Iron Man 2 is a beloved part of the MCU but despite how many times it’s been rewatched, some details still get missed.
2 years after the first Iron Man movies were released, came Iron Man 2. The movie had a bigger budget, a bigger star cast, and an evil Russian man as its villain. It was a great recipe for a blockbuster on paper, and as expected, it did perform well at the box office. However, it didn’t please the critics as much as its predecessor and fans are still divided to this day as to whether the second movie is as good, if not better than the first one.
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However, one thing all fans unanimously agree on is how Marvel has managed to consistently surprise them with how carefully they hide details in plain sight. Back then, fans didn’t know to keep a lookout for such details, so for those who missed them, here are the 10 best ones.
10 Elon Musk Cameo
The Iron Man trilogy contains various references to Elon Musk which is no surprise given that one can argue that Tony Stark shares a lot of similarities with Musk. In the restaurant scene, Stark and Pepper meet Musk where Stark talks about the Merlin engines while Musk responds by talking about electric jets.
9 Mickey Rourke Arrest Photo
When Stark looks at a photo of the villain Ivan Vanko being arrested, what we see is the actual picture that was taken when Mickey Rourke, the actor who plays Vanko, was arrested due to drugs in his younger days.
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Yet another fantastic example of Marvel using real life to inspire real life.
8 Tesseract Reference
Iron Man 2 is generally considered as the movie which introduced aspects that were important for the future of the franchise. Stark using the shield to build a reactor, Coulson discovering the Mjolnir, etc. were very important parts considering the future movies.
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Another very important one which might have been missed by most people was the mention of Tesseract. While Stark is watching some old reels about his father, there is a sketch of the Tesseract in one of the notebooks.
7 Future MCU Plans
At the end of the movie, Stark and Nick Fury discuss the Avengers initiative and there is one scene wherein the background we can see a world map with some locations marked.
With some research, one can figure out what these locations signify – the spot in Africa most likely denotes Wakanda, the New Mexico one was where the Mjolnir was found, the Greenland marker was where Captain America crashed The Skull’s ship.
6 The Incredible Hulk Reference
Also referenced during Stark’s meeting with Fury are the events of the second Hulk movie. In the background, there is a television with the news of events from the Culver University. Fans will remember that this was the location where Hulk battled Thunderbolt Ross. This reference is a simple yet significant way in which Marvel made sure that the timelines are all correct.
5 Whiplash’s Tattoos
Mickey Rourke, who plays Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash, did a lot of research in order to prepare for the role. He invested a lot of time studying Russian history, prison life, etc. A major part of that was the tattoos. Interestingly enough, he had one of Loki on his neck but it was later removed as it was thought that viewers might confuse that with the two characters having a connection.
4 Kate Mara Cameo
Many fans had expectedly missed this fantastic cameo and they can’t really be blamed for it! Very early on in the movie, her character is introduced as a US Marshal. Stark asks her where she is from to which she replies, “Bedford.”
Interestingly enough, the actress was born in Bedford, New York. Sure the cameo is small, but for those with an eye for detail, they enjoyed it a lot.
3 Weapon Nicknames
Justin Hammer shows some of Hammer Industries’ less impressive weapons to Rhodes. He uses certain nicknames which have reference to actual events. A minigun called “Puff the Magic Dragon” is a reference to a movie and a song of the same name.
It is also related to the Vietnam War. While showing the “Ex-Wife” bullet, he talks about ‘Ulysses’ and crayons. It references the fact that the author James Joyce had to use crayons, later on, to write when his eyesight became weak.
In comic books, Bambina Arbogast is an important Stark Industries employee and helps Iron Man on several occasions. After Pepper takes over as CEO, Arbogast becomes her assistant and she is also credited for hiring Black Widow.
1 Stan Lee
No Marvel movie would be complete without a cameo from Stan Lee, as has consistently been proven by Marvel. They go out of their way to give him the best cameos possible, often put in a funny situation. In Iron Man 2, he is shown as a stand-in for the talk show Larry King Now.
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