1. The song played over Iron Man's end credits is Iron Man, by Black Sabbath. Originally released in 1970, the song has nothing to do with the Marvel superhero (it was originally called 'Iron Bloke'). In fact it has more in common with Superman, being as it is about a time traveller who becomes a man of steel, for reasons best known to Ozzy Osbourne.
2. The music played during Iron Man's Vegas casino scene is a big band version of the theme from the 1966 cartoon series 'The Marvel Super-Heroes' – specifically, the Iron Man episodes.
3. In Iron Man we see Tony Stark wearing three different supersuits: the Mark I is the massive-tin-can look he creates while in captivity; the Mark II is the sexy silver version which unfortunately freezes at high altitudes, while the Mark III is the hot-rod-red and gold model with which Stark battles the Ironmonger.
4. Among the directors originally tapped to direct Iron Man were Quentin Tarantino (can you imagine?), Nick Cassavetes and a certain Mr J. Whedon.
5. When Pepper Potts walks in on Tony having his armour removed in Iron Man, you can just make out what looks like Captain America's shield on a worktop. In fact it's not Cap's actual shield but a prototype built by Howard Stark, Tony's father.
6. Comic book fans allowed themselves a smug inward grin during Iron Man when Rhodey sees Tony's Mark II suit and says to himself: "Next time, baby!", knowing that Rhodey would eventually don the suit (after considerable modification) to become War Machine – which he did in Iron Man 2.
7. The comic book Tony Stark had a butler called Edwin Jarvis. To avoid comparisons to the Bruce Wayne / Alfred relationship, the movie version is an advanced computerbot – named JARVIS ('Just A Rather Very Intelligent System').
8. The cumbersomely-titled Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division for which Agent Coulson works was originally known as Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage/Law-Enforcement Division in the comics, before changing to Strategic Hazard Intervention/Espionage Logistics Directorate. Eventually it was shortened to SHIELD because their business cards wouldn't fit in their wallets.
9. The old car with the ridiculous flaming paint job with which Tony Stark is seen tinkering in Iron Man actually belongs to director Jon Favreau. Apparently it's the car he uses to pop to Budgens for a pint of milk, the price of which he is blissfully unaware.
10. Iron Man creator Stan Lee pops up in a cameo, in which Tony Stark mistakes him for coffin-dodging lothario Hugh Hefner. Stan had to be surrounded by beautiful women for the scene, the poor lamb.
11. The first actor to sign on for Iron Man was Terrence Howard (Rhodey). Producers assumed he'd be the biggest name on the cast list (nobody believed Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges or Gwyneth Paltrow would agree to star), so he ended up being the highest-paid actor on the film.
12. Making a cameo as one of the Ten Rings terrorists in Iron Man is bassist Tom Morello, from the appropriately-titled rock outfit Rage Against The Machine.
13. A further nod to the comics appears in the background of the Iron Man / Ironmonger face-off, where you can see a building with a 'Roxxon' logo. In the comics, Roxxon were responsible for Tony Stark's parents' death. Boooooo!
14. Nick Fury's dialogue in Iron Man's post-credits scene turned out to be remarkably prophetic: "Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet." And lo, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born.
15. Hulk creator Stan Lee naturally appears in a brief cameo in The Incredible Hulk, as a man accidentally contaminated with Bruce Banner's gamma-infused blood. The result is that Lee turns into a cameo-mad monster and smashes his way into every other Marvel film ever made.
16. In an alternate opening to The Incredible Hulk, which appears on the DVD as a deleted scene, Banner contemplates suicide somewhere in the Arctic. When a subsequent Hulk-out causes an icequake, Captain America can – supposedly - briefly be seen frozen in a slab of ice. In all honesty it looks like a blob to us, but director Louis Leterrier confirmed it himself.
17. The Incredible Hulk is the only Phase One film not to feature Nick Fury. Sources claim he was at the opticians at the time, getting a pink fluffy eyepatch made for weekends.
18. Edward Norton had an uncredited hand in The Incredible Hulk's script, filling out Banner's backstory in order to more clearly distance the film from Ang Lee's Hulk (2003).
19. One of the actors touted to play Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk before Ed Norton came on board was David Duchovny. We're having enormous fun imagining the X-Files episode in which Fox Mulder investigates a mysterious green rage monster who turns out to be his own alter-ego.
