From the initial five-year time jump to the Time Heist which took us back to past MCU films to the epic final battle that brought together every single hero in the franchise, Avengers: Endgame was packed full of cameos, walk-ons and brief supporting roles for a bevy of familiar faces from the past decade or so of Marvel movies. In fact, it made the ballooning cast of Avengers: Infinity War look tiny in comparison.
Be it fan favorite characters who we’ve been waiting to see again in the present – like Korg and Miek – those who make one final (probably) appearance with the aid of time travel – like Loki, who manages to escape his fate in an alternate timeline – and, of course, the final cameo of the late, great, much-missed Stan Lee, there were a ton of people to look out for in the film.
But there was another, very easily-missed cameo that not many people caught. For those who saw it, though, it was actually one of Endgame‘s best and if you couldn’t already tell, we’re talking about none other than Howard the freakin’ Duck. Yes, while you may not’ve spotted him, he does indeed show up during the final battle, right behind the Wasp and surrounded by the Ravagers.
It turns out, though, that he almost didn’t make it into the movie. In fact, according to co-director Joe Russo, his cameo was a last minute addition.
“So crazy story. Literally a month ago…it was probably just over a month ago, it was one of the last things we did,” the filmmaker says. “We were sitting in VFX and I was watching that shot of everyone coming out of the portals and I was like ‘God, it would be so awesome to have a Howard the Duck cameo here.'”
“And I just said to the VFX team “Is there any way in hell you can pull this off?'” he continues. “We were literally like three days from ending all VFX shots and they looked at me and were like ‘We’ll see what we can do.'”
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Of course, the fact that Howard is in the MCU at all is hilarious, thanks to James Gunn inserting him into the Guardians of the Galaxy post-credits scene, but it’s even funnier that he gets to be involved in the final battle with Thanos that wraps up the franchise’s main arc.
Actually, when you think about it, his appearance here kind of brings Marvel’s cinematic history full circle. 1986’s Howard the Duck was the first ever Marvel film, after all, and, 30 years later, now we’re getting movies like Avengers: Endgame. But perhaps most importantly, Howard’s still around and kicking ass.