12 Fiendishly Clever Comic Book Movie In-Jokes You Probably Missed

There are a massive number of knowing winks and nudges in comic book movies, from the massive collection of Easter...

Simon Gallagher

NUFC Editor

Smallville Spartans

There are a massive number of knowing winks and nudges in comic book movies, from the massive collection of Easter Eggs hidden in almost every release to the tongue-in-cheek jokey references that take it a step forward.

Sometimes those jokes are open and obvious, like Wolverine’s scene-stealing cameo in X-Men: First Class (with some of the finest, and most devastatingly effective expletives ever seen on screen,) but the most pleasurable instances are those jokes that are a little bit more obscure.

They are the nods and inclusive jokes designed to appeal to only the nerdiest or most knowledgable audience members. Some are included as references to the former works of star actors – such as the appearance of Robert Downey Jr’s handprints in the key Chinese Theatre scene in Iron Man 3, and some just generally reference other favourite movies.

For the purposes of this article, we’ve looked only at the comic book movie in-jokes that reference specific, and mostly key comic book moments.

Honourable Mention

I Am Legend

I Am Legend

In a crazy moment of foresight, the digital set-dressers for I Am Legend included a movie poster for probably the biggest upcoming comic book movie well before it was even announced, even going as far as to pretty much nail the logo down exactly.

Among the wreckage of that film’s ruined New York cityscape, there’s a movie poster combining the Batman and Superman logos, the same way DC later did for the announcement of Batman Vs Superman. Officially it was a case of producer Akiva Goldsman messing with fans (thanks to his association with a potential crossover,) but it’s not the first time the cross-over has been used as an in-joked, as fans of Fringe will be all be aware…

Fringe