The new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! ride is the first big Marvel-themed attraction coming to Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California, and it is said to be "Phase One" of a much larger expansion coming to the West Coast Disney theme park. The ride was made by Disney Imagineering in conjunction with the minds at Marvel Studios, and is filled with Easter eggs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The new ride is set inside the Collector's Fortress, and while guests are waiting in line, they can see tons of MCU "artifacts" on display among the Collector's fabled collection. Among these display case items are Doctor Strange's Eye of Agomotto and a jacket from one of the members of the Nova Corps. But it's two artifacts in particular that has raised the eyebrows of Marvel fans who got to preview the ride early before its grand opening. (This was spotted first by the folks at IGN.)
The first of these artifacts is an Asgardian War Hammer, with a description that says it was "originated in the dwarves forge on Nidavellir, this finely crafted object is made of the powerful stone, Uru." If you're a longtime fan of Marvel Comics, then you know this hammer is Stormbreaker, which belongs to Beta Ray Bill. The hammer on display looks almost identical to his.
The second clue is a set of ancient texts and art, which are labeled "Mysterious Artifacts." The description of these items, however, is less mysterious, and indicates that they are from the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, the realm of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. The writing says that they "were found at the bottom of the Terran ocean. Very little is known of the civilization that created them." You can see images of these "artifacts" in the tweet down below:
— Comic Book Nostalgia (@CBNostalgia) May 25, 2017
It seems highly unlikely that these are just coincidences. Beta Ray Bill is a very popular character, and he could appear as soon as Thor: Ragnarok. Marvel could simply be waiting for the next trailer to give us that reveal, or maybe even hold off for the film itself. As for Namor, he is arguably the most high profile and important Marvel hero yet to make it into live-action (in my recent list, he was the #1 choice). Could he be the "mystery Avenger" who is set to join in Avengers: Infinity War?
So just who are these two characters, and why are they a big deal? Well in the case of Beta Ray Bill, he's one of the most requested Thor characters who has yet to make it on the big screen. In the comics, Beta Ray Bill debuted during the legendary '80s run of The Mighty Thor by writer/artist Walter Simonson. He was originally meant to be a surprise to the fans, as a character who appeared to be a monster, but who unexpectedly proves himself to be a great hero. Bill becomes the first non-Asgardian to be deemed worthy to wield Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. Eventually, Bill was given a war hammer of his own, called Stormbreaker, and he and Thor became besties.
As for Namor, the Sub-Mariner, his appearance in the MCU after all this time would be a significant milestone. The half human, half Atlantean Prince is more than just "Marvel's Aquaman." In fact, he pre-dates Aquaman by a few years. Appearing in Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, he stands as the very first Marvel Comics superhero. (Although on occasion he is just as much a super villain).
Over the past 78 years, he's served as a member of the Invaders, the Avengers, the Defenders, the Fantastic Four, and even the X-Men. But his ultimate loyalty is always to Atlantis, and to himself. His appearance in the MCU is certainly long overdue.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! has its grand opening at Disney's California Adventure on May 27th, so if you are in the Southern California area, you'll be able to see these possible hints to the future of the MCU yourself.
Images: Disney / Marvel Comics