28 MCU Heroes & Villains Referenced In Ms. Marvel Episode 1

Drax, Captain America, Thanos, Ms. Marvel logo
By Tom Drew Posted:

With how intertwined Kamala Khan is with the superheroes of the MCU, it's no surprise that Episode 1 of Ms. Marvel is filled to the brim with Easter eggs and allusions to a multitude of Marvel Studios' characters. After what seemed like a severe drought of MCU connections on Disney+ with Moon Knight, the Iman Vellani-led series is here to bring fun sequences, a unique charm, and plenty of MCU references.

Fans already knew that the series would be drawing from all the best MCU movies and highlight obvious picks like Iron Man and Captain America, but Ms. Marvel managed to sneak in a few unexpected Easter eggs too, including Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts and Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff. 

Here's every character that's directly, and indirectly, referenced in Ms. Marvel's first installment.

Every MCU Character Reference in Ms. Marvel's Premiere

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Ms. Marvel.

Captain Marvel

Ms. Marvel AvengerCon
Marvel Studios

The main source of Kamala's superhero obsession and the inspiration for her superhero mantle is none other than Carol Danvers, so it's only natural that the cosmic hero gets ample attention in the series premiere. Captain Marvel receives a number of references, first being seen prominently in the opening of the episode in Kamala’s animation recounting the events of Avengers: Endgame's final battle.

Brie Larson's hero is also plastered on a number of posters in Kamala’s room, in addition to being featured on Kamala’s shirt, alongside Valkyrie and Wasp, when she goes to school. Bruno and Kamala proceed to rattle a whole host of Captain Marvel 'Variants' when trying to think of how to make their costume contest entry unique, leading them to come up with the following alternate versions: Steampunk Captain Marvel, Captain Panther, Iron Marvel, Doctor Strange Marvel, Asgardian Captain Marvel/Valkyrie Captain Marvel, Princess Captain Marvel, and Zombie Captain Marvel.

Ms. Marvel Grafitti
Marvel Studios

A big glittery statue of Carol Danvers can be seen at AvengerCon, in addition to a number of cosplays from attendees. This includes Kamala's own suit, modeled after Carol's Endgame look, a number of outfits inspired by Captain Marvel's first super suit, and even a costume modeled after the character's comic book look when going by the title Ms. Marvel.

Captain America

Bruno Kamala AvengerCon Captain America
Marvel Studios

Another captain gets highlighted significantly in the first episode of Ms. Marvel, that being the MCU's Steve Rogers. In addition to starring in Kamala's opening video, Captain America also takes center stage in a hand-drawn comic that Kamala finds in her attic.

AvengerCon also prominently references the first Avenger, with plenty of cosplayers dressing up as the hero and waving his iconic vibranium shield around the convention hall. The event itself even takes place at Camp Lehigh, the training grounds of Steve Rogers during World War ll, which has since been highlighted in Captain America: The Winter SoldierAvengers: Endgame, and more.

Ms. Marvel Camp Lehigh
Marvel Studios

The "Star-Spangled Man" song also booms over the convention speakers as Kamala and Bruno enter, which was originally featured in Cap's first solo outing. Two iconic Steve Rogers lines are also referenced. A cartoon of Captain America highlighting his posterior is a direct reference to the "That's America’s ass" line from Endgame, and Steve's "I can do this all day" quote is also prominently featured in the AvengerCon montage.

Black Widow

Black Widow Iron Man Mural Ms. Marvel
Marvel Studios

For being one of the MCU's most prominent female Avengers, Natasha Romanoff doesn't get too much mention in Ms. Marvel. However, she does get a special spotlight at AvengerCon, where a tribute to her and her other fallen comrade, Tony Stark, can be seen.

Iron Man

Iron Man Ms. Marvel Opening
Marvel Studios

Speaking of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.'s hero also gets an animated version in the show's opening sequence and is honored by Bruno, who dresses up as Tony Stark during Kamala's planning montage. A cardboard cutout of the Avenger can also be seen at the convention.

The Avengers

Ms. Marvel Opening Scene Avengers
Marvel Studios

Multiple members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes are featured in Kamala's animation, including Captain Marvel, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Valkyrie, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, and Okoye.

Even Pepper Potts sneaks into the video suited up as Rescue, and fellow iron-clad hero Rhodey gets represented by a War Machine helmet.

Thanos & the Chitauri

Ms. Marvel Opening Thanos
Marvel Studios

The Avengers need a couple of villains to go up against and, luckily, the opening sequence has the perfect set of formidable foes to take them on. The animated version of the final battle of Avengers: Endgame wouldn't be complete without a colorful set of Chitauri warriors, in addition to the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.

This time around, the Infinity Stone-seeking supervillain sports a small crown and a bare chest, quite a departure from what Thanos actually wears in his various appearances.

