads “TASM143”. This is obviously a reference to The Amazing Spider-Man No. 143 where Peter travels to Paris, as mentioned earlier, and squares off against Cyclone for the first time. But it is also notable for one other reason…
42. Peter and MJ’s First Kiss
Peter and MJ shared a quiet, weirdly private moment on the Tower Bridge after Mysterio has been defeated. It is there that they finally confess their feelings for each other and kiss for the first time. The moment isn’t quite as iconic as Peter and MJ’s MTV Award-winning embrace in director Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man but it is referencing one of the most iconic moments from the comics.
In the same issue that Peter travels to Paris, Amazing Spider-Man No. 143, MJ travels with him to the airport and before he boards the plane they finally, after years of simmering romantic tension, kiss. Artist Ross Andru, who is thanked at the end of the credits, gives the moment a full page to play out and illustrates one of the most romantic moments to ever hit a comic book page with incredible aplomb. Even Robbie Robertson looks on from the background with the biggest smile on his face.
43. “I have a hard time getting close to people.”
In the kiss scene, MJ confesses to Peter that she lied about her feelings for him because, “I have a hard time getting close to people.” It implies a history to this MJ that we haven’t seen onscreen before and sets up a potential wrinkle to come forward in the future.
In Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, we met an MJ who come from a home with an alcoholic, abusive father, which drove her into the arms of other men who didn’t treat her well, including Peter.
In the same issue where MJ reveals to Peter that she knows that he is Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man No. 259, she also tells him the story of her family and how it has shaped her into the person she is. She assures Peter that he can trust her with his secret and that she’s not quite the happy-go-lucky girl that she appears to be on the outside.
Mary Jane tells Peter that her mother and father married young, thanks to her father’s insistence and her mother’s pregnancy out of wedlock. Mary Jane was born four years later into an already dysfunctional home, where her father unsuccessfully chased his dreams while her mother raised the kids and supported him. Eventually, her father’s failures turned him angry and violent, taking that anger out on his wife and Mary Jane’s older sister Gayle.
Eventually, MJ’s mother would leave her father after he became physically abusive to Gayle. All of this turmoil had MJ adopt a happy-go-luck attitude to help her deal. Eventually the cycle would live itself out again when MJ’s mother married another demanding husband and her sister Gayle married her high school sweetheart, who essentially treated her the same way MJ’s mother had been treated her entire childhood.
Gayle’s marriage disintegrates and at nearly the same time MJ’s mother dies. Gayle comes to MJ, asking her for to help raising her two children but MJ runs away, vowing never to sacrifice her dreams for a man, the same way her mother and sister did.
I’m not saying that this story is what is happening in Far From Home, but the implication is the same. MJ has adopted a sort of weird, detached attitude to keep herself distant from people because of how she was hurt in the past. I’m sure we’ll find out what that is eventually but in this one line we see how this new version of MJ is already shaping up to be a very accurate representation of the character from the comics.
When Aunt May comes to pick up Peter from the airport her car can be seen to have a license plate reading “AMF1562”. It only makes sense that the Parker’s car would have that numbering on the back because they all appeared for the first time in the origin for Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy No. 15 back in 1962.
One of the fan-favorite features of Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4 was that at any point in time you could go into a photography mode and take pictures during the game. This option allowed a ton of fan-created artistry to occur but one of the most popular of all the functions quickly became the selfies option. Players could jump off buildings and swing through the town as Spider-Man while taking selfies, no matter the situation! It didn’t make sense to take pictures while fighting the Rhino and Scorpion, but the option was there so why the hell not?
In the final moments of Far From Home, Spider-Man swings around town taking selfies in the exact same poses and manners as those presented in the game, particularly with a peace sign. With so many other references to the game in this film, it is hard to imagine this wasn’t an intentional inclusion.
46. Osborn Penthouse
During that same swinging sequence with Spider-Man, he swings past and runs on top of a location that should be familiar to fans of the various Spider-Man films from over the years. That location is none other than the Osborn Penthouse, home to Norman and Harry Osborn in director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 1-3.
In the real world, the building known as the Tudor Complex can be found alongside the East River between 40th and 43rd streets and First and Second Avenues, right next to the United Nations building. A few years back the one-bedroom apartment at the top of the building, suggested to be the Osborn’s home, was sold for $1.6 million.
