by Hans A. Carpenter
Streaming on Disney +
Marvel …What If? joins The Watcher as he views an infinite number of realities. The series is an animated anthology following MCU characters with changes that ripple across each universe and ask questions like “what if Peggy Carter was Captain America?” or “what if Ultron won?”. The series boasts an ensemble of Marvel actors including Benedict Cumberbatch, Josh Brolin and Chadwick Bossman in his final role.
As a concept, …What If? is taken straight from the pages of the same named Marvel comic series. Like the comic series, the strength of this show hinges on the strength of the scenarios presented and the conclusions those stories reach. In that light, here are some of the highlights and lowlights of …What If?:
The story of Ultron’s triumph over organic life is easily the best story in this first season, giving us a menacing performance we didn’t get from the character in Age of Ultron. Seeing Killmonger save Tony Stark and climb the ranks as Stark’s aid and seeing just how devious and cunning Eric can be was good stuff. While the episode itself was kind of meh, T’Chala as Starlord gave some cool moments and let the character shine in all his glory. Oh, and Hank Pym got to do stuff.
The “Party Thor” episode is a terrible waste of time and a lame episode all around. Some of the impersonations of actors who weren’t part of the project are a little more off putting than just going in a different direction with the character. The animation style feels stilted and oddly cheap for a series of this importance. The ultimate coming together of the series was a bit of a let down. Not enough to ruin an otherwise solid first season but it wasn’t as epic as it should have been. I didn’t care for the “zombies” episode because it didn’t really feel like a “what if” so much as a “we have to force zombies into every media” moment. Zombies are past the point of saturation.
Overall, …What If? has enough solid elements to make it a fun trip on the road not taken. Now make Star Wars…What If? you cowards!