This show is basically going to be fanfiction, and I am ready for it. Fanfiction is basically asking “what if this happened instead of what actually happened?” which is what this show is striving for. Now, since it’s still Marvel I’m sure it’s still going to include character deaths and emotional moments whereas in (good) fanfiction the writer generally ignores deaths and has a happy, satisfying ending. It’s an interesting concept and the majority of the voices are the actors that played the characters, with a few exceptions for various reasons. The animation style is an odd mixture between 2D and 3D which I am not generally a fan of but since this show looks really interesting and is canon in the MCU I will be watching it with excitement. I will be reviewing each episode individually and provide some overall thoughts about the show as a whole after the completion of the series.
Episode One, What If… Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?: Correction, What If Captain Carter WAS The First Avenger…nice going Marvel. This episode was an absolute blast, but the pacing was a bit fast since they tried to fit the entire first Captain America movie into a 30 minute show to highlight both the similarities and differences of Peggy being the one who took the serum. She took it so they wouldn’t lose the serum, but the general at the time made it out to be a waste because he believed women couldn’t fight. For the majority of the show he was bagging on her until she went out and actually made a difference in the war, for which he tried to take credit. Of course being a woman at the time this was to be expected, but it was nice to see her character being as determined as ever. Steve (who was labeled Little Steve in the credits) was not voiced by Chris Evans which was odd and noticeable, but the character remained the same and was able to help in the Hydra Stomper. No matter what his limitations are, Steve is a good guy at heart and wants to help however he can. Bucky was also a great feature in this episode and didn’t fall off the train, though he came close and made a joke about nearly losing his arm. We also learned that Bucky was the one who taught Steve how to hotwire cars and steal them. The only thing that didn’t make sense in this episode was the lack of reaction from Bucky when they thought Steve had died. Those two were extremely close so for him to pull Peggy away and not be the one screaming into the abyss was uncharacteristic of him. Everything else was great and it’s nice to think about how Steve and Bucky got to have a life together instead of all the pain and suffering they went through in the normal timeline. Overall, a good start to the series and a nice way to provide more characterization to these characters.
Episode Two, What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?: Shouldn’t it be What If T’Challa Became Star-Lord? because that’s not a formal title, just the name he’s given? Before discussing this episode, let’s all remember the incredible man that brought T’Challa to life…Rest in Peace Chadwick. This episode was really interesting and had much better pacing than the previous one. Yondu didn’t pick up Peter on Earth, instead the Ravagers picked up T’Challa who stayed with them and changed their ways to save beings across the universe instead of stealing from them. The episode displayed how reasonable and influential T’Challa is with a long list of the things he’s done to better the universe. The most impressive being talking Thanos out of commiting mass genocide, changing him to be better, and by result sparing Nebula from a life of torture and robotic implants. However, as a result the Collector became a massive, cruel individual whose collection was full of depressing realities from the MCU. He was also extremely large (physically) and led the Black Order who abandoned Thanos after he changed. It was weird to see Thanos as a decent guy but it was even weirder to see The Collector so buff and formidable. Howard the Duck made an appearance in this episode as T’Challa was looking for the Embers of Geonosis in the collection, instead finding a Wakandan ship and discovering the truth. I really liked how the episode ended with everyone coming together in Wakanda and Okoye very politely pointing out that Thanos’s plan was inside mass genocide. There was also a scene where Ego returns to earth to find Peter Quill (who is working at the Dairy Queen we saw in both GOTG movies) to use him to take over the universe.
Episode Three, What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?: An important note for this episode: Black Widow is voiced by Lake Bell who also voices Poison Ivy in the Harley Quinn show on HBO (a great show to watch!). This episode was fairly fast-paced as they killed off the main Avengers from the Avengers initiative. Tony was first to go (who wasn’t voiced by RDJ), then Thor (who has really great hair and smells like lavender), Clint, Bruce, and finally Natasha. Hank Pym was picking them off one-by-one because he blamed Fury for Hope’s death, who in this universe was working for S.H.I.E.L.D. ,and was killed in the line of duty. He is wearing the Yellow Jacket suit, looks absolutely deranged, and is only stopped with the help of Loki, who was sent to find Thor’s killer and bring justice for Asgard. However, in true Loki fashion he stuck around and managed to take over Earth in a single day, which is pretty impressive. Fury goes to wake up Captain America and calls in Captain Marvel to aid him in the fight against Loki. It was a pretty decent episode but not as strong as the first two.
Episode Four, What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?: This episode was absolutely heartbreaking. Doctor Strange went on a similar journey except the starting point was different: he lost Christine instead of his hands. Then, he learns that absolute points in time cannot be changed and two versions of him are created: one that accepts this and one that does not. The one that does not goes to extreme measures to try and bring her back, absorbing the power of various powerful beings to use it to break that point in time. In the process he becomes deranged and delusional, eventually having to destroy the other version of himself in order to bring her back. What he doesn’t realize is that his universe is being destroyed in the process and that Christine will also be destroyed. It was heartbreaking to watch him go through all of this and in the end be the only being left in his universe. This is the first episode where The Watcher interacts with someone as well, as the evil Doctor Strange can sense in and asks for his help. However, help is denied as the Watcher cannot interfere, though I believe he was not meant to interact either. I was shocked to see the episode end like that without some sort of resolution. It was an extremely good episode though.
