For the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an animated canon show becomes part of it, but not only that, but it is also an anthology series and What If..? graced the screens with every episode like a flavor-centered candy that you never know what is waiting for you on the inside and with the last episode being a culmination of the whole season.
At first, I thought, why would it be an animated series if Marvel could pull off television series like WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki? Well, it pays off once the whole season has been laid out, and to be honest, it works for the series. Animation gave the show a fresh and new look and to think that the scenes would be filmed in person, with the actors on set, could be quite difficult in the production.
What If..? is a refreshing take on the stories within the MCU as it does not follow the same structure as the other shows or movies. There is no hero formula for that matter. Also, it is interesting to have a show that would definitely alter the image you already have in mind like how Peggy Carter became the recipient of the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, or how Yondu kidnapped T'Challa and not Peter Quill.
It is something that will make you think, "oh, I didn't think that could happen." Ironic, isn't it? Well, What If..? made sure it would pull off the anthology series as it introduced us to various alternate universes and in the finale, a character from each of the episodes appears that it is like a bow to wrap it all up.
To be honest, some stories run deeper than others. Episode 7, What If.. Thor Was An Only Child?, was definitely a fun one but the story itself was quite shallow. Still, Thor being a momma's boy and extremely scared of Frigga makes it a worthwhile episode because it shows an entirely different side of Thor.
Another is Episode 5, What If.. Zombies? It is fun to have two things I love the most in one show. I really geeked out when Marvel finally got the zombies out. The story of a zombie apocalypse was quite typical but what impressed me is how Hope saw hope in Peter Parker and how he became a symbol in the episode as it seemed to be a hopeless place but he remained positive – something to apply in real life, I guess?
Aside from the finale, which rocked hard, by the way, a personal favorite of mine would be Episode 4, What If.. Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? It clearly got the point of how painful it is to lose someone you love so dearly that you would do anything in your power just to get them back like how Strange devoured magical creatures just to get Christine back, and the pain of having to lose her again.
What makes it more interesting is that out of all the episodes, it is the only one that had a clear ending when all the other episodes were left with a cliffhanger. It is calming to know what happens in the end despite it not being a happy ending. Also, it created one of the most powerful creatures in the multiverse, possibly the most powerful variant of Stephen Strange – Doctor Strange Supreme.
But of all the characters, I love how Natasha Romanoff was in various episodes and we see different variants of her. From her appearance in Episode 3 where she became the last Avenger standing before getting caught by Hank Pym to being the last person living in the Age of Ultron Universe in Episode 8, Natasha's character has so much to offer that she deserves all the credit of being the soul of the Avengers.
As for the real villain, I personally think it is neither Ultron nor Killmonger nor any other villains in the show: it is Uatu for me. Ultron's words make sense that while a universe is struggling with devastation and pain, Uatu only watches. While it is relatable that he has an oath he sworn into, sometimes, what one thinks is right may not be the one that fits the situation. Uatu should be thankful he broke his oath in time to save the multiverse, otherwise, it would all fall into wreck.
I'm excited to see what is in store for the series and how they could follow the epic finale given that Season 2 is already confirmed by the showrunners.
All in all, What If..? will definitely tickle your mind, pique your interest, and make you think of weird questions now that anything is possible in the MCU. So, is it worth watching? Absolutely!
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