After a topsy-turvy season, Marvel’s What If…? Series ended its meandering run, with an assurance of another season which is already in the works. With all nine What If episodes now available for public viewing, we suggest you binge-watch them. You’re welcome.
Marvel’s animated anthology series, which premiered in August, released its final episode on October 6. Although it was a very thrilling one for fans, there were still many questionable moments from the entire series. For example, while most episodes were exciting and enjoyable, there were some lackluster plot lines and, quite frankly, ruthlessly drab multiverse scenarios.
Nevertheless, as I said, most of it was pretty exciting and while we wait for another sumptuous season and other upcoming Marvel shows, let’s take a look at all the What If episodes ranked. Spoilers ahead!
9. What If Thor Were An Only Child? (E07)
What happens in this episode of the What If series seems…wholesomely sad. In this What If episode, Odin never raised Loki as his own and instead returned him to the frost giants. Thor is then raised as a boisterous, party-loving prince and travels to earth to host a planetary party. Even though there was an appearance by Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis and the occasional sparring session with Captain Marvel, this episode was the most forgettable.
Sure, this episode is what started the domino effect leading up to the series crescendo, but it was mostly just silly fun. There were no betrayals (Loki and Thor were best buds. Really???), no deaths, no twists, and every fight was always going to be won (sure, that’s how it always ends, but you know what I mean).
8. What If Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? (E06)
In this What If episode, Tony Stark, ambushed by the Ten Rings in Afghanistan, is rescued by Erik “Killmonger” Stevens. And because comfort doesn’t ever do much for a superhero’s character development, he never becomes the man in the armor.
Killmonger, on the other hand, did live up to his name. He ended up murdering Stark, James Rhodes, T’Challa, Ulysses Klaue and staged a drone army attack on Wakanda, which let him step in as the hero of his people. His staged valiance earned the respect of the locals, who ended up crowning him the Black Panther.
Well, Killmonger was just always evil, I guess.
I know it seems so action-packed, but trust me, this episode was pretty mundane compared to some of the stuff we saw on the other episodes of the What If series.
7. What If Captain Carter Were The First Avenger? (Episode 01)
Steve Rogers gets injured and can’t receive the super-soldier serum, and in a twist, Peggy Carter becomes the Captain instead. Stark (not ours. Howard Stark) uses the recovered tesseract to create a weaponized suit of armor for the scrawny Rogers to use instead. After battling Red Skull and an interdimensional ‘squid’ he summoned, Carter makes the ultimate sacrifice to push the beast back to its dimension through a portal. She walks out of it 70 years later to a different world. This episode of the What If series was a personal favorite for me. Still, being the first episode, it really suffered from recency bias as most people forgot just how warm it felt to see Peggy and Steve’s relationship travel farther than it went in the movies.
6 What If The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? (Episode 03)
This episode was probably the one with the most twists. Mysterious deaths continuously disrupted Nick Fury’s recruitment program for assembling earth’s mightiest heroes. Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Hulk, and Thor were killed with suspicious precision over a week. It would later be uncovered that Hank Pym, the original Antman, was clandestinely conducting the murders to avenge his daughter, Hope Van Dyne.
The last battle between Fury and Hank was one of the best of the entire show, and it’s not hard to see why.
Go to 0:22 and thank me later. ‘Twas hilarious.
5 What If T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? (E02)
T’Challa, leader of the ravagers and lost prince of Wakanda. Weird but surprisingly entertaining. The plot goes like this: instead of finding a lost Peter Quill, Yondu instead finds T’Challa, the crown prince of Wakanda, with big dreams. The episode is full of double crossings of other double crossings, and it did hold attention for its entire duration, which was not easy.
Also, the relationship blossoming between Nebula and T’Challa seemed like it should have lasted longer ( hearing Nebula say ‘T’cha T’cha’ was my favorite thing!).
One thing that was particularly weird to see in this episode was the stripping of the charisma of Thanos, leaving only a purple, scrotum-jawed, glorified heavyweight prison mate who kept getting mocked for talking about genocide.
4 What If Zombies!? (Episode 05)
An action-packed episode involving Spiderman, Hope van Dyne, Bucky, Okoye, Sharon Carter, Happy, and Dr Strange’s levitation cloak (Yup. The best character on this episode, too!). The plot of this episode of the What If series sees what was left of earth’s heroes seeking a cure to a zombie-making virus that Hope’s mother Janet brought with her from the quantum realm. Heroes get infected along the way, and sacrifices have to be made. Of course, as usual, everybody dies. (In Mark Ruffalo’s voice).
3 What If Ultron Won? (E08)
Among the best episodes, this scenario sees Ultron, using the mind stone and vision’s Vibranium body, become the genocidal maniac instead of Thanos. In his quest for ultimate peace, Ultron launches a global nuclear assault and destroys every planet in every galaxy in his universe. Things get particularly interesting when the maniacal robot hears The Watcher and discovers the existence of the multiverse. He then makes it his duty to destroy all universes in the multiverse. This was fun.
2 What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? (E04)
Not losing his hands in a car accident, Doctor Strange loses his girlfriend, Christine Palmer, instead. Everything else in Strange’s story seems to go according to script—he embarks on a journey to Kamar-Taj to learn the mystic arts, rises quickly through the ranks, and inherits the Eye of Agamotto. However, years later, Strange begins to attempt to manipulate time to save his girlfriend, and that was the beginning of the dark trail that led to the doctor becoming Strange-Supreme.
So, what if Doctor Strange did lose his heart instead of his hands?
Short answer? Then we’d all realize that Doctor Strange is THAT guy, pal!
Just kidding. But really, I’m not. Doctor Strange was by far the strongest character in the last episode of the series (we’ll talk more about that in a second), and it makes perfect sense judging from the amount of knowledge and time he committed to learning new spells and absorbing ancient mystical beings. If you only have time for a few What If episodes, then this should make your shortlist.
Peep his look.
1. What If The Watcher Broke His Oath? (E09)
The crescendo of the entire series ended up manifesting in the show’s final episode, and it was brilliantly orchestrated. A murderous, genocidal Ultron is on a rampage, seeking to snuff out life from the entire multiverse, and our favorite Multiversial heroes step in to rescue the world. This Avengers Endgame-esque showdown was definitely worth the wait.
Look, if you ask me, The Watcher seemed very disappointing in terms of strength. I guess not needing to do any sparring due to being invisible may affect your ability to accurately protect yourself when the time comes.
He was getting absolutely bullied by Ultron for most of Episode 8 and then ended up traveling through multiverses to assemble the universe’s mightiest heroes. Best character in this episode? Strange-Supreme, of course. Natasha was a close second, but really it was Strange’s show. Oh, I forgot to tell you: so helpless was The Watcher that he sought the help of Strange’s ‘evil twin’. Anyway, it was later played off like the Watcher knew what was going on all along. I guess he did *wink*.
So, there we have it. Hope you enjoyed this, because I definitely did. Keep your eyes peeled for more content on upcoming Marvel titles.