This is in continuation to the previous article wherein we dealt with all the references and easter eggs as mentioned in the first episode of What If…?. The episode explored the effects of the changes in the parallel universe if Peggy Carter became the super-soldier. Let’s jump right into the numerous references and Easter Eggs in What If which are especially linked to the movie Captain America: The First Avenger.
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.
The man inside the suit
After they lose Hydra Stomper during the train exploit, Flynn, Stark, and Peggy sit around and discuss the consequences. They keep referencing Steve as the Hydra Stomper and Peggy lashes out and says that his name was Steve and he is not limited to the armor. This references to the multiple times that Tony Stark is described as nothing without the suit which he has proven to be false multiple times in the MCU movies.
Where Eagles Dare
When Captain Carter along with the rest of the troops plans to attack the HYDRA train carrying Red Skull, we get to hear the name of the operation. The operation is code-named Operation Where Eagles Dare. This naming is a nod to the 1968 war movie of the same name. Where Eagles Dare deals with the group of commandos from different backgrounds coming together to get inside a German castle to rescue an ally. This sounds very similar to what the Captain Carter team is in terms of everyone coming from varied backgrounds.
Bucky doesn’t lose the arm
During the very moment that is referenced in the previous easter egg, we get to see Bucky almost falling off of the roof of the train. Captain Carter grabs hold of his hand and saves him. He mentions that she almost tore his hand off. This is a very simple reference to what became of Bucky in the sacred timeline as he loses his arm and later becomes the dreaded Winter Soldier.
Steve almost becomes Winter Soldier
During the train heist, we think we have lost Steve Rogers in the explosion, while he is inside the HYDRA Stomper. This is quite similar to the origins of Winter Soldier. He was also assumed dead until he popped back later in Captain America: Winter Soldier, as Winter Soldier himself. Lucky for Rogers’, he is discovered way before he could be experimented upon by Hydra. He is found later when Captain Carter and her team head to make one final attempt at Red Skull. This was not the case for Bucky as he was discovered very much later. One could almost say that there was a massive chance that Stever Rogers could have ended up being the Winter Soldier himself.
Just like Captain America: The First Avenger the so-called dance between Steve and Peggy is mentioned multiple times throughout the episode. We could all remember him mentioning this very dance in the last few minutes before he sacrificed himself as Peggy keeps asking for it. Similarly, in the episode when Peggy decides to push the tentacled monster back inside the portal Steve asks her for the dance. Though, we all know how they end up having the dance in the Avengers: Endgame, after Captain America goes back in time stays there.
“Put down the sword”
At the end of the episode, we get to see Peggy come out of the portal 70 years later in the timeline where the events of Avengers unfold. She comes out of the portal with a sword and her shield and is welcomed on this side by Nick Fury and Hawkeye. This is similar to the moment in Avengers when Loki comes out of the portal in the very opening scene. He comes out with his scepter in his hand and Nick Fury asks him to- “put down the spear”. In the episode, we get to hear Nick Fury something similar in the lines of- “put down the sword”.
The tentacle monster
As one of the major changes in the now branched timeline, Red Skull decides to have a change in his plans and he summons a multi-legged monster. He calls the monster the Champion of HYDRA. This monster very closely resembles Shuma-Grath from the Marvel comics. This monster consists of tentacles and one big central eye.
While going through a montage of events showcasing the exploits of Hydra Stomper and Captain Carter, we get to see Stever Rogers painting “Hello From Brooklyn!” on his armor. This is clearly references the names of the target places being painted on the bombs in the ship of Red Skull.
After Peggy Carter appears from the chamber being transformed into her buffed-up self, Howard Stark utters the words- “I’d call this an absolute success.” Fans would remember that this is almost similar to something we heard Hulk say in Avengers: Endgame, “I see this as an absolute win.”
So these are all the references and Easter Eggs in What If episode 1 that we spotted.