20. Lou Ferrigno, who portrayed Hulk in the TV series of the 1970s and '80s, cameos as a pizza-loving security guard in The Incredible Hulk. He also provides Hulk's voice, albeit digitally enhanced.
21. The other star of the TV show, Bill Bixby (who played the un-hulked Banner) also appears in The Incredible Hulk, despite being dead since 1993. He pops up in a TV show Ed Norton's watching near the film's beginning.
22. Director Louis Leterrier got most of his inspiration for the visual style of The Incredible Hulk from the comic book run Hulk: Gray, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, in which Hulk notably has a scrap with Iron Man.
23. Louis Leterrier directed most of The Incredible Hulk with a broken foot. Well, Hulk is a little clumsy.
24. The Blu-ray of The Incredible Hulk was the first to have a green plastic case, instead of the traditional blue. Sadly it didn't come with a free pair of ridiculously tight purple pants.
25. The shot of a drop of Bruce Banner's blood dripping through the bottling plant took a whole year for the VFX team to complete. Lazy buggers.
26. Tim Blake Nelson's character in The Incredible Hulk, Samuel Sterns, is infected with the Hulk's blood at the end of the film. This was intended to lead into a sequel in which Sterns becomes The Leader, a green-skinned super-villain with a massive brain inside his massive bonce. With a sequel looking unlikely, Sterns' only other appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the Avengers tie-in comic 'Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week', in which he has a run-in with Black Widow. The encounter does not end well for the huge-noggined nutter.
27. The Incredible Hulk's post-credits scene sees Tony Stark approach General Ross in a bar to discuss the Avenger initiative, which explains (kind of, if you squint with your brain) how Black Widow was able to track Banner down at the beginning of Marvel Avengers Assemble.
28. The Blu-ray of Thor includes the 'One-shot' short film The Consultant, in which Agent Coulson describes how he sent Tony Stark to talk to General Ross. The Consultant is, therefore, effectively a mid-credits scene of The Incredible Hulk.
29. Tony Stark develops and wears more suits in Iron Man 2: the Mark IV, which he can be seen wearing briefly at the beginning; the Mark V, which comes packed in a convenient briefcase (although it leaves precious little room for sandwiches), and the Mark VI, which features the distinctive triangular hole in the chestplate.
30. Stan Lee's cameo in Iron Man 2 sees him mistaken for another celebrity by Tony Stark – this time talk show host Larry King. Seriously, Lee's been in enough Marvel films for Stark to recognise him by now, this is just rude.
31. Captain America's prototype shield makes another appearance in Tony Stark's workshop in Iron Man 2, and to further tie the Universe together, footage from The Incredible Hulk's Harlem smackdown can be seen on a background monitor.
32. Terrence Howard (Iron Man's highest-paid cast member) was replaced in Iron Man 2 by Don Cheadle. Rumours are rife that Howard refused to accept less than his huge pay packet from the first film, so he was swiftly shown the door. Remember kids: being greedy won't get you in a superhero film!
33. By way of research for his part as mad, whip-wielding brick outhouse Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2, Mickey Rourke visited a Russian prison. He also paid for Vanko's gold teeth and cockatoo himself, as they were his suggestions for the character. Sadly he never bothered to immerse himself in the complex world of computers, claiming that learning the dark arts of Microsoft Windows was the hardest thing he did on the film.
34. The storyboards for Iron Man 2 were drawn by animator Genndy Tartakovsky, who created awesome TV 'toons Dexter's Lab and Samurai Jack.
35. One of Iron Man 2's fake working titles (used to throw press off the scent during production) was Rasputin. Appropriate, given that Rasputin - like bad guy Ivan Vanko - was an unhinged Russian with a questionable hairstyle.
36. A prequel comic for Iron Man 2 was published called Iron Man 2: Public Identity, which briefly deals with the family relationship between the Starks and the Vankos.
37. Iron Man 2's post-credits scene – in which Agent Coulson reports that SHIELD have found Mjölnir, Thor's hammer – was directed by legendary stunt arranger Vic Armstrong, who was also Thor's second unit director.
38. Guess who makes a cameo appearance in Thor? That's right, it's Stan Lee, playing a silly old duffer trying to yank Mjölnir out of the ground with his truck. Thor author (Thorthor?) J Michael Strazcynski also cameos in the same scene.