Episode Five, What If… Zombies!?: I hate zombies, like panic attack level hate zombies. This episode is actually why I stopped watching the show until it was finished…and even then I heavily debated skipping this episode until I learned that everything is connected (which sucks because now I have to watch this). So here we fucking go. Tom Holland isn’t Spider-Man? I don’t think Hope was Hope either. The pacing of this episode was fine but it ended on a cliffhanger for some unknown reason, which is not cool because I really don’t want to see zombies again. These episodes keep surprising me. The people who were left made sense and I’m glad we had a sexy Bucky shower moment, and I’m glad they killed off Sharon Carter. Peter was the only ray of light in this episode and we briefly saw Spider-Man Supreme as he donned the Cloak of Levitation for a few minutes. Most of the Avengers were killed off though, and for some diluted reason Vision was feeding zombie Wanda, then kills himself when he can’t save her! The end of the episode shows zombie Thanos who was 5 of the 6 stones, which means that the universe is doomed indeed. Not a bad episode plot wise, but because of the zombies I have to rank it last.
Episode Six, What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?: This was such a great episode with strong pacing and interesting character development! Though the title doesn’t really fit since Marvel made us watch Tony die AGAIN, but since it wasn’t the main focus of the episode it wasn’t as traumatizing. Killmonger uses much more clever methods to get into Wakanda this time and manages to trick almost everyone about his motivation, which I assume is revenge eventually. He still kills Klaw as his ticket into Wakanda and convinces them he is just a long lost boy trying to find his way home. He is given the title and powers of the Black Panther, and has weaseled his way into the crest of Wakanda. However, Pepper and Shuri aren’t really fooled and in the end they team up against him, though the episode ends without resolution. It was a pretty good episode and Killmonger is a great character, plus the music from Black Panther is so good to hear again. The Watcher is seen more and more observing what is occurring, probably planning his heroes team for the last episode (yes I know what happens). I would like to see what happens though, but I imagine it will be a season two resolution!
Episode Seven, What If… Thor Were An Only Child?: Correction, what if Thor WAS An Only Child…nice going Marvel, AGAIN. This episode was an absolute blast, party Thor is the person to party with! Instead of Odin taking Loki as his own, he returns him to Laufey to eventually become king of Jotunheim. Therefore, Thor was raised without a sibling and became somewhat chaotic on his own. When Frigga leaves he goes to other planets to party, and this party went to Midgard in Vegas! At least, that’s where it started. Captain Marvel is brought in to keep Thor from destroying the planet, but Jane rats him out to Frigga and the party is cleaned up by everyone through a respectful fear of her. Getting to see Jotun Loki finally was wonderful and he seemed finally happy, which never really happens for him. Jane and Thor have a much more interesting dynamic here, Darcy is her usual self, and there was a wonderful number of cameos of individuals invited to Thor’s party. Overall, this episode was really good and the only reason I don’t give it a full 10/10 is because at the end Ultron/Vision show up. If it had been a stand-alone episode it would’ve been perfect.
Episode Eight, What If… Ultron Won?: This universe is indeed depressing and in the end is left with absolutely no life, thanks to Ultron. We finally see Ultron’s full potential as he destroys his universe and seeks out others…because The Watcher had to narrate instead of just Watching. He watches as Nat and Clint attempt to find Zola, the only code that can destroy Ultron, and they succeed. However, by this point Ultron is already fighting the Watcher and seeking to destroy other universes. Clint takes the fall this time, literally, and a few Endgame complaints are acknowledged. The fight between The Watcher and Ultron was incredible and it was cool to seem them fight through different universes. There was also a cool reference to Galactus eating a universe. Finally the Watcher realizes he needs help and finds his way to the ‘evil’ Doctor Strange’s universe, that is just him. He admits he has to break his oath and save the Multiverse. Overall, a pretty good episode, however I do wish the episodes were one-shots and not all connected because that’s what I thought the series was going to be.
Episode Nine, What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?: This episode was the culmination of the previous 8 episodes, which were introductions to the Guardians of the Multiverse! Captain Carter from what was The Winter Soldier film whose version of the Winter Soldier seems to be Steve in the Hydra Stomper suit, supposedly. T’Challa Star Lord who was in the middle of saving Peter Quill from Ego and seemingly trains him to be a Ravager in the end. Party Thor was trying to go on a date with Jane in Vegas and has taken on the battle cry “Viva Las Vegas” or just “Vegas” which was PERFECT. Killmonger who was in the process of destroying Wakanda and gets trapped in his own little universe with Ultron/Zola forever. Gamora, killer of Thanos and friend of Tony Stark who’s episode didn’t make it into this season. Natasha from the universe that Ultron destroyed who gets placed in a universe that lost their Widow in the end, which was the one Loki had taken over in episode three. Realistically Doctor Strange did like 95% of the work but he did need a team to win since Natash and Captain Carter came in clutch in the end. He is tasked with watching the universe he trapped Ultron/Zola and Killmonger in and I do hope that one day he finds his own happy ending. Overall, a really really good and exciting episode!
Ok wow the episode titles shouldn’t need correction Marvel, don’t you have a whole ass team working on these? Did no one grammar check the titles? Anyway, overall I really liked this show (NOT THE ZOMBIE EPISODE) and I’m excited for the next season! I do still maintain that the episodes should’ve been one-shots, but I did enjoy how they all came together in the last episode for an epic battle. Would highly recommend (NOT THE ZOMBIE EPISODE)!
Ranking Best to Worst Episodes:
- Episode Two, What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? 10/10
- Episode Four, What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? 9.7/10
- Episode Nine, What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath? 9.5/10
- Episode Seven, What If… Thor Were An Only Child? 9/10
- Episode Six, What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? 9/10
- Episode Eight, What If… Ultron Won? 8/10
- Episode One, What If… Captain Carter Were The First Avenger? 7/10
- Episode Three, What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? 5/10
- Episode Five, What If… Zombies!? 2/10
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