(SPOILERS for What If…? will obviously be found below.)
Disney ’s Loki officially launched the MCU’s multiverse. That’s a key storytelling tool that paves the way for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and, maybe (just maybe!) will make Jeremy Renner’s lead character in Hawkeye a more interesting hero than he’s been thus far. For those reasons and more, What If…? lands in a proper place in Marvel Studios’ timeline of films and TV series. Because this is an animated show, as well, the show can be even more daring while most of the MCU actors voice their characters in strange new scenarios. This week, we got to hear Chadwick Boseman’s voice onscreen for his final outing as T’Challa, although he led a very different life than in Black Panther. That seemingly small change led to a domino effect across the MCU.
It’s a novel series, and Marvel can use it to troll the heck out of people, too. That wasn’t the case with Peggy Carter taking the super-soldier serum, but it sure as heck happened this week. T’Challa was revealed to have been taken by Yondu from Wakanda as a child. That puts Peter Quill apparently out of the game, and there’s also an incredible twist here that shades Star-Lord’s reputation as the worst hero in the MCU. Remember this: if Chris Pratt’s character hadn’t lost his temper in Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos may not have acquired all the stones and put an end to half the life in the universe.
In What If…?, however, T’Challa’s wisdom, clout, and grace resulted in him convincing Thanos not to steal the Infinity Stones and, instead, to find another way to reallocate the world resources. So not only does T’Challa prevent the genocidal Snap, but we also got to see Thanos, looking thicc for real (not as a joke), enjoying himself at a bar.
From there, we learned about the Embers of Genesis being able to terraform an entire ecosystem with nutrients, so yep, that means that the MCU never experiences the snap in this reality. That, right there, not only changes everything we know (but only for this show), and we also got to enjoy seeing Thanos holding a dog. Also, Drax the Destroyer surfaced as a bartender and Star-Lord fanboy, and Nebula looked absolutely stunning, compared to her usual miserable state (before Thanos’ kids later beat the stuffing out of him). In short, T’Challa being Star-Lord did wonders for the universe at large.
Let’s just say that people freaking loved the Thanos twist on Twitter.
Disney ’s ‘What If…?’ streams new episodes on Wednesdays.