39. Thor is the second of three high-profile projects which Matthew Vaughn was signed to direct before he changed his ever-fickle mind. The other two were also Marvel properties: X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
40. Marvel One-shot A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor's Hammer takes place sometime during the early part of Thor, and shows Agent Coulson engaging Absolute Badass Mode as he foils a convenience store robbery. The short is included on the Captain America Blu-ray.
41. Despite being magnificent in literally everything, Idris Elba's casting as Heimdall in Thor met with dunderheaded complaints from various sections of the internet, notably the Council of Conservative Citizens, who recommended a spectacularly futile boycott of the film. Their problem? Elba's skin colour. "At the risk of sounding like a bigot, I think [Elba's casting] is nuts", whined one nuts bigot.
42. At an early stage, Guillermo del Toro was in talks to direct Thor. He eventually "did a Vaughn", dropping out in order to make The Hobbit, which he also subsequently dropped out of to make Pacific Rim. Anybody would think these directors were allergic to commitment.
43. Thor's director Kenneth Branagh and the film's writers worked with physicists in order to make the science as realistic as possible. Well, as realistic as a story about a bunch of mythical gods in silly outfits living in the heavens and crossing into other worlds via a sparkly bridge and throwing magic hammers around can be.
44. In order to bulk up for the part of Thor, Chris Hemsworth spent eight weeks in the gym doing exercises like the Sledgehammer Slam, the Lateral Hop, T-Pushups and the Mountain Climber. We're knackered just typing that out.
45. The name of the small town where Thor and the Warriors Three battle the Destroyer is called Puente Antiguo, which means "old bridge", evoking the cross-dimensional portal of Asgard.
46. Thor's post-credits scene shows scientist Dr Selvig being introduced to the mysterious Tesseract while mind-controlled by Loki, in a direct lead-in to Marvel Avengers Assemble. The scene was directed by Joss Whedon.
47. Captain America: The First Avenger's fake working title was Frostbite, a reference to Cap's lengthy spell as a popsicle.
48. UK citizens may recognise large parts of Captain America: the film was partly shot in Liverpool, Manchester and London. We're still campaigning for the film to be retitled Captain England. Nobody's returning our calls.
49. The final standalone film of Phase One underwent possibly the least exciting name change in film history, from The First Avenger: Captain America to Captain America: The First Avenger.
50. Wimpifying Chris Evans to make him look less beefcake and more corned beef was an enormously complex process. Each scene had to be shot four times in different configurations, with the other actors often standing on a box to make Evans look smaller. In some scenes Evans actually had fake eyes drawn on his chin, so that his co-stars were looking at the right place for when he would be digitally shrunk.
51. Captain America's ace show tune The Star Spangled Man was written by composing legend Alan Menken, who's written some of the most memorable and award-winning songs for Disney films.
52. Stan Lee cameos in Captain America as a WWII general at the grand unveiling of Steve Rogers v2.0, hoping that nobody will notice that he had nothing to do with the character's creation and ask him to leave.
53. Due to "cultural and political concerns", Russia, Turkey, South Korea, and Ukraine chose to just call this film The First Avenger. Evidently the mere mention of America is enough to destroy society in some places.
54. An eight-issue digital comic was released called Captain America: First Vengeance, which shows how all the characters ended up where they are at the start of the film.
55. This isn't the first time Cap's appeared on film: in fact as recently as 1990 a Captain America film was made starring Matt Salinger (nope, us neither) in a rubbish outfit. It has an average score of three out of ten on IMDb.
56. Cameo appearances in Captain America from X-Men's Wolverine & Magneto were planned (they're two of the few Marvel characters able to appear in Cap's timeline), but had to be scrapped due to boring old party-pooping rights issues.
57. The script for Captain America was written long before Phase One was conceived, so Joss Whedon tweaked it to make sure it connected directly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
58. Remember that young scamp mucking about in Captain America with a bin lid painted to look like Cap's shield? The one whose mother calls him Phil? We think we're supposed to believe that's a young Agent Coulson, but that would make him about 75 years old by the time of Marvel Avengers Assemble.
59. Iron Man's outfit in Avengers Assemble is the Mark VII, the most notable feature of which is the circular hole in the chestplate replacing the Mark VI's triangular opening. Why the change? "Because the triangle is ass", commented Joss Whedon with trademark restraint.
60. No surprises for guessing that Stan Lee turns up in Avengers Assemble, playing to type as a chucklesome old goat scoffing at the thought of superheroes in New York. Stan Lee is in a deleted scene too, trying to get Steve Rogers some hot waitress action.
