Fun in the Movies: The Incredible Hulk and Marvel Crossovers

The 2008 hit movie The Incredible Hulk finally brought Hulk fans the redemption of their beloved superhero. Many opinions about the film indicate that the 2008 version was much more faithful to the comic than the 2003 version.

Not only did the Hulk movie include staples from the Hulk universe like Doc Sampson and the Abomination, but it also made references to other Marvel comic book superheroes like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. What? Didn’t you see these guys? It’s okay. These guys and a few others were present in the form of clues, allusions, and “Easter eggs.” It’s a great way to set up future movies like the Avengers, Thor, and Captain America.

Here’s the Marvel cross-reference list if you missed them:

* Thor’s allusion in the cave scene. A very powerful scene that reminded me of King Kong. Outside the cave, lightning and thunder roared. One of the bolts struck the Hulk, prompting him to howl into the sky in defiance of the elements. In the Marvel universe, Thor is the god of war and thunder and many fans saw this scene as Thor sizing up the Hulk before an eventual showdown.

* Stark Industries in documents in the opening sequence. Stark Industries is a Tony Stark-owned weapons manufacturer who also flies as Iron Man.

* Cameo of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in the final scene talking to General Ross about a new team he is forming. The online rumor is that Stark is referring to the formation of the Avengers.

* SHIELD name and logo on documents in opening assembly. SHIELD stands for Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division. It is “an extra-governmental intelligence and security organization dedicated to protecting the nations and peoples of Earth from all threats, terrestrial or extraterrestrial.” ( SHIELD often works with the Avengers and is led by Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson made a cameo in Iron Man as Nick Fury.

* The SHIELD logo can also be seen in the email stream when Banner e-mailed data from his experiments to Mr. Blue from a gas station computer. SHIELD technology intercepted the message.

* The blue serum that turned Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) into a super soldier refers to Captain America, the first super soldier created by the United States government during World War II.

* The blue serum turns Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) into a super soldier in the Hulk movie

* Blonsky’s super speed and agility, along with his military training and experience, demonstrated how Captain America would fare against a much stronger opponent like the Hulk.

* Blonsky’s healing ability also demonstrates how Captain America was able to survive being frozen in the Arctic since WWII. In the comics, the Avengers found Captain America’s body frozen in a block of ice somewhere at the North Pole.

* Jim Wilson, one of the college students interviewed by the media as a witness to the battle between the Hulk and the US Army, is Sam Wilson’s nephew. Sam Wilson is a superhero known as Falcon who is friends with Captain America. Jim Wilson also appears as a sidekick to the Incredible Hulk in other issues.

* The blue serum is clearly labeled Weapons Plus. This is a bit of a stretch, but the show that created Wolverine is called Weapons X. Wolverine made his first appearance in a number of Incredible Hulk comics.

* Stan Lee cameo drinking the soda with gamma and falling from poisoning. Marvel movies are known for Stan Lee’s cameos.

* Stanleys Pizza is the name of the restaurant where Banner temporarily stayed and where Betty first discovered his return. The name is too close to Stan Lee’s to be dismissed as a coincidence.

* Paul Soles portraying Stanleys is the voice of Spider-Man in cartoons from the late 60s.

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