Warning: Spoilers for Marvel's latest are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, use the Time Stone to rewind and see the film before reading this piece. And if you have seen the film, please make sure not to spoil the Endgame for those who haven’t made it out yet.
Amidst all of the madness, time travel, and heroic sacrifice that makes Avengers: Endgame this year's blockbuster to beat, there are a lot of surprising faces that made their way back into frame in the MCU. Much like Red Skull’s return to the fold in Avengers: Infinity War, there are some head-turning cameos that we, quite frankly, never saw coming.
Which is why we’re providing this list of the cameos from Avengers: Endgame so insanely out of left field, they made us smile after pulling a double take. There’s even one that’s so surprising, we had to see the film again to make sure we’d seen what we thought we saw. How surprised were you when you saw the following faces make their appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest megahit?
Korg And Miek
It’s not that Thor: Ragnarok’s twin comic reliefs were unwelcomed in Avengers: Endgame, as both Korg and Miek were welcome additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But at the same time, we really didn’t expect to see them on Earth, or even in a film for that matter, as their fate weren’t exactly clear after the Asgardian wreck we saw at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War.
But thankfully, when Thor was revealed to be in New Asgard, acting like Norse Mythology’s answer to The Dude, Korg and Miek (and Valkyrie) were there to help lighten the mood. Though Korg may have been going a little too far calling Thor in to shout down Fortnite user N00bKiller69. That’s what the dabbing emoji is for, Korg.
When you have a villain like Alexander Pierce make such a big impact in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you kind of never expect them to rear their heads again; despite the fact that we really wanted him to. But the fact that said Captain America: The Winter Soldier baddie was played by esteemed actor Robert Redford had us severely convinced that he’d never pop up in future films. And yet, here we are.
During the big time heist at the center of Avengers: Endgame, we’re treated to one mass cluster of cameos as the Battle of New York winds down, and one of them happens to be Pierce who was on hand to recover the Tesseract and Loki’s scepter when it all went down. Add some comedic confusion, and a little bit of bureaucratic dancing, and you’ve got a pretty hilarious return to the screen. Of course, he wasn’t the only dirty S.H.I.E.L.D. operative on hand that day.
Brock Rumlow and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Team
Going back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the infamous elevator fight scene is one of the most iconic moments that ever took place in the action-packed world of the MCU. Captain America taking on an enclosed room full of opponents, including Brock Rumlow (aka Crossbones) was pretty damned impressive, and made a mark in such an early phase of the universe’s development.
Which means that when that exact same strike team gets walked in on by Cap during the retrieval of the Tesseract and the scepter in Avengers: Endgame, a lot of people thought a rematch would be in order. And yet, being the good time traveler that he was, Steve Rogers conned that entire group to make the hand off with two words: “Hail Hydra.”
Agent Jasper Sitwell
Naturally, you can’t have a HYDRA reunion from Captain America: The Winter Soldier without including some more of the bureaucratic faces that weren’t named Alexander Pierce in the proceedings. The Battle of New York was a large enough happening that a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. movers and shakers were present, so obviously seeing someone like Agent Jasper Sitwell popping in to help wasn’t a total surprise.
But at the same time, much like that surprise panning shot of Brock Rumlow getting off the elevator, we didn’t see Jasper’s return to the fold coming. All told, the huge reunion of traitors to S.H.I.E.L.D. made our timeline’s Steve Rogers’ job a lot harder, and made our enjoyment of his actual triumph all the more hysterical. Seriously, getting him to pretend to be HYDRA in front of those guys checked a lot of boxes.
One of the most bittersweet cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was that of Thor’s dearly departed mother, Frigga. Played by Rene Russo in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, the kindly queen of Asgard was sadly taken during an enemy assault on Asgard in the latter film’s crucial moments. But since those moments were on the list of events to burgle through time, they were slightly altered.
That alteration included a moment where a much bigger Thor spoke with his mother, who clearly saw that not all was well with her son. But on top of that, Frigga knew that the future would hold her death, and warned her son to let it happen as intended. It added an emotional beat for Thor’s story, and gave us a little more time with a character that definitely deserved the screen time.
Yes, this one seemed pretty much like it happened merely through the magic of digital footage, but we actually saw Jane Foster appear in Avengers: Endgame through the time heist’s segment taking place during the events of Thor: The Dark World. It was still quite a bit of surprise seeing Natalie Portman’s face show up in a Marvel movie again.
While Jane really didn’t do anything or get many lines, we still saw her carrying the essence of the Aether in her, which counted for the Reality Stone in need of heisting. Something Rocket Raccoon did off screen, with an extractor. Seeing as Portman and Marvel aren’t as at odds as they used to be, what with her presence at the Hollywood premiere for Avengers: Endgame, this kind of feels like a proper burying of the hatchet. Not to mention, it’s a key to closing off Thor’s story in the event he doesn’t return to theater screens.
While Hank Pym’s cameo in Avengers: Endgame wasn’t exactly under the circumstances people predicted it would be, Pym still showed up. And with his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe fold, it was decided that another very important figure in the world of MCU science show up for some closure: huge industrialist and father of Tony, Howard Stark. During a time travel mission to 1970, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers try to steal the Tessaract out of that point in space time, leaving them both very important pieces in the same objective.
While Tony steals the actual Infinity Stone itself, he runs into his own father, expecting his infant self to be born any day now. After a talk about having kids, and the excitement and terror that follows, Howard says goodbye to the man he thinks is named “Howard Potts,” and starts to ask some serious questions about why that man looks familiar.
History was made with a very important cameo that was not only a surprise, it was the first time a character specifically created for Marvel’s TV shows came into the cinematic world. Edwin Jarvis, Howard Stark and Peggy Carter’s loyal friend and often co-conspirator, was seen for the first time since Agent Carter went off the air, and he was seen with Howard Stark.
In the record-breaking hit of this past weekend, Jarvis pops up as Howard is about to climb into his car to leave Camp Lehigh, wondering where he’s seen the man he’s been chatting with for several minutes of Avengers: Endgame’s runtime. Jarvis hasn’t a clue, but we already know that Howard was really talking to his own son. So it’s nice to see Edwin, possibly for the last time, doing what he does best: being as helpful as possible.
Howard The Duck
Now here’s a cameo audiences had to look really closely for, as somehow, Howard The Duck joined the battle for good in Avengers: Endgame in a small, but still pretty awesome manner. Basically, while he hasn’t shown up since Guardians of the Galaxy’s end credits stinger, Howard was seen in Endgame’s climactic battle in the third act.
There are specific directions as to where you could find him in the film, but it’s pretty much a given. This basically confirms that everyone we ever wanted to see from the MCU appears in Endgame. The Bingo card is full. Except Darcy. Poor Darcy.
Quite possibly the deepest cut when it comes to Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos, Tony Stark’s funeral saw a nearly unrecognizable young man standing among the ranks of the mourning. While thoughts may have turned to questioning if some new character was joining the MCU in a sneaky cameo, it was actually a heartbreaking callback.
Harley Keener, the young man Tony befriended and gifted an entire lab to in Iron Man 3, was standing at the lakeside ceremony that saw the dearly departed Avenger honored with a weep worthy sendoff. Whether it be a hint that maybe someone else could take up the mantle of Iron Man in the future, or just someone who Tony happened to touch paying his respects, it snuck up on audiences and is just now nailing in that last bit of heartbreak into the total package.
While Marvel cameos have been a pretty recurring thread through the MCU, these particular appearances made Endgame stand out even more above the films that had preceded it. We may never even see this big of a happening in the history of Marvel Studios again, so it’s even more of a feat to behold while we can.