And if…? is an exciting animated television series that explores alternate realities and divergent paths within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Created by AC Bradley and inspired by the popular comic book series of the same name, the show takes viewers on a mind-bending journey through various what-if scenarios. Each episode presents a unique story, examining how pivotal moments in the history of the MCU could have played out differently. As the Watcher, a powerful cosmic being voiced by Jeffrey Wright, guides us through these alternate realities, we meet familiar characters facing unexpected challenges and witness the profound impact of their choices. With its captivating animation style and intriguing storytelling, What If…? offers fans a fresh and imaginative exploration of the Marvel Universe.
What If…? is an animated anthology series created by A. C. Bradley for Disney+. It is the fourth TV series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by Marvel Studios and the first animated series from Marvel Studios Animation. The show explores alternate timelines in the multiverse, depicting what would happen if key moments from the MCU films unfolded differently. Jeffrey Wright voices the Watcher, who narrates the series, while various MCU actors reprise their roles.
Development of the series started in 2018, and it was officially announced in April 2019. Bryan Andrews directed the first two seasons, with Bradley as head writer. The cel-shaded animation style, reflecting the films and drawing inspiration from classic American illustrators, was defined with the help of Marvel Studios’ Ryan Meinerding. The first season, comprising nine episodes, aired from August 11 to October 6, 2021, during Phase Four of the MCU. A second nine-episode season is planned for Phase Five, and a third season is under development.
Reviewers praised the show for its voice acting, animation, and creative storylines, but some criticized the episode lengths and writing. One of the episodes inspired a Marvel Zombies series that is also in development. What If…? offers a captivating and unique perspective on familiar MCU events, adding to the MCU’s expansive and imaginative storytelling.
Here is a brief summary of each episode of What If…? Season 1:
- What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?: Peggy Carter becomes the super-soldier instead of Steve Rogers and becomes known as Captain Carter. She fights alongside an armored Steve Rogers, known as the Hydra Stomper, and they face off against Hydra and Red Skull.
- What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?: T’Challa is abducted by the Ravagers instead of Peter Quill and becomes a legendary space outlaw known as Star-Lord. He embarks on an adventure to steal the Embers of Genesis and reunite with his family.
- What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?: Nick Fury’s attempts to recruit the Avengers end in their mysterious deaths. Fury discovers that Hank Pym is the murderer, seeking revenge for his daughter’s death. Fury and Loki team up to stop Pym and assemble a new team of heroes.
- What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?: After losing his girlfriend Christine Palmer, Doctor Strange becomes obsessed with reversing her death. He ends up splitting into two versions of himself, with one turning into an evil being called Strange Supreme and tearing reality apart.
- What If… Zombies?!: Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne cause a zombie apocalypse after returning from the Quantum Realm infected. A group of surviving heroes, including Bruce Banner and Peter Parker, search for a cure and face off against a zombie Wanda Maximoff.
- What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?: Killmonger saves Tony Stark’s life and manipulates events to gain power and control. He becomes the new Black Panther and helps Wakanda fend off an attack while Shuri seeks an alliance with Pepper Potts.
- What If… Thor Were an Only Child?: In this reality, Loki is returned to his biological father, Laufey, and Thor grows up as a party-loving prince. Thor’s antics attract the attention of Carol Danvers and Ultron, who possesses Vision’s body and seeks to destroy Earth.
- What If… Ultron Won?: Ultron acquires the Infinity Stones and annihilates most of humanity, launching a nuclear holocaust. Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff team up with Arnim Zola to fight against Ultron’s drones.
- What If… the Watcher Broke His Oath?: The Watcher assembles a team of alternate universe heroes, including Strange Supreme, Captain Carter, Star-Lord T’Challa, Party Thor, and Killmonger, to battle Ultron. They succeed in defeating Ultron with the help of an alternate version of Natasha Romanoff and Arnim Zola.
In a mid-credits scene, Captain Carter and her universe’s Natasha Romanoff discover the Hydra Stomper armor with someone inside.
The What If…? TV series is an animated anthology series created by A.C. Bradley for Disney+. It explores alternate scenarios within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Here are some of the actors and characters featured in the series:
- Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher (Uatu): The narrator and overseer of the multiverse, who observes the different alternate realities.
- Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter / Captain Carter: In an alternate timeline, Peggy Carter becomes the super-soldier known as Captain Carter.
- Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Star-Lord: In a different reality, T’Challa becomes Star-Lord instead of Black Panther.
- Josh Brolin as Thanos: The Mad Titan makes appearances in some episodes, exploring different outcomes related to his character.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury: The leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., who appears in various episodes.
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki: The God of Mischief appears in multiple episodes, showcasing different scenarios.
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor: Thor appears in various episodes, exploring different alternate versions of the character.
- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye: Clint Barton plays a role in some episodes, showcasing alternate versions of the character.
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk: Bruce Banner makes appearances in several episodes, exploring different storylines.
- Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier: Bucky Barnes appears in some episodes, showcasing different scenarios.
- Karen Gillan as Nebula: Nebula plays a role in certain episodes, exploring alternative versions of the character.
- Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man: Scott Lang appears in some episodes, showcasing different storylines.
These are just a few of the actors and characters in the What If…? TV series. The series features a wide array of characters from the MCU, each with their own unique alternate reality stories.
The What if…? The television series is an animated anthology series produced by Marvel Studios. Explore alternate realities and take familiar events from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and present them with a twist. The series is inspired by What if…? Comic book series published by Marvel Comics.
Each episode of the series focuses on a different what-if scenario and examines how it would affect the overall MCU narrative. The show features various characters from the MCU, with many of the original actors returning to voice their respective roles. However, the animation style gives the series a unique visual identity.
The production of What if…? involved a collaborative effort between Marvel Studios, the production company responsible for the MCU films, and animation studio Squeeze Animation. The series was overseen by Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, who also served as executive producer. Many of the creative teams and writers from the MCU films were involved in the development and execution of the series.
The first season of What if…? premiered on Disney+ on August 11, 2021, and consisted of nine episodes. The second season is expected to continue exploring alternative settings within the MCU and will premiere in 2022.
In general, What if…? offers fans a fresh and imaginative take on the Marvel universe, allowing them to explore alternate possibilities and see familiar characters in new and unexpected situations.