Warning: This article contains spoilers for Episode 8 of What If...?
What If...? continues to surprise. After the shocking final moments of last week's episode, which featured Ultron in the Vision's body with the full set of Infinity Stones, fans were given an epic display of the synthezoid's potential power in Episode 8: What If...Ultron Won?
While much of the episode followed Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton in their efforts to resist the victorious Ultron, perhaps the most visually interesting segments came when Ultron found the Watcher Uatu and battled him across the multiverse (including in some very surprising locations).
One scene, however, stands out from the rest as perhaps being the biggest reference the MCU has yet given to one of Marvel's most powerful villains.
Galactus Teased in What If...? Episode 8
In the latest episode of the series, What If...? provided fans with their most tantalizing tease of the infamous Fantastic Four villain Galactus yet. At 23:26 into the episode, Ultron appears to be consuming first an entire world, and then a galaxy during his duel with Uatu.
The act of consuming on such a scale is reminiscent of the comic villain known for devouring worlds to feed his endless hunger.
Indeed, even Ultron's red eyes and helmet bear some resemblance to the Devourer's iconic style, going back to his earliest appearances battling the Fantastic Four.
Does Ultron Herald the Coming of Galactus?
While Ultron does bear a striking resemblance to the Devourer in this episode, it's important to remember that the Disney+ shows have, almost without exception, included plenty of comic references that have ultimately been just that: simple references. Whether it's the Grim Reaper's helmet in WandaVision or Throgg in Loki, the shows have been chock full of Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans.
The interesting thing about this reference, other than how direct it is, is that it's not just a visual one. Earlier in the episode, when Ultron first becomes aware of the Watcher, Uatu questions what would happen should "a hunger like this be unleashed upon the Multiverse." The use of the word hunger is an interesting one that has many obvious parallels to Marvel's most famous eater of worlds.
With the Fantastic Four set to appear within the MCU in the relatively near future, Marvel may very well be seeding audiences with the idea of an all-devouring enemy. By using a familiar character from the films like Ultron, there's the possibility of introducing both the concept and the immense danger of a planet devouring villain that has some familiarity before fans meet Galactus himself.
While it remains to be seen how the Fantastic Four villain will appear in the MCU, the struggle against the newly all-seeing Ultron in What If...? is just beginning. New episodes continue to premier every Wednesday, only on Disney+.