Could this be a tease that the Osborns will be returning in future installments or just a fun nod to Sony’s history with the character?
During the credit sequence an illustration of Peter Parker appears with half of his body as a student and half as all the various Spider-Man costumes he wears throughout the film. This image is an excellent reminder of his split-lives and the struggles he has operating as both Peter and Spidey, but it also has a significant history in the comics.
In the comics, when Peter’s Spider-Sense is triggered or the artist wants to signify that he’s responding to something related to his Spider-Man persona, they might use the visual motif of a split-faced Peter/Spider-Man. Comic readers were initially confused by this visual, several readers wrote in letters to that effect, thinking perhaps that half of Peter’s body was suddenly covered in a costume, but it was quickly adopted as the perfect visual representation of his dueling identities.
48. The Daily Bugle
It is hard to believe that it has been twelve years since the last time audiences saw J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man 3, especially considering how essential the character is to the Spider-Man universe. All that time, fans have been wondering who would next step into the role made iconic onscreen by J. K. Simmons while simultaneously pleading with Sony to just recast him as the character.
It seems their pleas were heard because in a stunning mid-credits reveal J. K. Simmons returns momentarily as J. Jonah Jameson, the head of The Daily Bugle! The one big change this time is that The Daily Bugle is no longer a newspaper but a fringe news organization led still by the blowhard Jameson, who is also now bald.
In the comics, Jameson would be driven out of The Daily Bugle several times until the paper was eventually bought out from underneath him, sold by his wife who feared it had a negative impact on his health. I mean, his blood pressure must be sky high all the time!
Eventually, Jameson ran for Mayor of New York City and won, using his newfound power to create a militarized task force to take down Spider-Man once and for all. The public started off on Jameson’s side, but after Spider-Man saved the city a number of times the tide began to turn. Jameson was removed from office and found himself unemployed.
But instead of wallowing in his misery for too long, Jameson found his way to The Fact Channel, the Marvel comics universe’s stand-in for Alex Jones and his InfoWars network, and became exactly the person he’s portrayed as in Far From Home: a conspiracy shouting, anti-Spider-Man, political pundit and more unhinged than ever.
49. Mysterio Frames Spider-Man
If the reveal of J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson wasn’t shocking enough for you, Far From Home delivers its biggest twist mere moments later when Jameson plays a video recording of Mysterio implicating Spider-Man in the Cyclone attack of the Tower Bridge.
Mysterio framing Spider-Man for crimes he didn’t commit is one of his oldest schemes dating back to Mysterio’s first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man No. 13. When reports of Spider-Man robbing stores begin to appear, Peter begins to wonder if he’s developing a multiple personality disorder that has him dressing up as Spider-Man and going on crime sprees.
That’s when Mysterio appears for the first time, informing the public that he’s actually a hero who will put a stop to Spider-Man’s crimes. Jameson teams up with Mysterio and relaunches his anti-Spider-Man propaganda in full force. Peter knows something must be up and investigates Mysterio’s base of operations. It is there that he learns that Mysterio is a special effects artist who has artificially replicated Spider-Man’s powers so that he could pose as him while committing crimes.
Just like in Far From Home, Spider-Man uses his Spider-Sense (here the Peter-Tingle) to navigate Mysterio’s green gases and defeat the villain.
50. Fury in Tahiti
Far From Home plays one final switcheroo on the audience in its post-credits scene where Nick Fury is shown relaxing on a beach and drinking a cocktail. But is he really?
No. He’s onboard a Skrull warship taking a vacation as far from Earth as he can possibly get and rightfully so. If anyone has earned time away from Earth, it’s Fury.
In the comics, Nick Fury has been replaced by a Skrull before, including many others in a different story called Secret Invasion. However, the more abstract joke in this scene is the beach showcased in the final scene. Fans of Agents of SHIELD will be painfully aware of this ongoing joke involving the word T.A.H.I.T.I., the program used to bring Agent Coulson back from the dead after the events of The Avengers.
Project T.A.H.I.T.I.(Terrestrialized Alien Host Integrative Tissue I.) was a top secret project ordered by Nick Fury that harvested a Kree corpse for medical advantages and innovations. The project has a number of side effects, including memory manipulation, so that every time the resurrected Phil Coulson remembered Tahiti he would reply, “It’s a magical place.”
