Warning! Spoilers ahead for Marvel’s What If…? episode 2, ” What If…T’Challa Became A Star-Lord?”
In Marvel’s What If…?, The Black Order’s biggest warrior Cull Obsidian secretly got his original name from the comics put into the MCU canon. In a very strange turn of events, the underutilized character and leading enforcer of Thanos’ armies in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame was referenced by his original comics name thanks to the series’ closed captioning subtitles in the second episode. Naturally, this creates some minor confusion for a character who’s already a source of continuity errors in the final Avengers film.
First seen in Avengers: Infinity War, Cull Obsidian is a member of Thanos’ Black Order, also known as the Children of Thanos. Like Gamora and Nebula, the Black Order comprised orphans taken and raised by Thanos from worlds he razed in his conquest to balance the universe. Joining Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian attempted to secure the Time Stone for the Mad Titan before leading the armies of Thanos in the Battle of Wakanda before being killed by Bruce Banner and the Hulkbuster armor. Additionally, the 2014 version brought to 2023 in Avengers: Endgame was killed after being stepped on by Scott Lang’s Giant-Man. However, in Marvel’s What If…? episode 2, Thanos was convinced to give up his crusade by T’Challa’s Star-Lord and join the Ravagers in this alternate timeline, motivating the Black Order to enter the service of the Collector who filled the power vacuum.
When T’Challa and the Ravagers attempt to steal from the Collector, Thanos decides to face Cull Obsidian and Proxima Midnight in order to give his daughter Nebula and the other Ravagers a chance to escape. However, the closed captioning subtitles surprisingly refer to Cull Obsidian as “Black Dwarf” which was his original name in Marvel Comics. While this is fairly odd considering he isn’t referred to as Black Dwarf anywhere else in the episode (and hasn’t in the entirety of the MCU), it’s even stranger considering that the audio description still refers to him as Cull as well.
While there was never an official reason for why Black Dwarf was renamed to Cull Obsidian in the first place (Cull Obsidian used to be an alias for the entire Black Order in the comics), the reversion back to Black Dwarf in the MCU canon is certainly an odd Easter egg. Not only that, but this isn’t the first time Cull Obsidian has created confusion. In Avengers: Endgame, the final battle saw Cull Obsidian featured twice in the same shot, creating a minor continuity error for the film.
Thankfully, the subtle reintroduction of Cull Obsidian’s original comics name doesn’t hurt the episode (especially since it’s just in the subtitles). If anything it serves to be a fun reference, if not a somewhat confusing one as one might wonder how it got into the episode of Marvel’s What If…? in the first place. Regardless, it seems as though Cull Obsidian now has a secret second name in the MCU canon.