On Wednesday Marvel Studios released the 9th and last episode of it’s animation show “What If… ?”. After 2 months of weekly episodes re-writing the stories of the MCU, it’s time to talk a little bit about this show, a show that has been widely appreciated by Marvel fans across the world, including me. So how good was it ? Well, let’s talk about it !
If you haven’t watched What If yet or you don’t know what it’s about here is a short summary of what’s happening in the show : In every episode you’ll be watching a story based on events that happened on the MCU but this time the story is different because it happened in a different way. For example in episode one, Peggy Carter receives the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, she becomes Captain Carter and from that point, a new story starts.
Visuals, voices and stories
Before even talking about the plot, the references and the quality of the stories, I wanted to have a word about the show itself because visuals and voices are also what makes all the quality of show. We already had a first hint at what Marvel was able to do in terms if animation this summer with the very surprising M.O.D.O.K. show and I have to say that I wasn’t dissapointed by What If…?. The show looks great, most of characters designs are accurate to their live action versions of the MCU and they even took the liberty to modify some of them which actually fits very well with this idea of having different universes with a different version of one story in each one (I’m thinking about Nebula and The Collector in episode 2). Regarding the voices that has been used there’s nothing to say as most of MCU actors gave their voices and those who couldn’t were replaced by very accurate voices. Among all the actors who gave their voices, who obviously think about Chadwick Boseman, who gave us a last performance as T’Challa, Prince of Wakanda.
Alongside excellent voices and visuals, the stories were globally great. Some of the stories were expected (Peggy Carter as Captain U.K or Ultron winning over the Avengers is something fans have been waiting for a long time) while others were real surprises (here I’m thinking about episode 4 with Doctor Strange or episode 3 and 5) and the long time MCU fans will appreciate the incredible number of references coming across every episode. It was a real pleasure to discover every episode (except for episode 7 that in my mind, was kind of boring and useless despite providing some good jokes) as all stories were well written and perfectly used all the references and original stories of the MCU. Almost every episode is a good mix of everything we like in the MCU but compacted in 25 minutes episodes. The episodes length is important because despite having short episodes, the rythm of the show was well managed, and each episode succeeded in providing good references, a decent story and even emotions (especially in episodes 1, 2, 5 and 8) ! Once again and despite having short episodes, the show provided strong and unique characters and here I’m especially thinking about Captain Carter, Evil Doctor Strange, Star Lord T’Challa and of course The Watcher who magnificently fulfilled the role of omniscient narrator and guide for the spectators. Finally, the show succeeded in building its own universe, as every episodes were all linked together and led us to a decent final episode that is not without reminding us the final of Avengers: Endgame.
A final word about the show
I’m very serious when I say that this might be Marvel’s best content we had so far. It’s of course very different from the movies or the recent shows we had as the format is clearly different, but this first attempt of Marvel Studios into the world of animation was worth it. The show perfectly used all the tools and elements created by the MCU in the past 10 years, and the final result is very qualitative, despite having weak points such as episode 7.
Revisiting the MCU through the multiverse and through the eyes of other characters than the one we’ve been constantly seeing through the MCU (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc.) was very enjoyable and I’m definitely ready for a season 2 !