What If…? episode 2: Marvel fans react to surprise cameo from a major MCU villain

What If...?
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What If…? episode 2 has landed. The premise: What if T’Challa became a Star-Lord?

It’s a concept that Marvel Studios takes and uses it as a launching pad for all sorts of imaginative moments, including several Easter eggs and a cameo no one saw coming. That latter surprise has already set social media aflame – and here are some of the biggest fan reactions so far.

Spoilers for What If…? follow…

"The shock on my face when I saw Thanos," one viewer said (opens in new tab). Yes, that Thanos. Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan-turned-Ravager also caused others to express surprise at the show making us "root" for the villain (opens in new tab). "I’ll never watch Infinity War or Endgame the same [way]," said another (opens in new tab).

But it’s the reason why Thanos joined up with T’Challa’s team that is getting the most attention. In the episode, he reveals that a simple debate with Chadwick Boseman’s Star-Lord helped him see the light.

"Love this and thought it made so much sense," said one user on Twitter (opens in new tab). Others also called attention to Boseman’s "wonderful performance" (opens in new tab) as well as the episode as a whole being a "gorgeous, heartwarming and wholesome tribute to our hero Chadwick Boseman." (opens in new tab)

The episode, which ended with a tribute to Boseman, also included a fun appearance from Howard the Duck (voiced by Seth Green). "I’m thrilled to see him in the MCU," one Marvel fan said of the quackers cameo (opens in new tab). Another called Green’s performance an example of "perfect casting." (opens in new tab)

Finally, one tweet echoed much of the MCU fanbase (opens in new tab) post-viewing, "Episode 2 of #WhatIf was amazing, truly amazing. The Easter eggs, the storylines, the whole execution in general felt so much better than the first ep. Bringing back past characters, especially a certain ‘mad’ person... Can't wait for next week."

Me neither. To find out when the next episode drops, be sure to check out the What If…? release schedule.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.