The following comprises spoilers for Marvel’s What If…? Episode 6, “What If…? Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark.”
So far, What If…? has explored quite a few chapters of the MCU, however in episode 6, the Watcher takes the viewers again to the very starting of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The universe diverges from the second that would have made Tony Stark into Iron Man, however the episode doesn’t solely characteristic Easter eggs and callbacks related to Tony Stark.
Instead, the episode sees two characters who by no means crossed paths in live-action meet up: Tony and Erik Killmonger. It permits for the viewers to see simply how sure occasions actually formed Tony into the hero he grew to become, however to additionally see simply how Killmonger might have manipulated occasions if he hadn’t gone straight for Wakanda and his cousin T’Challa first.
The Episode Opening
As is true for a lot of the episodes of the animated sequence, this one opens with a well-known shot for film followers. The opening is identical as that of 2008’s Iron Man: Tony, behind a car, consuming, and taking images with the troopers inside earlier than they’re ambushed.
The paths diverge right here in that when Tony sees the weapons labeled “Stark Industries,” there isn’t one other explosion or kidnapping. Instead, Erik Killmonger strides up and leads him out of the desert. The animation definitely will get the swagger of the 2 characters down from their debuts.
Christine Everhart is without doubt one of the reporters on the press convention when Tony returns to California. She’s the one who presses Killmonger as to why he’s in a position to rescue Tony, and followers will acknowledge her from an look as a reporter in episode 4 as effectively.
She’s additionally a well-liked reporter within the wider MCU as she started with an look within the first Iron Man film earlier than turning into the face of the fictional WHiH information for the film universe. She’s appeared in promotional materials for just a few films in addition to had cameos in additional.
The Sonic Taser
The sonic taser that Killmonger picks up in Tony’s workshop is identical weapon he makes use of towards Rhodey and T’Challa later within the episode. The viewers has really seen a model of it earlier than.
It’s the identical weapon Obadiah Stane makes use of towards Tony in Iron Man when Tony lastly figures out that Obadiah is behind every part. Obadiah simply occurs to have a smaller model of it. That reveal occurs a little bit earlier on this episode as Killmonger uncovers the plot first.
“I Like Anime.”
When Killmonger broaches the subject of his doctoral thesis to Tony, Tony is fast to recommend they work on the deserted challenge collectively. Killmonger’s designs for his drones, nonetheless, seem like one thing out of an anime (the viewers can collect it’s Gundam, particularly), in keeping with Tony. Killmonger’s response is to confess, “I like anime.”
This isn’t an in-universe nod to the character. Rather, it’s a nod to the actor who performs him. Michael B. Jordan has been vocal in interviews about his love for anime, so it’s a pleasant contact.
An Arc Reactor VS Vibranium
When work on the drones stalls as a result of they want an influence supply, Tony theorizes about making a miniature arc reactor, however rapidly dismisses the concept. A miniature arc reactor, after all, is what saved him alive after shrapnel was embedded in his coronary heart and chest in Iron Man. He even places his hand over his coronary heart when he has the concept.
Of course, Killmonger suggests vibranium as an alternative as a part of his bigger plan to get into Wakanda. Tony asserts that his father used all of it. Before the introduction of Wakanda to the MCU, the vibranium the viewers knew about was utilized by Howard Stark to create Captain America’s defend, one thing Tony doesn’t have in his possession as a result of it’s nonetheless buried within the ice with Steve Rogers at this level within the timeline.
The Drones Are An Iron Man 2 Callback
When Tony creates his fits, he does create ones he can management from afar, ultimately, however initially, they’re all meant to behave as an extension of the particular person sporting them. It’s Iron Man 2 that produces the concept of drones, very like Killmonger suggests right here.
That thought is courtesy of Ivan Vanko. He’s additionally the villain generally known as Whiplash, making the drones an thought of a villain utilizing Stark expertise in each universes. In the film, Vanko creates them for the movie’s actual villain, Justin Hammer. Tony’s thought to make use of Jarvis to pilot the drones, nonetheless, is very like his later MCU thought of a “suit of armor for the world.”
The Salvage Yard
When Rhodey meets with Klaue at a salvage yard to get his palms on vibranium for Tony and Killmonger, it would look acquainted for followers. It’s the identical place the place Klaue hides out when the viewers first meets him in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
There, it’s the Maximoff twins who meet him first, however this assembly occurs earlier within the timeline. Wanda and Pietro seemingly haven’t even began utilizing their talents but. Killmonger does, nonetheless, nonetheless find yourself betraying Klaue and utilizing his physique as a “gift” when he involves Wakanda, simply as he does in Black Panther.
General Ross Commandeers Stark Technology
General Ross is getting a variety of display screen time within the MCU today. He first appeared in The Incredible Hulk, however has performed a task in Captain America: Civil War and Black Widow as effectively. He additionally made a What If…? look in episode 3.
He’s the face of the navy as they commandeer the expertise owned by Stark to make use of towards Wakanda right here. That’s precisely what Tony Stark prevented taking place in Iron Man 2. When Tony was referred to as right into a authorities listening to, he refused to surrender his proprietary expertise for navy use as a result of he was Iron Man. Rhodey ultimately bought the War Machine go well with as an alternative, however with each of them gone, Ross takes something he desires.
Queen Ramonda is the chief of the Wakandan forces towards the drones despatched by the US navy. This isn’t a nod to her position within the comics, however extra seemingly, a nod to the historical past of the Dora Milaje within the comics.
While the Dora Milaje are elite fighters in each the comics and the films, they did have a barely totally different begin on the web page. They had been initially seen as potential wives for the long run king of Wakanda. Ramonda being each a queen and a navy chief marries these concepts for What If…?
Killmonger’s Black Panther Suit
When Killmonger is given the magical herb to grow to be the following Black Panther, not solely does he work together with T’Challa on the ancestral plain, however the viewers additionally will get to see him don his personal model of the Black Panther go well with.
That model is straight out of the Black Panther film. In the film, T’Challa’s go well with has hints of purple to it when it absorbs kinetic power, a nod to the purple of the herb. Killmonger’s, however, has gold. Even the tooth of the neckpiece is gold. The identical is true in animation.
What If…? is at present out there to stream on Disney Plus with new episodes added on Wednesdays.