Updated: Feb 5
Unlike some reviews where I’ve reviewed the first episode, for this show in particular I wanted to wait until all episodes were released as each episode was unique and different. So, here’s my very late review of Marvel’s new show, What If?
The first episode of What If, What If Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?, gives the audience a soft introduction to the concept of different universes and scenarios they aren’t necessarily used to. As the first episode goes, it didn’t show the full potential that can be seen in later episodes, with it sticking very closely to the First Avenger movie there wasn’t much room for creativity.
Captain Carter herself was fun, seeing how she seemed more adept at holding the captain mantle than Steve did in his own movie. Though the problems for with plotting and speed in this episode, which seems to be a consistent problem with the show in general. Fights happen too quickly, plot points are skipped over or forgotten about in favour of something else, some scenes just felt rushed.
Though the show seemed to fix some problems I held with the Captain Carter episode in the next exploit. What If T’Challa Became A Starlord? was a great episode, it expanded on the capabilities of an already established character as well as giving a different look at said character. A more laid back, fun T’Challa was nice to see, especially with this being Chadwick Boseman’s last outing as the Black Panther. Knowing what happened with the star, certain lines in the script seem to hold more meaning to them now than they probably did before.
Now I won’t go into detail of every episode because I’ll be here all day, but one of my favourite episodes from this season was definitely: What If Zombies?
Now if you’re a fan of Marvel Comics, you would’ve known that zombies have been a long-time concept with these characters, but to finally see them in the MCU was pretty fun. I thought the montage Peter Parker makes was fun and slightly parodied the zombie apocalypse genre. I loved the mix of characters, all seemingly having good chemistry, the scene about cleanliness being a personal favourite. But of course, with zombies there has to be some level of horror, which hasn’t really been done yet in the MCU.
I think this episode is, with a term I came up with, Disney-scary. You have to remember at the end of the day these movies, these shows, are targeted at one market in mind: children. Therefore, you can’t have heads being ripped off with visible blood and whatnot, so the episode pushes the boundaries that it’s trapped in.
Then finally I get to the last two episodes of the season, What If Ultron Won? And What If The Watcher Broke His Oath?
These episodes were definitely the best of the season, they clearly had the most effort put into them, and it pays off. The animation is amazing, with a company like Flying Bark working on it I wasn’t surprised; the company has worked on one of my favourite shows, Rise of the TMNT, which I will review at one point.
The Guardians of the Multiverse work well together, and I think the Winter-Solider Captain Carter works a lot better than her first appearance nine episodes ago. The action is that of the MCU, big explosions, a lot of loopholes and dramatic fights; but I love it all anyway. Though what is very apparent is the inclusion of Thanos-Gamora, who is just kind of dropped into the episode from nowhere. Now this addition isn’t random, the original plan was for the series to have ten episodes, and each be around 40 minutes long, however due to the pandemic the episode was cut and has been revealed to be involved in season 2.
How will it work? I’m unsure, but I'm sure the writers will figure something out.
All in all, the show was fun and very different from anything the MCU has tried before. As their first animated project I think they did a pretty good job, I look forward to season 2 hopefully by then they would’ve fixed their pacing issues. This also gets me even more excited about the multiverse which will be a very big part of Marvel’s phase 4, with movies like Spider-man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse.
I give Marvel’s What If? 3 infinity stones out of 5.
All episodes of What If? are available to stream on Disney+