Every Time A Marvel Comic Book Has Appeared In The MCU
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Every Time A Marvel Comic Book Has Appeared In The MCU


  • Marvel Studios has always included Easter eggs to the Marvel Comics source material since the MCU began with 2008’s
    Iron Man
  • Comic books featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have appeared in the MCU since 2010’s
    Iron Man 2
  • Marvel Comics appearing in the MCU acts as a celebration of the impact of superheroes on pop culture.



Several comic books featuring some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have appeared within the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, inspired by the works of Marvel Comics. Since the MCU kicked off with 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has included many Easter eggs to the Marvel Comics source material in its live-action adventures. These have often been fun details and call-backs that have entertained die-hard Marvel fans, or those willing to research Marvel Comics’ 85-year history, but while some have been discrete and hidden, others have been a much more overt celebration of the impact of superheroes in popular comic books.

No Easter eggs in the history of the MCU have perhaps been more obvious than the actual appearance of superhero-based comic books in the world of Marvel Studios’ live-action franchise. It stands to reason that, in a world inhabited by superheroes, comic book companies would produce graphic novels based on the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. As far back as 2010’s Iron Man 2, several comic books have been seen in the MCU, and these Easter eggs have only become more prominent in recent years, with the trailer for 2024’s Deadpool & Wolverine providing the most recent Marvel Comics appearance.


MCU: 15 Easter Eggs That Didn’t Go Anywhere (And 10 That Did)

The MCU franchise has become famous for these Easter eggs and subtle references to the source material. Some even go on to play major roles later.

6 Captain America Comics Appear In The First Avenger

Iron Man 2 (2010) & Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger debuted Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, the world’s first chronological hero, at least the first in the public eye. Rogers transformed into Captain America after being injected with Abraham Erskine’s super-soldier serum, and used his new abilities to battle the Red Skull and HYDRA. Prior to becoming a true soldier, however, Rogers was used as an advertisement to promote war bonds, skyrocketing him to fame, though keeping him away from the front lines. During this time, comic books featuring Steve Rogers were produced, and can be seen being read by children and soldiers alike.

The comics featured in Captain America: The First Avenger are actually copies of Marvel Comics’ Captain America Comics #1, which released in 1941. This story introduced Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes to the world, and detailed the former’s origin story as Captain America, just as The First Avenger did, acting as a wonderful call-back to Rogers’ comic history. This same comic book was previously glimpsed in 2010’s Iron Man 2 among Howard Stark’s belongings that were gifted to Tony Stark. This teased the bond between Steve Rogers and Howard Stark even before the former had been introduced to the MCU.

5 Wolverine & X-23 Follow X-Men Comics In Logan

Logan (2017)

Even though 2017’s Logan took place in Fox’s X-Men franchise, comic books were still an integral part of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s final (at that time) project as Wolverine and Professor X, respectively. Dafne Keen’s Laura, a.k.a. X-23, wanted to reach the Canadian border to find Eden, a place she’d seen in comics produced by the fictional X-Men Comics Group. Director James Mangold revealed to SlashFilm in 2017 that none of Logan’s comic books were real, unlike those in Captain America: The First Avenger, but were created by Marvel’s former Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and artist Dan Panosian.

We had to make them all. Marvel only agreed to let me do this as long as we didn’t use any real Marvel comics. So we made them all up. But they involved existing Marvel characters. But they just couldn’t be real Marvel comics. You’d have to go ask Marvel why.

The comics featured in Logan detailed the adventures of the X-Men, the mutant superhero team that had been in the public eye since the events of 2011’s X-Men: First Class, which took place in 1963. During a 2017 interview with The Verge, Panosian revealed he created ten covers for the fictional X-Men comics, while Quesada worked on four pages, with no complete comic book being created – only what was needed. These comics were designed to look like those from the 1980s era of Marvel Comics, suggesting that the X-Men Comics Group had been producing these stories since then in-universe.

4 Groot Reads ALF #4 In I Am Groot Season 1, Episode 5

I Am Groot Season 1, Episode 5, “Magnum Opus” (2022)

Groot holding Alf #4 in I Am Groot

While James Mangold’s Logan wasn’t allowed to use real issues of Marvel Comics, the animated series I am Groot followed in Captain America: The First Avenger’s footsteps by including a real Marvel comic. During the 2022 episode, “Magnum Opus,” Groot reads Marvel Comics’ ALF #4, which originally released in 1988, the same year that Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill was abducted from Earth by Yondu and the Ravagers. This acted as yet another call-back to Star-Lord’s Earthly roots, while suggesting that he was, in fact, like ALF: an alien being who’s adopted into a family far away from his real home.

3 Several Marvel Comics Issues Appear In She-Hulk: Attorney At Law

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Season 1, Episode 2, “Superhuman Law” (2022)

Marvel Comics appearing in the background in She-Hulk Attorney at Law

When Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, is hired as the face of the Superhuman Law division of GLK&H in 2022’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 2, “Superhuman Law,” a wall of Marvel Comics can briefly be seen in the law firm’s offices. Some of these comics are distinguishable as real-world issues of Marvel Comics, including 1964’s Avengers #4, 1982’s Captain America #274, 1983’s The Incredible Hulk #287, 1991’s What If…?#28, 1996’s Thor #494, 2010’s Thor #611, and Agent Carter: SHIELD #1. This was a fantastic addition in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, celebrating almost 60 years of Marvel stories.

2 Captain Marvel Comics Appear In The Marvels

The Marvels (2023)

Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan looking at the SABER tablet in The Marvels

The most recent theatrical appearance of any comic book in the world of the MCU came during 2023’s The Marvels, the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel. After battling Kree soldiers, Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan was met at home by Nick Fury and Monica Rambeau. Kamala changes out of her superhero suit, and instead wears a top sporting the design of two Captain Marvel comics, celebrating her idol. Unlike previous comics in the MCU, these were custom-made for The Marvels, but perhaps revealed how Kamala knew so much about Captain Marvel despite the latter not having spent much time on Earth.


The Marvels’ 29 MCU Easter Eggs & References Explained

The Marvels includes several Easter eggs connected to the MCU, such as cameos and teases, and references to the comics that inspired the movie.

1 Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars #5 Appears In Deadpool & Wolverine’s Trailer

Deadpool & Wolverine (2024)

Deadpool on the ground with Secret Wars #5 in Deadpool and Wolverine

One iconic issue of Marvel Comics made a surprise appearance in the final moments of Deadpool & Wolverine’s first trailer, which released in February 2024. While Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, lies on the ground, presumably during a battle with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, a copy of Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars #5 is seen on the left. Released in 2015 as part of the epic Secret Wars event, this issue saw the Molecule Man, Owen Reece, recount his, Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom’s meeting of the Beyonders, with the latter absorbing their power to create Battleworld after a catastrophic incursion.

Deadpool & Wolverine is set to release on July 26, 2024, as part of the MCU’s Phase 5, bringing Marvel Studios one step closer to adapting the Secret Wars storyline into live-action in 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars. The appearance of Secret Wars #5 in the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer has led some to speculate that the Phase 5 movie could feature the beginnings of Battleworld’s foundation, potentially in Loki’s Void at the end of time. If this is true, this marks the first time Marvel Studios has teased a major Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline with an issue of Marvel Comics.

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