In the hunt for Marvel Easter eggs, there's no movie more ripe for in-jokes and references than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The animated film from producers Chris Lord and Phil Miller is overflowing with ideas that comic book fans have been waiting for - the feature-film debut of Miles Morales! Seven different Spider-People! Parallel universes! - and that commitment to fan service extends to the many hidden details in Into the Spider-Verse.
From the gut-punch of an ending in Avengers: Infinity War to a starring role in the PS4 Spider-Man game, 2018 was a significant year for Peter Parker, and Into the Spider-Verse gives Marvel a chance to shine some light on its many other arachnid heroes. Miles Morales takes center stage, with support from Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and SP//dr, and the Spectacular Spider-Ham, to save not just his Earth, but every Earth in the multiverse.
While the heroes save the day, the filmmakers took time to sneak in a ton of references and Easter eggs that make Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse worthy of a rewatch.
It takes a lot of work to make an animated film, and that means the crew put in a lot of hours to make sure the final product matched their vision. All that work can be tough on their families too.
In a Q&A at a Los Angeles screening, co-director Bob Persichetti said he hid nods to his wife and kids in the graffiti that covered the walls in the train tunnels to let them know he was thinking of them during the long days and nights working.
Early in Into the Spider-Verse, when Miles looks for someone to talk to about his new powers, two names jump out as he scrolls through his contacts. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli created the character of Miles Morales for Marvel's Ultimate universe in 2011, and both of them appear in Miles's phone.
It's an appropriately meta touch for a movie produced by Chris Lord and Phil Miller, who've made hit meta-comedies like 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie.
While he only has one vocal cameo, animation allowed the filmmakers behind Into the Spider-Verse to continue paying tribute to the late Stan Lee throughout the movie. Lee pops up in the background a ton, from shots of subway crowds to bystanders on the sidewalk.
Co-director Bob Persichetti told Collider, "If you just pause, he’s in a lot of them. That guy is all over New York. He’s a busy man."
Animator Nick Kondo revealed one of Lee's more notable cameo's toward the end of the film when Miles is swinging between train cars. Lee can be spotted in the window of one of the cars making the "thwip" gesture as Miles runs by.
At one point, Miles walks past the sign for a noodle shop called Romita Ramen. While it sounds like a great place to score some tonkatsu, it's also a nod to two artists who have had a huge impact on Spider-Man over the years: John Romita Sr. and John Romita Jr.
The older Romita took over art duties after Steve Ditko abruptly left the series in 1966, and he drew Peter Parker in the era where he became one of the biggest heroes in Marvel Comics. He created villains like the Rhino, Shocker, and Kingpin, and drew the very first appearance of Mary Jane Watson.
John Romita Jr., meanwhile, is also considered one of the greatest Spider-Man artists of all time, and had beloved runs on Amazing Spider-Man in the '80s, '90s, and '00s.