It's Amazing Spider-Week, and today we will look at the hidden moments we comic fans live for in Amazing Spider-Man 2.
For those readers who have been with us for a bit, you will remember that we held a similar week of coverage after viewing Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 certainly didn’t manage to impress us as much as Cap, but it did offer some very interesting tidbits for comic fans and movie-goers alike, while setting up a large scale Spidey universe the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
Today we are going to look at some of the easter eggs, characters, and cameos we noticed in Amazing Spider-Man 2. While we might only touch briefly on a few, keep in mind that we may be exploring those threads later on in the week as well. So without further ado, let’s check out some easter eggs!
Daily Bugle Tumblr
First off we have to discuss some of the viral marketing from before the release of the film, which came about on the Daily Bugle Tumblr. On this tumblr were fictional news reports from the Daily Bugle, which fans of Spidey will know as the newspaper Peter Parker takes photos for. The news stories on the tumblr teased moments from the film, offered little bits of backstory to some of the characters, and even teased other characters like Cletus Kasady and the Shocker. While fans were hoping some of these tidbits would be explored in the film, I think its a good thing they weren’t, considering some of the feelings about the already ‘bloated’ film.
When we are first introduced to Paul Giamatti’s hilariously over-the-top Aleksei Sytsevich, his battle with Spider-Man ends pretty terribly for him, as he is left webbed in the middle of the street with his pantz down. Of course, this reveals a clever little easter egg that foreshadows his eventual progression into the mechanized villain known as the Rhino. That’s right, his underwear is adorned with cute little rhinoceri, which is a decision Aleksei is sure to regret.
Morbius the Living Vampire
There was a moment in the film when Harry Osborn is exploring his father’s secret drive, where Harry learns about both Electro and the Green Goblin suit. While we can expect a few more easter eggs to be revealed in this scene upon further examination of the home release (Including possible references to Doctor Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, and the Chameleon), what we did notice specifically was a very interesting name. A file marked with the name Dr. Morbius teases the character of Michael Morbius, who was turned into a living vampire after experimenting on himself to cure his rare blood disease. Morbius has been teased before in the alternate ending of Blade, and with the Spidey Cinematic Universe developing there might be more to this brief mention.
Another character that is alluded to in the same scene as Morbius, as well as in a few different parts of the film, is Venom. Of course, we already know that a film based on the character is in development, so naturally every time we heard the word venom our interest was piqued. In the Osborn files what is listed is Venom Storage, which we learn is where the remaining extracts of the spiders who gave Peter his powers are being held. Eagle-eyed viewers also noticed a very interesting black glob of goo in Oscorp’s weapons vault from the trailer that many are assuming to be the alien symbiote known as Venom. There are a few other moments that stand out – including an image that was released before the film that references Venom’s origin in the Ultimate universe – but we will be discussing more on Venom later on in the week.
Playing a very interesting role in the film is the facility known as Ravencroft, which is comparable to Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum. The Ravencroft Institute was responsible for holding the most dangerous members of Spidey’s rogues gallery, along with the supervillain prison known as the Vault, which is also mentioned.. We also meet the slightly crazy Dr. Kafka, which is a reference to a character in the comics who runs the Institute, though Dr. Ashley Kafka is female and decidedly less insane. Another reference is in regards to a plaque seen at Ravencroft that features the name Thomas Warren, which might prove to be a reference to Dr. Miles Warren AKA the Jackal, who usually shows up when clones are involved.
The Sinister Six are teased a number of times through the film, which is to be expected with the news that we will be seeing Sinister Six in a few years. In the film itself we obviously see Electro, Green Goblin and the Rhino, but we also see a few other projects from Oscorp that will feature in the introduction of Doctor Octopus and the Vulture. However, it’s the easter egg in the credits that we find most interesting. As the credits role, it was revealed that when the music is run through the Shazam app, a secret set of end credits was sent to your mobile device which apparently revealed the members of the Sinister Six. We will of course be discussing the Sinister Six at length later on in the week. We will also discuss the mysterious Man In the Black Suit that viewers may have noticed throughout the film, who was played by Louis Cancelmi.