61. Robert Downey Jr trousered $50 million for Marvel Avengers Assemble, while his fellow avenging comrades earned a "mere" $2-3 million each.
62. Avengers Assemble is the third-biggest box office hit of all time (after Titanic and Avatar). Not only that, but it's the highest-grossing film of 2012, the highest-grossing comic-book adaptation, the highest grossing superhero film and the highest-grossing film distributed by Disney. What a show-off.
63. Alan Silvestri is the only composer to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, scoring both Captain America and Avengers Assemble.
64. Originally titled simply The Avengers, the film's name was changed in the UK and Ireland just two months before release in order to avoid confusion with the 1960s TV series (about British agent John Steed and his various companions) and its woeful 1998 film adaptation.
65. Item 47 is another Marvel One-shot, and takes place after the events of Avengers Assemble. It's by far the longest of the three One-shots and stars Lizzy Caplan. You know, her from Mean Girls and Cloverfield and Hot Tub Time Machine. It's included on the Avengers Assemble Blu-ray.
66. Avengers Assemble marks the first time that the Hulk was performance-captured on set, with Mark Ruffalo providing all the character's actions as a basis for the CGI jiggery pokery.
67. If those scenes in the tunnels beneath SHIELD at the beginning of Avengers Assemble look familiar, then you're obviously a frequent visitor to the world's largest single-site mushroom farm in Worthington, Pennsylvania, where they were filmed. You weirdo.
68. Avengers Assemble is the only Phase One film to be shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio (the rest were shot in the much wider 2.35:1 or 2.4:1). This was done to accommodate the different heights of the main characters, and to give geeks like us something to fill out articles like this with.
69. Avengers Assemble's first (of two) post-credits scenes features comic book big bad Thanos. Joss Whedon's explanation for including him was that "He's the great grand daddy of the badasses and he's in love with Death and I just think that's so cute." Bless.
70. The second post-credits scene of Avengers Assemble sees the gang silently chowing down on some well-earned shawarma. In the days and weeks after the film was released, shawarma sales in several major US cities reportedly went through the roof.
71. No fewer than 14 separate VFX companies worked on Marvel Avengers Assemble's 2,200 effects shots. That's why Hulk looks so amazing.
72. When Avengers Assemble's trailer debuted exclusively on iTunes Movie Trailers, it was downloaded a record ten million times in its first 24 hours. That record was subsequently broken by The Dark Knight Rises trailer, only to be smashed again by the second Avengers trailer, which achieved 13.7 million downloads in its first 24 hours.
73. In a newspaper interview, Tom Hiddleston (Loki) revealed that the fake working title for Avengers Assemble was 'Group Hug'. It also went under the name 'Team Building' when it was shipped to cinemas.
74. Like the first Iron Man, Iron Man 3 is largely based on the comic book run Extremis. So if you don't want to know what happens, don't read it – although even if you do read it, you're still in for a few surprises.
75. Iron Man 3's villain, The Mandarin, was in an early draft of the first Iron Man film but was replaced by the Ten Rings organisation which kidnaps Tony Stark. In Iron Man 3, watch out for the Ten Rings symbol which precedes The Mandarin's TV broadcasts – it's insinuated he was behind Stark's abduction.
76. Stan Lee's cameo in Iron Man 3 might be his briefest – he's a judge at the Miss Chattanooga beauty pageant. Dude gets all the plum jobs.
77. Tony Stark must have been busy between Marvel Avengers Assemble and Iron Man 3, because he goes straight from his Mark VII suit in the former to the Mark XLII (42, dummies) in the latter. What happened to all the suits in between? You'll see.
78. Iron Man 3 is the last film in Downey Jr's four-picture deal with Marvel. Make of that what you will.
79. Iron Man 3's post-credits scene has already been widely leaked on the internet, but we wouldn't do that to you. Suffice to say it's funny, and it features an old friend.
80. Iron Man 3's fake working title was Caged Heat, makes us wonder what Nicolas Cage might have done in the role of Tony Stark. Gone mental, probably.
81. Iron Man 3 kicks off with a flashback to New Year's Eve 1999, where Tony Stark meets a certain Professor Yinsen. Remember him? He's the guy Stark ended up stuck in a cave with, and who saved his life, in the first Iron Man.
