Avengers: Endgame explained: Cameos from Thanos creator, 'Community' stars, and more
Two Community co-stars also turn up, along with director Joe Russo's Hitchcock moment
Who is that guy? … Wait — I know her!
Avengers: Endgame has an astounding cast of superheroes, but there’s also a solid roster of cameo appearances in the Marvel epic.
You knew Stan Lee was going to be in there, but here’s a rundown of some of the other guest appearances…
***Spoilers Below Loki***
It starts in therapy. A group of people are sitting around a sad-looking all-purpose room, with Chris Evans’ Captain America leading the grief counseling session.
On the wall is a sign: Where do we go, now that they’re gone?
One man with doleful eyes recounts losing his spouse, and he talks about meeting someone. “I went on a date the other day. First time in five years. Didn’t know what to talk about. Same old crap… How things have changed … His job, my job … How much we miss the Mets…”
The heartbroken man is actually Joe Russo (on the right), seen here with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige (middle) and his Endgame co-director and brother Anthony (on the left).
Joe, who started out as an actor, had done previous cameos in The Winter Soldier and Civil War under the name Gozie Agbo, while Anthony stays behind the camera. He said he was proud to play the first openly gay character in a Marvel movie.
“That’s the thing I think we’re the most proud of with the Marvel Universe, moving forward, is how inclusive it is,” Joe told EW in an interview. “You know, Anth and I feel representation is very important to us. We wanted to include a gay character before we were done with these films. We also wanted to do it in a way that felt normalized, didn’t feel like we’re making a big deal out of it. We wanted to make sure that it felt organic and —”
“Natural,” Anthony added.
The man Joe plays in the therapy scene isn’t a superhero, but he stands in as the Every Man who shows how ordinary people have been impacted by the cosmic events of the story.
“He cried when they were serving the salads,” Joe’s grieving man says of his first date since The Snap.
“And what about you?” another older man in the group asks.
“I cried just before dessert,” he answers.
Thanos and Infinity Gauntlet creator
The man who asked that question is also an important figure in Marvel history — Jim Starlin, the comic book writer who created the cosmic tyrant Thanos in 1973 and wrote the landmark 1991 series The Infinity Gauntlet that inspired Infinity Warand Endgame, giving a foundation to the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He’s not as immediately recognizable as a Stan Lee, but the Russos said they wanted to give him a moment in the spotlight, given his incredible contribution to the narrative.
And to their delight, he got a reaction at the first screening. “A few people I heard cheer in the premiere,” Anthony Russo said.
The Russo brothers also directed the pilot episode of NBC’s Community and many of its fan-favorite episodes, so they have frequently scattered stars of that movie throughout their Marvel movies.
Dean Pelton actor Jim Rash was Tony Stark’s stage manager in Civil War, and Abed Nadir actor Danny Pudi played a SHIELD operator in The Winter Soldier.
In Endgame, there are two more Community cameos — Ken Jeong, who was Señor Chang on the series, turns up as a storage warehouse security guard to is stunned to see Ant-Man emerge inside a van locked in a cage.
And Yvette Nicole Brown, who was sweet natured Shirley Bennett on the show (and is a favorite super-geek panel host at Comic-Con each year), gets to steal a whole scene in Endgame.
She plays a no-nonsense government worker on a New Jersey military base who alerts guards to the suspicious presence of undercover Iron Man and Captain America — although she thinks they’re hippie infiltrators.
Joe Russo also slipped in two non-famous cameos that are close to his heart. Hawkeye’s sharpshooting daughter Lila is played by Joe’s daughter Ava, and his other child Lia was one of the kid fans of Professor Hulk.
Spot any others? Shout them out in the comments below …