It’s been eleven years and 23 movies. The first three phases of Marvel movies came to a spectacular close in Avengers 4. The film delivered a love story to fans, bringing back a dizzying array of characters from previous movies. The main plot concerns the quest to bring back all those lost in The Snap, and enlisted an emotional overload of fan favourites from all the MCU franchises. Obviously reading beyond this point is full of SPOILERS.
From Thor’s past:
In the scene on Asgard, which takes place just before the Dark Elf attack in Thor: Dark World, Thor sees but does not interact with Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman. However, he has a lengthy and deeply moving reunion with Frigga, Queen of Asgard, played by Renee Russo.
There is no reunion with his much-missed brother. Loki, however, does appear in the New York scenes set during the climactic ending of the first Avengers movie. The Hulk ruins the attempt to swipe the Tesseract which falls back into the hands of the Asgardian prince, who promptly uses the Space Stone to escape.
AVENGERS ENDGAME FULL PLOT SYNOPSIS HERE
Avengers Endgame full list of cameos: how many did you spot?
From Captain America: Winter Soldier
Many of the villains from Winter Soldier appear, but in a different setting during new scenes which take place during the same attack on New York. They include Robert Redford’s Director Pierce, Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow (later Crossbones), Callan Mulvey’s Jack Rollins and Maximiliano Hernandez’s Jasper Sitwell.
At the time, therefore, nobody (except the future Captain America) knows they are Hydra agents, something the Captain uses to his advantage in a subversive replay of that infamous lift fight scene.
Avengers Endgame full list of cameos: Captain America villains
From Captain America: The First Avenger
This was the one everyone was waiting for. After the heist on New York goes wrong and the Tesseract slips through their fingers, Cap is forced to locate another time and jumps back to the military base where he was transformed into the super soldier, Camp Lehigh. It is some years after the first movie and the base is now the secret headquarters for SHIELD, where Steve watches Peggy, played by Hayley Atwell, through a window.
Of course, the very last scene of the movie reveals that Steve does not finally jump back to the present, but instead elects to go back and live out a full life with Peggy and they are shown together again at last, married and dancing at home.
There is also the return of Red Skull, who already cameoed in Infinity War. Once again, he is on Vormir, leading unfortunates on their quest for the Soul Stone.
Avengers Endgame full list of cameos: Peggy and Jarvis
From Iron Man’s past:
During Captain America and Iron Man’s visit to the US military base at Camp Lehigh, Tony runs into his father Howard Stark, played by John Slattery. He has, of course, previously appeared in Iron Man 2, Ant-Man and Civil War.
As well as being a crowd pleaser, this reunion helps Tony find closure over the horrific loss of his parents, and also to understand his complicated relationship with his father.
From SHIELD (TV):
Yes, this is the first time a Marvel television character has appeared in the MCU.
In the scenes where Tony meets his father, he also sees Howard’s iconic driver when James D’Arcy reprises his role as Edwin Jarvis from the MCU TV series Agent Carter. Plenty of characters have gone from the MCU to the related TV shows, but he is the first to do it in the other direction.
Avengers Endgame full list of cameos: HANK AND JANET
That busy America base was also the site for Hank Pym’s early work and so Captain America also draws an impressively CGI de-aged Michael Douglas out of his office so he can nab the extra vials of Pym Particles needed to make additional Quantum Realm jumps.
From Doctor Strange:
While Captain America and Tony Stark attempt to retrieve the Mind and Space Stones during the attack on New York, Bruce Banner goes after the Time Stone at the American Sanctum. He mistakenly asks for Doctor Strange but is informed he is “five years too early” by none other than Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One. An illuminating (but still mind-bending) explanation of time travel and causality follows.
Avengers Endgame full list of cameos: The Ancient One
Avengers Endgame full list of every MCU cameo
Final group scene:
The heartbreaking funeral for Tony Stark also brings back many other characters not seen in the time jumps or restored from the Snap in time for the final battle.
These include Angela Basset’s Queen Ramona, Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May, Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet Van Dyne and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan.
A final touching Easter Egg is a mysterious young teenage boy who is actually the young kid, Harley Keener, played again by Ty Simpkins, who helped Tony Stark rebuild his suit in a barn in Iron Man 3.