One of the pleasures of Marvel’s movies, for nerds, has been the clever allusions to other aspects of the Marvel Universe, whether it’s a cameo or a reference to something upcoming. Thor: The Dark World was focused on its story, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have a lot to see, if you knew where to look.
The biggest smorgasbord of nerdery was probably the good Dr. Selvig recapping for the audience what the hell was going on. If you take a good look at his chalkboard, there’s a lot of gags there for fans.
The biggest one is probably the fact that Selvig refers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the “616 Universe.” For those unfamiliar with Marvel’s continuity, the “mainstream” Marvel Universe is referred to as Earth 616. But there are multitudes of other universes that they’ve delved into, which is mostly a gimmick for bringing in different characters to make fans squeal with glee.
Beyond that, there’s The Fault, which is a shout-out to the Guardians Of The Galaxy, and may drop a hint about their upcoming movie; the Fault was opened by those wacky Inhumans setting off a Terrigen bomb, and leads to a “Cancerverse” of twisted heroes and Lovecraftian weirdness. Considering how integral the Inhumans have been to Marvel’s recent crossovers, it’s safe to say we might be seeing a few cameos in Guardians Of The Galaxy.
The next is the Crossroads, which is not a reality where Bone Thugs n’ Harmony rule the universe. Instead it’s a place where you can access different universes; Doctor Strange chucked the Hulk in there once. Whether that hints at a Doctor Strange movie or just universe-hoppin’ weirdness down the road is anyone’s guess.
Finally, for pedants, Doctor Selvig only names eight of the nine realms: Midgard, Asgard, Svartelfheim, Vanaheim, Hel, Jotunheim, Nidavellir, and Alphion. Interestingly, we only see six of those, as well.
The Infinity Gems
Thanos may not be in the next Avengers, but he’s sure on his way. The Infinity Gems were the MacGuffin surrounding a massive crossover and beloved Marvel event which featured said ridgy-chinned villain. What non-Marvel nerds need to know is that each gem grants the one holding it vast power, and that there are six of them: Mind, Power, Reality, Space, Time, and Soul. You really don’t want somebody running around with all six.
This movie actually manages to confirm a few things. First, that the Tesseract, the main item everybody was after in the first set of Marvel movies, is referred to as an Infinity Gem. Considering what we’ve seen it do, namely suck the Red Skull into another realm in Captain America, it’s likely the one representing space.
The Aether is apparently a manifestation of the Power Gem, although that’s mostly speculation based on the color and what it does. So that leaves four of these things floating around. And we’ve got four movies between Thor: The Dark World, and Marvel’s last announced feature, Ant-Man. Hmmmm.