With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 out in cinemas across the globe right now, we’ve been busy scouring the sci-fi sequel to find all the awesome references, cameos and easter eggs therein. This is what we’ve come up with thus far, and we’ll be adding to the list as-and-when we find more…

Obviously, BEWARE OF SPOILERS if you don’t like that kind of thing.

Howard Returns

Howard the Duck in the first Guardians flick.

Howard the Duck – voiced by Seth Green – made a memorable cameo during the credits at the very end of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. And he makes a further appearance here, sitting outside a bar on Contraxia, wisecracking “You’re out of luck until you go duck.” Could we see more of Howard in a future Marvel flick? Head honcho Kevin Feige has been hinting that we might, teasing at a recent Guardians press conference: “You know, the fun thing about Howard is he shows up where you least expect him, so like who knows where he’s going to appear next?”

Contraxia

Contraxia in the comics.

The aforementioned planet is from the comics, existing in the Elidra star system in the Milky Way. On the page it’s best known as the place where the Jack of Hearts’ mother was from. And in the movie, as well as being where we spy Howard, it’s also where Yondu has his almighty bust-up with Stakar. An argument that’s reminiscent of Michael’s falling out with Frodo in The Godfather: Part II, most notably when Stakar grabs Yondu and says “You broke all our hearts.”

Introducing Ayesha

Ayesha is a character that was introduced in The Incredible Hulk Annual #6 comic in November 1977. Back then she was a dude called Paragon, but changed sex after incubating herself in a cocoon, the name changing to Her, then Kismet, and finally Ayesha. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, she’s High Priestess of the Sovereign, and sets the movie’s plot in motion by hiring the GOTG to protect her people from the Abilisk. For a more details description of Ayesha and the Sovereign, head to our explainer article.

The Original Guardians

The original Guardians of the Galaxy.

Perhaps the most exciting of the post-film stings is the introduction of some original Guardians of the Galaxy. These guys were THE Guardians for years, so this is a pretty awesome inclusion for longtime fans of the comics. Sylvester Stallone – playing Stakar Ogord/Okar – appears onscreen surrounded by a rag-tag bunch that includes Aleta (Michelle Yeoh), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus) and Krugarr (a fully CG character that doesn’t speak in the scene). As for whether we’ll see them in a future film, Gunn told The Independent: “I would love to see those characters reappear in the future. Where exactly they will be, whether it is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, or their own movie, or someone else’s movie, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The Guardians Hassle the Hoff

During Vol. 2, Peter tells Gamora that, because he didn’t have a Dad, he looked up to Michael Knight – the character that David Hasselhoff played in Knight Rider – as something of a father figure. Later in the film, when Peter’s real pop is messing with his mind, he morphs into the real Hasselhoff. David also appears during the end credits to offer these words of wisdom: “In these times of hardship, just remember we are Groot.”

Taserface is a Real Character!

Chris Sullivan as Taserface.

It might seem like Taserface is a new character with a stupid name, introduced so Rocket has someone to make fun of. But turns out this ridiculous bloke is from the June 1990 comic Guardians of the Galaxy #1, where he was an advance scout for the Stark. Deployed to look after the Planet Courg, he ends up fighting the Guardians. Though in comic form no one laughs at his name.

Pac-Mania

When Peter does battle with his aforementioned father, the fact that they are practically gods means that anything is possible. Which results in Quill briefly turning into gaming icon Pac-Man to go after his Dad.

The James Gunn Players

Writer-director James Gunn is loyal to actors he likes, and nowhere is this more obvious than in his casting long-time friend and collaborator Michael Rooker as Yondu in the Guardians flicks. But he also gives his mates tiny cameos in multiple movies, and Gunn is at it again in Vol. 2. Rob Zombie’s voice appears in Slither, Super and the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and here he’s credited as ‘Unseen Ravager.’ Similarly comedy actor Steve Agee – who plays ‘Comic Book Store Jerk’ in Super – is ‘Gef the Ravager’. And as well as casting his brother Sean Gunn as Kraglin, the film also features Jim Gunn Sr. (as ‘Weird Old Man’) and Leota Gunn (as ‘Weird Old Man’s Mistress’).

Watching the Watchers

A Watcher in Guardians of the Galaxy Issue 6.

During Stan Lee’s post-film cameo, he’s seen talking to a group of tall figures in robes. They would be The Watchers, cosmic beings who observe and record everything in the universe, and who can manipulate time and space. It’s a nice gag, suggesting Stan might have been this same figure in each of his previous Marvel cameos. But with The Watchers most closely associated with The Fantastic Four, could this pave the way for the awesome foursome to appear in the MCU? With Spider-Man recently making a similar move, we reckon there’s a chance.

Birth of Adam

That bloke apparently emerging from Ayesha’s pod during her post-film sting is very probably Adam Warlock. Who may well be being set up as the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Warlock – who was originally known simply as Him – first appeared in Fantastic Four #66 in 1967. Created by the Enclave as the perfect human, Warlock possesses a variety of powers, including superhuman strength, speed and flight, and the ability to manipulate cosmic energy. Plus if he dies, Adam can resurrect himself. So he’s got that going for him. In the comics he fought Thor, and got his hands on the Soul Gem, so one wonders if Adam will somehow feature in the forthcoming celluloid Infinity War? It may well be too soon for that, but on the page Warlock also had a long-running feud with Thanos, even turning him to stone with a touch. Indeed The Avengers frequently called upon him for help defeating the supervillain, so don’t rule out that happening onscreen in a future film.

Is That Jeff Goldblum Dancing?

Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok.

As well as those post-film stings, the film’s closing credits also feature lots more fun stuff. The song playing is called ‘Guardians Inferno’ and has the aforementioned David Hasselhoff rapping lyrics by James Gunn. It also features various cast members dancing. And Jeff Goldblum. Now this is confusing because Golblum doesn’t actually appear in Vol. 2. But as he’s playing the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok, which was shooting at much the same time, this just seems like a bit of cross-pollination. Though with both films taking place in Marvel’s Cosmic Universe, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Grandmaster appear in a future Guardians flick, or the Guardians popping up in Thor.

Chris Tilly
At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.