Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe started and ended with projects dealing with loss and grief but thankfully, Marvel Studios is giving fans a major bonus with the release of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special which is obviously a far cry from the more emotionally-driven films and shows the billion-dollar franchise has been dishing out since 2021.
The "Holiday Special", centered on Mantis and Drax's attempt to make Star-Lord's Christmas merrier serves as one of James Gunn's final projects under the MCU banner before he takes his next career step as DC Studios' co-chief along with Peter Safran.
Shockingly enough, the director was able to squeeze in a surprising DC reference in the special and we can safely say that it was intentional. Of course, this isn't something bizarre in the MCU and if you may recall, Eternals confirmed that Superman actually exists in the MCU.
Now, another DCU character was casually namedropped in the Phase 4 ender. During one scene, Kevin Bacon hilariously introduces himself as Batman to the Guardians, confirming that the beloved hero has been canon to the MCU all along. He even mentions the Dark Knight's alter-ego Bruce Wayne much to the bewilderment of everyone.
Now, we may be reaching here but we'd like to assume that the Batman reference is James Gunn's way of bidding farewell to his MCU duties. Heck, we can even go as far as saying that it could be a lowkey tease about his next DCU venture, and considering how Gunn's creative nugget works, it isn't that farfetched to believe.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+.