Arts & Culture

New Marvel Series Poses the Question “What If…?”

Percy Bartelt, contributor

“I am the Watcher. I am your guide through these vast new realities. Follow me and ponder the question… ‘What if?’”

The newest Marvel show, released in August to Disney+, has life-long fans across the country asking the big question: “What if…?” With that concept, we as an audience are introduced to new, wild concepts never before thought of, and we see what the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would be like if just one thing had gone differently in our favorite heroes’ stories. This show is also Marvel’s first official animated series with some heroes and villains reprising their roles. This first pursuit into animation for the MCU brings in many talents from the animation industry who are new to the series, including head writer A.C. Bradley, previously known for her writing on 3Below: Tales of Arcadia, and animator Stephen Franck, who previously worked on Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse.

What If…? explores the different concepts in the MCU, one of which pertains to the very first Avenger, Captain America. The show poses the question: “What if Steve Rogers wasn’t able to turn into the super soldier?”, thus passing the role onto Peggy Carter. Another episode asks: “What if T’Challa was Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill?” The series explores concepts featuring the Avengers as well as characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther, where Chadwick Boseman reprised his role for the MCU one last time, before his unfortunate passing in August of 2020.

For my own personal analysis of the show, I heavily recommend this series to any MCU fan out there. I enjoy the animation style and how they switched around my favorite heroes and villains and gave a new narrative to their stories; they managed to reel me in by the first episode alone. I especially loved their depiction of Loki, which, in my opinion, even surpassed their characterization in the Loki series. I also loved hearing Boseman’s voice as T’Challa, and seeing his character in the role of another favorite hero of mine, Star-Lord. This show turns the MCU on its head, reimagining certain events and plugging in different characters, changing events, and completely reimagining universes, all to answer the one question: “What If…?”

The first season of Marvel’s What If…? has three more episodes forthcoming on Disney+, the last of which will release on October 9.