Thor

Ms. Marvel AvengerCon
Marvel Studios

Thor received a few key references ahead of his return to the big screen with Thor: Love and ThunderKamala seems to imply that she knows one of the God of Thunder's secrets from Endgame, teasing her next video that will reveal how Thor is really a gamer. This is a direct reference to when Chris Hemsworth's hero plays Fortnite with Korg and Miek in New Asgard.

A meet-and-greet is also set up at AvengerCon for attendees to 'Meet Thor,' represented by two burly cosplayers suited up as the God of Thunder. Thor's former weapon of choice, Mjolnir, shows just how destructive it can be when it falls from the ceiling and collides with Zoe Zimmer at the convention. It's a wonder she made it out of the confrontation alive.

Scarlet Witch

Ms Marvel AvengerCon Scarlet Witch
Marvel Studios

Despite all that's gone on with Sokovia, Lagos, Westview, and madness in the Multiverse, Wanda Maximoff still appears to be accepted by the general public – assuming Ms. Marvel takes place after the events of the Doctor Strange sequel. Scarlet Witch gets her own cardboard cutout at AvengerCon, which could mean that she ended up back on the lunchbox after all.

Doctor Strange

Right next to Elizabeth Olsen's character is a display for the former Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch's hero is also represented by a cosplayer during the AvengerCon montage, who is seen with an oversized Eye of Agamotto while playing guitar.

Hulk

Ms. Marvel
Marvel Studios

Despite only having one solo movie in the MCU, the Hulk's propensity to team up with other heroes has skyrocketed his popularity among the citizens of Earth-616, or Earth-199999 if lead star Iman Vellani is to be believed. Kamala's abbu pitches a father-daughter set of Hulk-themed costumes, imagining a new duo going by the names 'Big Hulk' and 'Lil' Hulk.'

AvengerCon also prominently features the big green guy, using Hulk’s mouth as the entrance to the event and including an attraction named "Things Hulk Smashed!" Bruno also dresses up as Bruce Banner for the convention – arguably a somewhat lazy outfit of choice on his part.

Ant-Man

Just because Ant-Man's small doesn't mean he's denied of some big Easter eggs. Fans find out just how the general public knows about Endgame's big final blowout, thanks to the mention of Scott Lang's podcast interviews. One specifically highlighted is the show "This Powered Life," which highlights Ant-Man in the episode "Big Me, Little Me - A Scott Lang Interview."

Paul Rudd's hero is part of another major sequence in the premiere when Kamala accidentally beheads a Giant-Man statue. Naturally, chaos ensues and subsequently catches the attention of another interested party.

Wasp

Ms. Marvel, MCU, Wasp, Valkyrie
Marvel Studios

Scott Lang's partner in crime is also featured in the episode, albeit on a more microscopic scale. Wasp gets a spot on Kamala's "Let's Get Informed" T-shirt, in addition to co-starring alongside Ant-Man in one of Kamala's other videos titled "Ant-Man and the Wasp’s romantic vacation in Paris."

Falcon & Vision

Ms. Marvel Banner
Marvel Studios

Two other heroes are included on a banner at AvengerCon, namely Vision and Sam Wilson. It's unclear which mantle the new Captain America is working under at this point, but the lack of a shield seems to indicate that Falcon is being used for this design.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

Drax AvengerCon
Marvel Studios

Despite being off-world the majority of the time, the Guardians of the Galaxy are shown to have plenty of fans down on Earth. Kamala is shown to be a fan of the group, represented by a Groot sticker on her mouse mat. Groot just barely misses out on being included in the opening video, as he can be seen on the cutting room floor of Kamala's editing suite as she exports the animation.

The fan-favorite tree also gets a cardboard cutout at AvengerCon, in addition to Rocket and Drax. Dave Bautista's Destroyer also gets representation in costume form, as a vendor at the convention dons Drax's iconic tattoos as an outfit.

Other Guardians get the costume treatment too, including Gamora and Mantis, who can both be seen roaming the convention. Star-Lord is nowhere to be seen though, aside from what seems to be a biography being sold titled "The Peter Quill Star Boy Story."

Ant-thony...?

Ant-thony Ant-Man
Marvel Studios

One oft-forgotten character is Anthony, the insect that gave her life for Scott Lang during the events of Ant-Man. 

Anthony Ms Marvel Reference
Marvel Studios

A popcorn vendor at AvengerCon wears a realistic ant mask, which could be a sly reference to the fallen arthropod.

Agent Cleary

Agent Cleary Ms. Marvel
Marvel Studios

Spider-Man: No Way Home's Agent Cleary makes his triumphant return in the post-credits scene of Ms. Marvel's first episode, still working at the Department of Damage Control. After causing Peter Parker a world of hassle in the Multiversal threequel, it's unclear whether Cleary will be approaching Kamala as an obstacle or an unlikely ally.

Fans can find out when Ms. Marvel returns on Wednesday, June 15.