Fans of comic book-inspired properties know how to keep an eye out for Easter eggs when they arrive on screen. For a project like Marvel’s What if…?, however, fans were treated to divergent paths in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This meant that most fans were busy keeping their eyes peeled for how each of the universes in the different episodes strayed from the main timeline they already knew.
These branches provided plenty of nods to the movies and gave fans plenty of familiar scenes with new twists. Thankfully, there were still plenty of Easter Eggs hidden inside the scenes for longtime MCU fans to spot. Some are easier to understand when fans aren’t so caught up in the story.
ten Tonsberg appears in episode 1
Tonsberg is an interesting place in the MCU. The first episode of the series keeps the same outline for movie fans. This is where the Red Skull finds the Tesseract. At a time Captain America: The First Avenger and episode 1 of What if…?, he is hidden in a church.
Tonsberg, however, will continue to play a larger role in the MCU. The city becomes where Thor and Valkyrie bring the remaining Asgardians after Thanos destroys most of their people. Tonsberg becomes New Asgard in Avengers: Endgame.
9 T’Challa’s jacket in episode 2 is familiar
While T’Challa and his parents have a great relationship in the MCU, that doesn’t stop him from running away and wishing to see the universe in. What if…?. Since T’Challa is the Child of Earth taken by Yondu in Episode 2 instead of Peter Quill, much of his costume design is inspired by Peter Quill in the movies. However, there are also a lot of nods to his time as Black Panther in the MCU.
The jacket is purple, the same color as its Flashing Black Panther suit when it absorbs kinetic energy from an opponent. The collar of the jacket will also be familiar to fans. Instead of being modeled directly on Peter’s jacket, it also looks like the neckline of T’Challa’s Black Panther costume. It acts as a subtle reminder of his other life.
8 T’Challa’s ship is not the Milano
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill’s ship is called the Milano. A child of the 80s, Peter had a crush on actress Alyssa Milano growing up, hence his name. T’Challa, however, chooses a different name for the ship he is piloting.
Fans will notice that “Mandela” is the name of T’Challa’s ship if they pay attention to Episode 2. It’s a nod to Nelson Mandela, an iconic political activist famous for his work as South African anti-apartheid leader.
7 Phil Coulson has a unique password in episode 3
Phil Coulson’s love for Captain America is well documented in the MCU, as well as in the Agents of SHIELD series, which may or may not qualify as an MCU canon. When Black Widow has to enter SHIELD files above her permission level in Episode 3, she gets Coulson’s password, which only reminds audiences of her admiration for the hero.
The password used by Colson is # stevestevesteveiheartsteve0704. The Steve in question is Captain America’s Steve Rogers. The number sequence designates her birthday on July 4th.
6 Hope is killed in Odessa in episode 3
When the big reveal in Episode 3 comes that Hank Pym is ready for revenge, it provides the point of divergence in the timeline for fans. Hope Van Dyne became an agent for SHIELD in the early 2000s, which doesn’t happen in the MCU timeline. She was also killed during a mission to Odessa in 2006.
Fans might find it interesting if they go back and watch again Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is the movie where Black Widow reveals she was shot by the Winter Soldier while protecting a SHIELD asset in Odessa a few years earlier. While Black Widow never specifies the exact date of her mission, it appears Hope got that mission instead, and she wasn’t so lucky.
5 Peter lists Sharon’s special skills in episode 5
In a big callback to the MCUs Spider Man movies, Episode 5’s Peter Parker spends some time recording videos of his fellow heroes. This time, however, he gives tips for surviving in a zombie-filled Marvel world and lists all the heroes’ special skills.
Fans should review Sharon Carter’s special skills. She’s not just a good spy; she is also good at funeral eulogies. It’s a bit morbid in a world full of zombies, but it’s a callback to the revelation that she’s Peggy Carter’s niece. Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson only learned her last name when she delivered Peggy’s eulogy in Captain America: Civil War.
4 There is a quadjet in episode 5
Most of the time when heroes need an air vehicle in the MCU, they use one of the SHIELD quinjets. This is not the case when Vision sends the heroes to Camp Lehigh. He makes them look for a quadjet instead.
The quadjet hasn’t been used much in the MCU, but fans may recall seeing one in Captain Marvel; it’s the same ship that Maria Rambeau, Carol Danvers, and Nick Fury use to fly through space. It is likely that the quadjet is an earlier model to the quinjets that inhabit movies and television series. Agents of SHIELD.
3 Christine Everhart appears in episodes 4 and 6
In the fourth episode of the series, Stephen Strange captures a bit of a news program. The reporter on that show is voiced by Leslie Bibb, and for good reason: she’s the same character Bibb plays in the MCU.
Christine Everhart first appeared in the Iron Man movies, but she became the face of WHiH World News for the MCU. She also appears in Episode 6 in a nod to her first Iron Man appearance as one of the reporters at Tony Stark’s press conference after Erik Killmonger rescues him.
2 Familiar pineapple shirt appears in episodes 7 and 9
Korg fans (who happens to be voiced by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi) will remember his pineapple print shirt he wears while playing video games in Avengers: Endgame. It’s the same shirt Waititi wore at Comic-Con before the film’s release. Eagle-eyed fans will spot a reveler wearing a shirt of a similar design in Episode 7.
This is not all, however. The character is not someone who appears in one shot at Thor’s party. He can be spotted again using his phone to get footage of the action that takes place in Episode 9.
1 President Rogers is sworn in during episode 8
In the eighth episode of the series, the multiverse begin to connect through Ultron’s cosmic awareness with the Infinity Stones. He decides to take on the Observer himself, and as they battle it out in the multiverse, the audience receives flashes of what’s going on in several different worlds.
One of those worlds includes Ultron taking a break from an electronic bulletin board news program featuring Steven Rogers sworn in as President of the United States. The timing is modeled after Captain America briefly became president in the comics as well.
NEXT: What if …? : 10 threads that still need to be resolved
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