The Captain America Easter Egg In Iron Man That You May Have Missed

The Marvel Cinematic Universe grows bigger with every new movie and television show that arrives. Superheroes discover what made them who they are. New comic book characters come to life, and events that have been foreshadowed years ago finally begin to take place. Before the blip, the sacred timeline, and the multiverse could exist, we had "Iron Man" (2008), which laid the very foundation for the MCU and every movie that came after.

Marvel Studios picked Robert Downey Jr., setting aside his legal woes and history of substance abuse to put him in a metal suit. He was given the role of a lifetime, and boy did he deliver. The studio knew the character would become the very spine of one of the biggest movie franchises in the world, and picked the perfect actor to carry that weight. I like to think that Marvel Studios' superpower is their decision-making skills because every choice they've made and every easter egg they've planted along the way all culminated into the epic that is "Avengers: Endgame," a movie I still cannot believe exists.

"Iron Man" was the beginning of the MCU — it didn't feature every single Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero we know today, but what it did include are references to the many heroes that would later make an appearance. Directed by Jon Favreau, "Iron Man" cleverly foreshadowed the arrival of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America — even though the character didn't emerge on the big screen until 2011.

Is That Captain America's Shield?

The first MCU film explored Tony Stark's connection with technology, mainly because he went on to create his Iron Man suits. In the later films, Stark also made the armor for James Rhodes, AKA War Machine; the Spider-Man suit for Peter Parker; and the Rescue armor for his wife, Pepper Potts. ​​But he's not the only genius inventor in the MCU — his father, Howard Stark, was a prominent engineer and the man who created what is probably the most iconic piece of superhero gear: Captain America's vibranium shield.

Despite Steve Rogers/Captain America's story taking place in a past timeline, we didn't see the character until the 2011 film "Captain America: The First Avenger," but his shield was seen in "Iron Man" and "Iron Man 2." In both films, there are blink-and-you-miss-it moments where you can catch a glimpse of Captain America's indestructible, star-spangled shield.

In "Iron Man," there's a scene where Tony Stark is working on taking off his Iron Man armor, and Pepper Potts walks in on him. He delivers one of the character's most iconic dialogues, quipping, "Let's face it, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing." When Stark is seen struggling to take off his armor during the closeup, Captain America's shield is seen concealed in the background behind him.

In the sequel, "Iron Man 2," the shield appears during a scene with Tony Stark and Agent Coulson. When he finds a half-constructed version of the shield lying around in Tony's lab, Agent Coulson questions whether Tony knows what the object is. In turn, Tony asks for the shield to balance the equipment he's working on to create a new element. The Easter Egg might be tougher to spot in the first film — but in the second, it's a pretty obvious foreshadowing of the superhero that joined the MCU three years later, in "Captain America: The First Avenger."