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The Marvel Universe is so rich with characters and detail that movies like Iron Man 2 could consist of nothing but Easter Egg references to other Marvel characters and keep the fans more than happy for two and a half hours. Lucky for the rest of us Jon Favreau resisted the urge, saving most of the Easter Egg power for that after-the-credits scene with Thor's hammer. But eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed in the scene at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters that some screens in the background contained potential references to other Marvel films and even hints about upcoming projects-- and now Favreau has confirmed exactly which ones you might have missed.
During an interview on the newly released Iron Man 2 Blu-Ray (via Daily Blam), Favreau pointed out that on the S.H.I.E.L.D. screens were references to The Incredible Hulk and Captain America but also to Black Panther, an occasional Avengers member who isn't yet confirmed to be part of the big Avengers movie. Apparently a map of the world on the screen pinpointed seven global locations, all of them relating to different Marvel characters. As Favreau said it:
"And if you think that anything on this monitors is not something we at Marvel didn't talk about for hours - you are crazy! See, there is a map up there, so... if you look at those maps, each one of those locations corresponds to something in the Marvel Universe. I'm not supposed to say that. And if you look on each one, and I know what they mean, but I'm not gonna say it, but I'm gonna say this: Two of them relate to "The First Avenger: Captain America," one of them relates to "Thor." The one in Africa relates to Black Panther."
The Black Panther is one of just many, many Marvel heroes rumored to get his own movie at some point, and though his inclusion in a super-obscure Easter Egg in Iron Man 2 is pretty insignificant, it does at least let us know that the character is on Marvel's radar. I wouldn't expect the character himself to show up in The Avengers-- the casting process, with potential spinoffs in mind, would take forever-- but maybe a more prominent Easter Egg to keep the nerds happy, and people like me totally in the dark about what's making all the nerds in the back row high-five each other.