Monday mornings after the release of Marvel movies are for dissecting the secrets layered into the film, for sharing the gems hidden for the True Believers that could hint at the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the biggest easter egg in Ant-Man isn't a clue towards the future - it's a wonderful nod to the past.
At the end of the sequence where Scott Lang first tries out the Ant-Man suit he ends up on the roof of a car. He has been through a crushing valley of feet, menaced by a rat and sucked up into a vacuum cleaner and now, at the end of it all, rests on the dented roof of a car before returning to full size. Within the car sits a man who is startled by the events, but who - had he stuck his head outside! - might have recognized the costume. See, it was the first actor to play a live action Ant-Man: Garret Morris from Saturday Night Live.
For nerds there are a couple of essential old SNL pieces. There's the one with Shatner at the Comic-Con, telling everyone to get a life. They still sell t-shirts with that phrase on it. And there was the original cast Star Trek sketch, in which the biggest villain the Enterprise encounters is an NBC executive. But for me the number one nerdy old SNL sketch is from 1979. when Margot Kidder guested and they threw a Superhero Party.
I love this sketch! There's just enough deep nerdery on display (especially in 1979 terms) to show that the people behind the scenes knew these characters, but there's also a lot of fun being had with them. And for the purposes of this weekend's number one movie, the sketch has a hilarious moment where The Hulk and The Flash mercilessly tease Ant-Man about his power set.
Seeing Garrett Morris show up in Ant-Man was a joy simply because seeing Morris show up is wonderful, but more than that it was a beautiful nod to a strange highlight in the history of one of the most absolutely obscure characters in comics. And that beats any reference to an Infinity Stone or Spider-Man.
Now if only Morris' character had returned at the end on a newscast, delivering the news for the hard of hearing...