All Marvel References and Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1 (Vol. 1)

Disney+ is back again with another MCU series exploring spin-offs of the main storyline. What If…? is filled with references and touches the idea of what could have been. Some scenes make you wonder what could have been and what could yet be. With so many Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1 to explore and so many questions to answer, let’s dive into the episode.

All References and Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1

Opening Sequence

The episode opens to a sequence narrated by the voice of Jeffrey Wright’s Watcher. The narrator introduces us to the idea of the show. During, this scene we are shown a prism-like structure where multiple pivotal moments from the MCU are shown. These moments show some of the characters from the various movies. The characters include Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, The Collector, Proxima Midnight, and numerous others.

Skinny Steve

Since the episode mainly deals with the Captain America: First Avenger storyline, we get to see a lot of Steve Rogers. And since the episode follows Carter becoming the superhuman Rogers remains the “skinny kid from Brooklyn”. The line is twice mentioned in the episode. This is a nod to the lines said by Steve- “kid from Brooklyn” and also by Chester Phillips- “he’s still skinny.” 

Tommy Lee Jones cameo (or is it?)

Almost everyone from the cast of Captain America: First Avenger played an essential role in the episode. Fans may have noticed one character missing i.e. Tommy Lee Jones’s character of Chester Phillips. Jones didn’t return for the episode but that makes no sense since a few of the other cast members didn’t also return, including Chris Evans himself. There is a tiny nod to his character as his character is shown getting shot in the aftermath of the explosion in the lab.

The (War Machine) Suit

Hydra Stomper, made by Howard Stark, resembles War Machine very closely. One can clearly see that. Maybe, the episode wants to tell us that his son might have inspired some of the ideas for his suit from him.

Parallels between Peggy and Steve

Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1

The parallels between the characters of Peggy and Steve seem fairly obvious. Some of the scenes resemble the exact moments from Captain America: First Avenger with the exception of Peggy Carter being the Captain America figure. One such scene includes when she rides that motorcycle with the shield attached to her back which is something we have seen Captain America do in an absolute similar manner. Another includes when Captain Carter frees the prisoners and heads out, the shot is absolutely similar to the same moment from the movie.

Where’s the army?

Flynn lashes out when he discovers that Carter has become the super soldier and says that he was promised an army, but got a girl instead. This is line resembles something we heard Tommy Lee Jones say from the movie but with a different intention- “I asked for an army and all I got was you” to the now buffed-up Steve Rogers.

Blood samples from Peggy

After Peggy Carter goes through the transformation to Captain Carter we see her go through multiple tests. One can clearly notice that these are samples being taken of her blood so that the super-soldier experiments could be continued. This was also referenced in the show Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

The punchbag from Avengers

When Flynn explodes with disregard for Carter, she goes ahead and takes out her anger and frustrations on a gym punching bag. One of her punches actually knocks it out and launches it across the room. Fans can see this scene resembling the scene from Avengers when Nick Fury comes to meet Captain America. Similar to her, Steve punches the bag across the room. 

Peggy didn’t have to dance

Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1

This was a funny nod and at the same time a socio-political comment to the wartime world. In the movie Captain America is made to go for USO tours and make more people join the army. He is made to dance around like a clown. This thing is referenced in the episode where Steve mentions that at least Peggy is not being made to do that. The idea being even though Peggy is a super soldier, a girl promoting the army won’t be something that would be considered passable at that time.

The montage

After her first exploit, we are shown a montage of the rest of her exploits until we reach a pivotal point in the plot. This montage is similar to the movie wherein Captain America’s exploits are shown in a montage too. The only exception being the presence of the Hydra Stomper.  

This is the first in a series of articles that will explore the references and easter eggs in the first episode of What If…?. If you want to read more, then click here for the second part of Easter Eggs in What If Episode 1.

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