What If? (2021) Review

So I finally watched What if? Over-all I found it to be a great show. It was an interesting look into the kinds of things we could see going forward in the marvel Disney + shows. I finally finished watching it during a current bout of illness (mild covid) and finally had the motivation to finish watching the show after taking a little break for holiday stuff. What If? Is an Anthology series taking a look at the now wide-open multiverse of possibilities shown through the eyes of The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) an ultra-powerful cosmic being who has taken an oath of non interference, until another dangerous cosmic being forces his hand. 

Episode 1: What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

A great start to the series. This episode is a new version of the Captain America story, but with Peggy Carter becoming the first Super Soldier instead, with Steve taking the role of a photo Iron Man type called the Hydra Stomper. It was cool seeing Peggy doing all the Captain America stuff, but with it being animation allows her to do more creative and impressive things than what we’ve seen Steve do. I didn’t know how I would feel about the art and animation style when I first saw it, but I really enjoyed it. Fluid motion and looks amazing. The performances were pretty good. It was a great first start and I can’t wait to see more.

Episode 2: What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

Another great episode. This episode is a version of the Star Lord story where T’Challa is taken instead of Peter Quill. It’s an interesting episode seeing how different things are with T’Challa instinctively helping the universe to the point of Thanos becoming an Ally. I’m surprised the Dark Order joined the collector, but it was interesting seeing the collector being a full villain. The voice acting was very good, the animation was incredible as well. Very colourful and interesting. Over-all another good episode and I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.

Episode 3: What If… The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

Another great episode. The first episode with what could be seen as a depressing story. Which is similar to the comics as they get depressing a lot. This episode focuses a lot of telling a different version of the major first parts of the founding of the avengers, but instead of it going the way it’s supposed to they end up dead. The episode sets up a mystery asking who is doing this and how they are doing it. It’s pretty interesting seeing the first example of a hero gone villain with the reveal that it’s been Hank Pym the whole time to get revenge on Fury for the death of Hope. This all ends with Loki coming and deciding to take over the earth reciting the speech he gave in Marvel’s Avengers. The performances were good, the episode was interesting, the animation was great. Another good episode.

Episode 4: What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

Another great episode, and also another depressing episode. It’s episodes like this that what if was made for. This episode is asking the question of what if Dr Strange lost his heart (his love Christine) instead of his hands. It’s a really interesting episode as it’s the first one where the story we know is only at the beginning. After the recap we get a new story with a split timeline in the universe, one where strange stayed at the sanctum sanctorum, and another where strange tried to save Christine and became obsessed with doing so. Leading to him falling down a rabbit hole of absorbing the power of possibly millions of mystical beings and eventually leading to the destruction of his universe. The performances are great, it’s the second time we see what a character is willing to do to get his goal, even becoming a monster in the process. This is also the first time we see the watcher be acknowledged by the characters in the show. The first glimpse of the endgame of the season. Over-all a great episode. 

Episode 5: What If… Zombies?!

This was a good episode. It was intriguing to see how they were going to do the Marvel Zombies adaptation, and it’ll be interesting to see how the spin-off handles it. This episode focused on the survivors of the quantum virus trying to find a cure. It was interesting to see that while the zombies couldn’t talk, they could still fight and use their abilities like they did when alive. It was cool seeing how the characters were used in the episode and what their roles were. This episodes has a bit of a hopeful spin to it….until we see Zombi thanks with an almost completed infinity gauntlet, as this takes place during infinity war. A good episode over-all.

Episode 6: What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

This was another good episode. It was interesting to see how deep this version of Killmonger’s plan went and how much he fully succeeded for the time being. It was cool to see him interact with these moments in MCU history like the origins of Iron Man. The way this sets itself up as a story about Tony and Erik was interesting, and shows even more how determined he is for his goal to succeed. Over-all a good episode with a good cliff ganger for the future.

Episode 7: What If… Thor Were an Only Child?

This was a really fun episode. Perhaps the first almost fully comedic episode of What If, where Thor doesn’t have Loki as his adoptive brother and becomes a massive partier….to the point it’s possibly endangered planets. This is the biggest change in what if so far and it’s fun to see the difference in the characters here, like Loki and Thor are friends and all the different characters that show up as part of the planet wide party. This is the most complete story in the show so far, it has a defined beginning middle and end. It has a good character arc for this version of Thor who learns his lesson and becomes a better person for it. The fight with Captain Marvel was awesome and very well animated. This is a stand-out episode for the animation style as it’s incredible as always, but the variety of characters and situations really fits here. This also has our next big view at the endgame of the season, with the introduction of Infinity Ultron intruding on this universe. Possibly the first example of true universal transportation seen in the MCU as far as I’m aware. Over-all this was a great episode, very enjoyable. 

Episode 8: What If… Ultron Won?

This was an insane episode, another huge difference in characters, also depressing, but also hopeful. The biggest view of the endgame since it’s the second last episode, and what it sets up for the final episode is huge. It establishes the threat we first saw at the end of the last episode, and also makes us question what we know about the multiverse and even the infinity stones. Infinity Ultron is insanely powerful and able to do so much in this show. He has the powers of himself, vision and the infinity gauntlet. His fight with the watcher throughout the multiverse was awesome. Another episode that shows why it’s great this was an animated series. The set up for the watcher deciding to get involved is awesome and bringing in the help of strange supreme was great. Over-all another great episode.

Episode 9: What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?

This was a great finale to the series. We get a view of what the characters have been up to since we last saw them in their episode, as well as a view at a world we haven’t seen yet. That was interesting how Gamora in the Thanos armour wasn’t in an episode this season, I forget why but I think I remember seeing them say they didn’t have the time for it. It was really cool seeing these characters interact, for the most part, Killmonger didn’t interact with the others much. Which kinda disappoints me as Black Panther Killmonger interacting with Star Lord T’Challa. The fight between the Guardians of the Multiverse (as the watcher calls them) and Infinity Ultron was amazing. It was creative and the way they defeated him was interesting. It was a pretty good finale to the first season.

The characters and acting in the series is top notch. Most people returned to their characters, including being the last time Chadwick Boseman played T’Challa before his untimely passing. Everyone did an amazing job, giving the feel of their characters, but also making sure they feel different enough. The characters and their storylines where great, even though a lot of them got depressing. I know that was a major thing in the comic stories, where the end is usually everyone dies. I think the ones I enjoyed the most story wise are 2,3,4,7. 

The visuals are top notch. The art and animation style are incredible and colourful. It’s incredible to watch. My favourite episodes for animation are 2,4,7,8,9 as they make the most use out of the medium. I also like how the series isn’t afraid to get dark, brutal, and gory with its subject matter. The music is pretty good as well, giving us something new as well as something familiar (not unlike the series itself). 

Over-all I think this is a must watch and would recommend it. I don’t know if you have to watch them all, but i still say watch them. Two Thumbs Up !!

At the end here I’m putting some cool posters they made for the show, I would have put them with their episodes but the way I went is more unified.

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