This week's episode of Marvel's What if…? showed us what would have happened if T'challa was the one kidnapped by the Ravagers instead of Peter Quill. The bittersweet episode was also dedicated to the late actor Chadwick Boseman who reprised his role as T'challa in the show. What if…? Episode 2 had a plethora of Easter Eggs and references so let's go ahead and break down the best ones, shall we? (Just keep in mind that these aren't in chronological order)
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
Marvel's What if…? Episode 2 Easter Eggs and references
Thanos the not-so-mad Titan
Absolutely no one could have seen this coming. Josh Brolin reprises his role as the Mad Titan in this episode of What if…?. However, he seems a bit more of a chill dude in this episode. Apparently, T'challa was so good at being Star-Lord that not only did Korath bow down to him during their first meeting, but he was also able to convince Thanos that there were other ways to save the universe and that genocide should be out of the question. Although Thanos is a changed man, he still claims it would've been efficient. Oh Thanos, what could have been.
The Collector and his collections
Benicio del Toro reprises his role as Taneleer Tivan, aka the Collector. Since Thanos was now a good guy and a Ravager, The Collector filled the power vacuum in his place. Tivan then recruited the Black Order, Thanos' children and enforcers in the original timeline, to act as his servants.
In this What if…? episode, T'challa's heist team consisting of Yondu, Nebula, Thanos, Kraglin, and Taserface head off to Knowhere to steal the Embers of Genesis. The nutrient-rich cosmic dust can fix up dying planets or feed “billions of people on millions of worlds.” Nebula wants to steal the Embers by pretending to offer the Orb T-Challa recovered on Morag.
During their mission, we get to see a lot of The Collector's most prized possessions. In his battle with T'Challa and Yondu, the Collector wields several weapons associated with heroes and villains from the main MCU timeline. Most of these are blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments, so a keen eye and a sharp ear are needed in order to get the references.
- His rocky fist was hacked off the carcass of a “terribly chatty Kronan.” Seems like The Collector killed in this reality. Poor Korg.
- Malekith's dagger from Thor: The Dark World.
- Hela's helmet and Necrosword from .
Thor's hammer Mjolnir and Captain America's shield can also be seen in his weapons display case. This suggests that The Collector slaughtered a few Avengers in his rise to power.
Ego the Living Planet, played by Kurt Russel in both the film and in What if…?, pays a visit to this reality's Peter Quill who seems to be working at a Dairy Queen. He confronts Peter and his eyes started to glow menacingly.
“Too bad this might spell the end of the world,” says the Watcher. “But that's a story for another day.”
This might hint at a future episode in where Ego is successful in his plan to conquer the universe. That was his original plan in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and as to why he sought after Yondu in order to get Peter Quill from earth. Ego wanted to expand his consciousness to assimilate the entire universe but needed the power of a second Celestial to do so.
peter: um sir this is a dairy queen pic.twitter.com/FVq22RT4QW
— ⧗ (@waltersndanvers) August 18, 2021
Howard the What?
One of the best What if…? Episode 2 Easter Eggs was the appearance of Howard the Duck. Howard first made his MCU debut in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. In this episode, however, he goes on to escape his cage thanks to T'challa and tries to help him retrieve the Embers of Genesis but not before having a couple of drinks first. Unfortunately, the two get separated and T'challa leaves Howard at the bar.
Seth Green was great in voicing the wacky character. Maybe he can get his own animated show? Please Disney+ listen to your fans.
Howard is free!! I need more of Howard the Duck, please give us an animated tv show after this. Pleeeeaaaseee 🥺 pic.twitter.com/8Q7U8wdbc9
— Eevee 🕷🕸🏳️🌈 (@sleepin_incomic) August 18, 2021
Minor What if…? Episode 2 Easter Eggs
These are the ones that were not as important as the other What if…? Episode 2 Easter Eggs yet were still awesome to see/hear in the episode:
- T'Challa mentions that the good guy Thanos “gardens now”. This is clearly a nod to both Avengers: Endgame and in the comics where Thanos chose to live a peaceful and quiet life as a farmer after successfully eliminating half of the universe's population.
- Carina, The Collector's servant who shot him in the episode, tried to betray him in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film as well. She wasn't as successful there, since she grabbed the Power Stone and was destroyed by its power.
- The Collector's demise. He faces the horde of people he subjugated which is similar to that of the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. These characters are brothers and are both Celestials.
Marvel’s What if…? is available on Disney+ and will be releasing new episodes every Wednesday.
In other What if…? news, Michael Rooker who plays Yondu in the MCU, spoke about having a possible solo episode for Yondu in the upcoming seasons of What if…?