Sonic the Hedgehog 2 features a rather hilarious MCU reference during the titular Blue Blur’s battle with Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba). However, the film neglects to think about the future by not saving the joke. By the film’s end, Sonic 2 sees Knuckles and Sonic becoming friends along with Tails the Two-Tailed Fox, uniting in the face of new threats being teased on the horizon. As such, an imminent foe coming to the live-action Sonic universe would have been much more deserving of Sonic’s MCU gag than Knuckles.
In Sonic 2, the Blue Blur and his new friend Tails have been led to Siberia following a message from Longclaw the Owl who confirmed that the Master Emerald was hidden on Earth. Finding a compass to lead them to the temple housing the powerful object, Jim Carrey’s Doctor Robotnik and Knuckles intercepted them, resulting in an intense snowboard chase with the red echidna warrior in hot pursuit of the blue hedgehog. Exasperated that Knuckles was still following him, Sonic sarcastically groans: “Oh great, it’s the Winter Soldier“, a reference to the MCU’s Bucky Barnes and his time as a brainwashed and deadly agent of HYDRA.