Fans of the Marvel Zombies comic books might have caught a sly reference to the source material buried in a throwaway moment of this week's What If...?, which centered on an invasion of the main Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline by undead versions of Marvel heroes and villains, as originally introduced in a 2005 miniseries written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. While there are some key differences between the comics version of the Marvel Zombies stories and the What If...? episode, the pair share a lot of DNA, whether it's character designs or a general dark tone for their Marvel Universe.
One of the beats they bring back is a quick moment in a single issue of the first Marvel Zombies series. It's a memorable (and pretty messed-up) one, too.
Spoilers below for this week's episode of What If...?.
In the episode, audiences learn that Vision (voice of Paul Bettany) has been keeping Black Panther (voice of Chadwick Boseman) alive, using him to feed a zombified Scarlet Witch. In the show, T'Challa is missing a leg, which has been eaten. This is a reference to a moment from Marvel Zombies #2, where the character is in a similar situation, but instead missing an arm.
You can see the panel below.
Spider-Man made an appearance as "Zombie Hunter Spider-Man," complete with a fancy cape, on today's episode of What If...?, but it wasn't Tom Holland behind the voice. Instead, Mad Men and The Secret Life of the American Teenager actor Hudson Thames took on the part, officially becoming the first person to name Spider-Man's uncle, Ben Parker, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (multiverse?). Fans knew as early as August that Holland would not be returning to the role of Spider-Man for this episode of What If...?, but not who would step in to play the role in his stead.
The reasons behind Holland's absence are unclear, but it could be an array of reasons ranging from Holland's contract with Sony to his busy schedule. Either way, fan reception to Thames so far has been good.
Despite being set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and featuring the vocal talents of actors like Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, and Hayley Atwell, a number of Marvel superhero actors have not returned to reprise their roles in the alternate-universe animated series. This week, a zombie version of Captain America debuted, voiced by Josh Keaton (who, owing to his roles on Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, was the one fans assumed would be stepping in as Peter this week).
Marvel's What If...? airs on Wednesday mornings on Disney+. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here. Note: If you purchase one of the awesome, independently chosen products featured here, we may earn a small commission from the retailer. Thank you for your support.