Who’s To Blame For Sokovia?

The Avengers and Who’s to Blame For Sokovia?

This one is a little harder to spot: A passenger on the San Francisco cable car is reading a newspaper with the headline, “Who’s To Blame For Sokovia?” This is a reference to the climax of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the superhero team faces off against Ultron who raises the city into the sky in his evil plan to kill all of humanity by duplicating the effect of a meteor.

Of course, the people were largely saved by the city was left in ruins. So clearly not everyone is happy with The Avengers. This is an interesting preclude to the events that will likely happen in Captain America: Civil War, with the government demanding more control over superheroes. Director Peyton Reed also teases that “there might be some other interesting things in the margin of that newspaper.”

At another moment in the film, Lang suggests calling in The Avengers to help take care of things but Hank Pym doesn’t trust the superhero team. Pym comments that The Avengers are probably too busy “dropping cities from the sky,” which is of course another reference to the events of Age of Ultron.

Martin Donovan

Mitchell Carson: S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra

The flashback sequence which opens up the film shows that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) did not get along with everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D.. In the 1989-set sequence, we see the Washington DC  S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters the Triskelion under construction. (We later see this S.H.I.E.L.D. base destroyed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) In the scene, Hank Pym resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering that they attempted to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology. Pym argues with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, characters we’ve seen in previous films and TV series that are too big to count as easter eggs at this point. But the moment I want to focus on is Hank gets very angry at S.H.I.E.L.D. Head of Defense Mitchell Carson, played by Martin Donovan.

The comic version of the character is fairly different from what we see in the movie, the only connective trait between both versions of the character is they’re both kind of assholes. In the comics, Mitchell Carson is a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is chosen to become the third version of Ant-Man, but his day never comes. In the movie, Carson turned out to be a secret HYDRA member. After S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed in the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Carson continued his work with HYDRA in business cooperation with Darren Cross, with plans to buy Cross’ Yellowjacket Suit for HYDRA. Of course, that deal was disrupted by Ant-Man.

Director Peyton Reed has revealed that the film originally had a different ending which would’ve tied up a big loose end left dangling at the end of Ant-Man. In the finished film, Luis (Michael Peña) relays some crucial information to Scott (Paul Rudd) through another of his delightful montages: Luis has heard through the grapevine that the Avengers are looking for Scott but the film originally ended with a showdown against Mitchell Carson (Michael Donovan):

At the end of the movie he gets away and has these Cross particles, and there was a sequence where Ant-Man has an encounter with him. But then for a couple reasons, it felt like maybe we should leave those particles out there. In that original thing, he took Martin Donovan out and got the particles.

The First Ant-Man Actor Makes a Cameo

This might be Ant-Man‘s first feature film, but it’s not the first time the character has ever been portrayed onscreen. And if you paid close attention, you might’ve noticed that the film includes a fun callback to the very first live-action depiction of the character — from a Saturday Night Live sketch from 1979. You can see the nod in the scene where Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) tries on the Ant-Man suit for the first time, and eventually lands on top of a cab parked outside. The confused taxi driver hears a ping, and then a louder thud as Scott reverts to his original size.

Well, the Taxi driver is played by Garrett Morris, the first guy ever to play Ant-Man. He portrayed the shrinking superhero for a Saturday Night Live skit called “Superhero Party,” alongside Bill Murray as Superman, Dan Aykroyd as the Flash, and John Belushi as the Hulk. You can watch it above.

The Milgrom Hotel

The Milgrom Hotel

After Scott Lang loses his job at Baskin Robbins, he returns to his apartment in The Milgrom Hotel. The name of the hotel is a reference to comic book writer, artist, inker and editor Al Milgrom, who according to wikipedia is best known for “his 10-year run as editor of Marvel Fanfare; his long involvement as writer, penciler, and inker on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man; his four-year tenure as West Coast Avengers penciller; and his long stint as the inker of X-Factor.” His 40-issue run on West Coast Avengers frequently featured Hank Pym.

cassie lang Stature

Stature

Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson) eventually became a superhero herself in the comics in a storyline that happened after Scott Lang died. As it turns out, Cassie had been secretly taking Pym Particles for years (of course, because comic books), and learned she now had the ability to grow in size. Although the name Ant-Girl was suggested, Cassie adopted the superhero name Stature and became one of the Young Avengers.

It’s a Small World

Despite being urged not to, Luis insists on whistling to make his security guard impersonation seem less suspicious. The song that the character is whistling in the heist scene is the song “It’s a Small World” from Walt Disney’s famous theme park attraction, written by the Sherman Brothers. (You can hear it 55 seconds into the video above.) Of course, Disney owns Marvel and Ant-Man is a “small world after all”, right? And besides, Avengers: Age of Ultron featured the titular villain singing “I’ve Got No Strings” from the Disney animated classic Pinocchio.

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