Sometimes he would even remember his time with the program as a fantastical version of the real world Tahiti, as visualized in this final Far From Home scene, and other times Fury would use the program to send subliminal messages to Coulson. One time that even came in the form of a video of dancing Muppet fruits singing about Tahiti while code words and images of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents appeared onscreen.
51. “HNM 62011” (with aid by @caique2k)
Nearly every single license plate in the film that can be clearly read is a reference to a comic book, including this final one on Nick Fury’s car. After a ton of thought, I just couldn’t place what “HNM 62011” could be, clearly the sixth issue of a comic from 2011. Short of searching through every book Marvel published in 2011, I reached out for some help and found exactly what I was looking for.
“HNM 62011” is a reference to the short-lived Hawkeye & Mockingbird series where in issue No. 6, the final issue and a Secret Invasion tie-in, Mockingbird comes across Nick Fury carrying a Skrull corpse through the Savage Land, a land full of dinosaurs that occupies the Marvel comics universe’s South Pole. He leads her through the jungle to a temple where there are a pile of Skrull bodies that he is burning, suggesting that they only way to keep them down is to burn them to nothing. Mockingbird sees through his disguise, shooting him in the arm and revealing that his blood is green and that he’s a Skrull.
Turns out, this is the first time that Nick Fury appeared as a Skrull and is why the license plate is named after this comic.
52. The Fantastic Four (with aid by @filthy_ash)
Part of catching the Easter Eggs in the various Spider-Man films is training your mind to think in abstract ways in regards to what you are seeing onscreen. Images with complex meanings are often flying by with no way to rewind and you have to be quick in regards to deciphering them. That was the case with this huge Easter egg hidden in the mid-credits scene in Far From Home.
As Peter swings down to pick up MJ for their first swing together you can see a sign in the background that reads “We can’t wait to show you what comes next!”, followed by the numbers “1”, “2”, “3”, “?”. Clearly the final number is meant to be “4” and is a reference to the Fantastic 4, a property recently obtained by Disney during their acquiring of 20th Century Fox. Each of the numbers is colored accordingly to a different member of the Fantastic Four, with “1” being red for the Human Torch, “2” being orange for The Thing, “3” being royal blue for Mister Fantastic, and the “?” (or what we might presume to be a “4”) being the light blue for the color The Invisible Woman turns when she goes invisible.
The weird thing about this Easter Egg is the “?” instead of a 4. There are a number of explanations to why they might not have just put a “4” in the final circle, each with a varying degree of complication. The first and most obvious reason would be so they could tease fans indirectly and leave people on the edge of their toes. Secondly, the merger between the companies hadn’t gone through when they finished their visuals on Far From Home and didn’t want to include a reference to a prominent logo to a property they didn’t own at the time. Thirdly, it could be a mystery as an allusion to Invisible Woman’s powers… of invisibility.
But, there’s a final more interesting interpretation that I’ve landed on in regards to Spider-Man’s relationship to the Fantastic Four. What if instead of the missing number being a 4 that missing number isn’t what we think and is in fact a 5. The reason this is so curious to me is because in Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 Spider-Man breaks into the Baxter Building, home of the Fantastic Four, in an attempt to join the team as the fifth member, hoping to make a ton of money.
He was unsuccessful in that regard, it turns out that the Fantastic Four aren’t paid that well. But in the comic What If #1, an alternate version of Spider-Man is successful in that regard and joins the team, replacing the spider on the center of his chest with the number 5. In the comic, Spider-Man’s inclusion on the team causes the male members of the team to leave Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, behind when they went off on missions (these comics were often misogynistic). In the absence of Mister Fantastic, Sue is driven into the arms of Namor, a consistent villain of the Fantastic Four who always had his eyes on Sue and was teased in Avengers: Endgame. Spider-Man eventually regrets joining the team, knowing how much destruction his inclusion created.
On top of all this, in Far From Home, Spider-Man picks up MJ from 41st Street and Park Ave., a block away from where the Baxter Building is located in the comics, on 42nd Street and Madison Ave. This is no coincidence!
Dan Gvozden, a lifelong Spider-Man fan, is a Heat Vision contributor and co-host of Amazing Spider-Talk podcast which celebrates and explains the past, present, and future of the Spider-Man character.
July 7, 11:20 a.m. Updated with Easter eggs 51 and 51.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
THR Cover Story
Tribeca Film Festival
Behind The Screen
THR Cover Story