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.
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.
Into the Spider-Verse producers Chris Lord and Phil Miller started their Hollywood careers with the 2002 MTV show Clone High, a short-lived animated series that has become a cult favorite in the years since. While the original show only lasted 13 episodes, Lord and Miller gave themselves a "Sliding Doors" opportunity in their animated universe by hiding an advertisement for Clone College in Miles's Times Square.
In this universe, Clone High was successful enough to follow its characters into their college years.