82. That nasty Roxxon oil company makes another appearance in Iron Man 3 – one of The Mandarin's hostages works for them, while a massive oil leak from one of their tankers is referred to later on. Booooooo again!
83. Iron Man 3 is only Shane Black's second film as director (the first was the Robert Downey Jr-starring Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), which is pretty flipping amazing when you see how great it is.
84. Iron Man 3 will be shown in Japan in the ridiculous-but-ridiculously-good-fun-sounding 4DX format. If 3D isn't enough for you, 4DX blasts you with strobe lights, wind, moving seats and even film-specific smells. Can't wait to sample the odour of Tony Stark's sweaty helmet.
85. The combined global box office of all six Phase One films comes to a hulking $3.8 billion. The most successful was Avengers Assemble ($1.5 billion); the least successful The Incredible Hulk (a puny $263 million).
86. Unsurprisingly, Avengers Assemble was also the most expensive Phase One film, with a budget of $220 million – making it the tenth most expensive film of all time. Iron Man and Captain America tie for the cheapest of the six, costing a mere $140 million each. Total budget for Phase One? Almost exactly one billion smackers.
87. Samuel L Jackson signed a nine-film deal with Marvel, and as he didn't appear in The Incredible Hulk that means he's got four films to go. One of them might just be a Nick Fury movie.
88. Tony Stark's father Howard Stark has been played by three different actors: Gerard Sanders (in photographs in Iron Man), John Slattery in Iron Man 2 and Dominic Cooper in Captain America.
89. Palladium, the element used to power Tony Stark's mini arc reactor in Iron Man, is a real element (chemical symbol Pd, atomic number 46, chemistry fans). Vibranium, from which Captain America's shield is made, is not. Sorry.
90. Filming on The Avengers 2, or whatever the hell they end up calling it, is scheduled to begin in early 2014 at England's Shepperton Studios.
91. The comic book character of Nick Fury was re-imagined in 2000, and his look was based on a certain Hollywood actor by the name of Samuel Leroy Jackson. Casting Fury for the Marvel Cinematic Universe was, therefore, pretty much a one-horse race.
92. The line-up of the comic book versions of the Avengers has gone through more iterations than that of the Sugababes, but the original gang (brought together in September 1963) comprised Iron Man, Ant Man, Wasp, Thor and Hulk. Captain America joined the team in issue 4.
93. Stan Lee's real name is Stanley Lieber, and he's a remarkable 90 years young. As well as creating all the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One lead characters (except Captain America), he's also acted as executive producer on each of the films.
94. The evil genius behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Kevin Feige. The Marvel megageek became President of Marvel Studios in 2007, and has carefully shepherded the films through production since then. He's pretty much some kind of god.
95. Joss Whedon is developing a TV series set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe called Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will revolve around Agent Coulson – despite taking place after the events of Marvel Avengers Assemble. Can't wait to see how they explain that one.
96. Iron Man 3 kicks off Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It'll be followed by Thor: The Dark World (November 2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 2014) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (August 2014), before the Avengers reassemble in May 2015. If all that's not enough for you, Phase Three is expected to launch with Edgar Wright's Ant Man in November 2015, and will also see Doctor Strange added to the roster.
97. Thor: The Dark World will star former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston as the amusingly-named Malekith The Accursed, and is directed by Alan Taylor after Kenneth Branagh chose not to return to Asgard. Taylor is no stranger to burly, armoured men wielding enormous weapons, having directed six episodes of Game Of Thrones.
98. Captain America: The Winter Soldier boasts none other than Robert Redford as, in his words, "the head of SHIELD". Whether that puts him above or below Director Nick Fury in the pecking order remains to be seen, not that Fury seems to have much respect for his superiors anyway.
99. Perhaps the most bonkers entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be the CGI-animated Guardians Of The Galaxy, which will be "95% set in space" according to Kevin Feige, and will feature the characters Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon. That's right: a raccoon. In space. Sadly director James Gunn has poo-pooed the rumour that Rocket could be played by Jason Statham.
100. Edgar Wright showed test footage from his vision of Ant Man to Comic-Con in 2012, and it went down an absolute storm. He's written the script with Joe Cornish, with whom he wrote the first Tintin movie. Both of these facts suggest that Ant Man will be chuffing tremendous.
101. The fake working title of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is apparently Freezerburn, although Freezerbum sounds much better.