Making an appearance a few times in the film is the classic theme song from the animated Spider-Man in the ’60s. This shows up as Peter’s ringtone, and serves as a hilarious nod to fans of all ages who remember the classic show fondly. The song also made an appearance in the original Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, performed by a subway busker.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Another hidden bit of music that some might not have noticed occurred in the finale of the film, during Spidey’s battle with Electro at the power plant. Displaying his raw power, Electro taunts Spidey by battering him into the electrical towers, which ring out to the tune of “itsy Bitsy Spider.” it was a small but humorous moment that further established the unique relationship Spidey has with his villains, as they resort to the same taunting they are forced to endure from the web-head.
“The Night Gwen Stacy Died” is the iconic story that the climax of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 draws from in a few ways. Obviously the death of Gwen Stacy is featured, and even the final outfit worn by Gwen Stacy is based off of her outfit in the comic. What was a more subtle nod to the story was the position the clock settles on after the gears break which results in her fall. The clock stops at 1:21, which is a reference to Amazing Spider-Man #121, where Gwen met her unfortunate demise.
Now we’ll talk about a few Spidey characters that make their first appearances in the film, but probably not their last…
J Jonah Jameson
It’s no wonder why we haven’t seen the publisher of the Daily Bugle in the rebooted Spider-Man universe, because of all the characters in the original trilogy, J.K. Simmons may just be the hardest cast member to replace. His time in the ‘stache will not be easily forgotten, though we still did see a brief appearance in Amazing Spider-man 2 that features J. Jonah Jameson, as we see an email between Parker and Jameson. Peter’s Daily Bugle backstory is only briefly touched upon here, whereas it featured heavily in the original trilogy. If anything, this brief moment with Jolly Jonah Jameson has us missing the character Simmons perfected.
B.J. Novak’s role in the film was interesting from the start, because it was shrouded in secrecy. While we heard rumors that Novak might be playing Smythe on film, it was stil very intriguing to see the role in the film, and possibly introduced up a very interesting character into the SCU. Alistair Smythe is the son of Spencer Smythe, who in the comics was the original designer of the Spider-Slayers, robotic creations designed to kill Spider-Man. After his death, Alistair continued his work and eventually turned himself into the ultimate Spider-Slayer, so Novak might have a very specific future in the Spider-Man series.
When Felicity Jones was first cast in the film, her role was kept under wraps, until Felicity mistakenly revealed that she was playing Felicia Hardy. Felicia is obviously better known as the Black Cat, a character fans have been dying to see on screen for years. While her role in the film is only referred to as Felicity and doesn’t appear to share much of Black Cat’s comic origins, we can probably expect a larger role for Felicity Jones to develop in the Spider-Man universe over the next couple of films.
We first saw Mr. Fiers in the mid-credits scene of The Amazing Spider-Man, which started fans talking about the mysterious character. Showing up again in the finale of the sequel, we learn that his name is Mr. Fiers, which is further confirmed by his credit as Gustav Fiers. This is a very interesting character known as the Gentleman, who actually first appeared in a Spider-man novel – The Gathering of the Sinister Six - as opposed to the comics. The Gentleman plays a very interesting role in the development of the Sinister Six and has a unique connection to Peter’s parents as well, but we will be discussing Mr. Fiers more in-depth later in the week.
And finally, the Easter Egg we won’t get to see until the home release is one that was replaced by the X-Men: Days of Future Past clip that aired in the mid-credits scene. However, it was recently revealed that the original plan was for the mid-credits scene to feature the Gentleman in the Secret Projects base that held the Green Goblin suit (as well as the Doctor Octopus arms, Vulture wings and Rhino mech suit), where we would see the severed head of Norman Osborn awaken. With this removed from the film Norman’s death is questionable, though any fan of the comic knows death just doesn’t seem to stop Norman Osborn.
That brings us to the end of today’s examination of some of the more interesting easter eggs and characters that popped up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Keep checking back all week as we further explore the film and the future of the Spider-Man Cinematic Universe.
Images: Sony Pictures