Why What If Episode 3 Is the Marvel Show's Best Installment Yet - VRGyani News and Media

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Why What If Episode 3 Is the Marvel Show's Best Installment Yet

[This article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of What If…?]

The first two episodes of Marvel’s new animated series What If…? felt like dipping a toe in the water and trying to ease the casual fan into the concept of the show. “What If…Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?” and “What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord” are at their core familiar stories. Their premise is literally just swapping out one character for another, and it makes for something cute yet comfortable. The first episode becomes a gender-swapped Captain America: The First Avenger and the second episode is basically, “What if instead of a bunch of screw-ups, the Guardians of the Galaxy were a noble heisting crew?”

And yet What If…?’s greatest potential lies not in comforting the audience but in throwing their expectations out the window and going wild. That’s why the third episode, “What If…The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” was such a delightful relief as it proceeded to kill off The Avengers in a story of revenge from an angry Hank Pym. As we saw beloved characters like Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk get offed, it really threw the MCU into chaos and opened the door for the unexpected, which is really what this show has going for it.

RELATED: Who Voices Black Widow in ‘Marvel’s What If…?’ Episode 3?

That’s not to say the rest of the MCU is “predictable”, but rather it has to interconnect, stay proper, and really can’t have any life-or-death stakes where things could go horribly wrong. Episode 3 of What If…? doesn’t worry about any of that, and as a result is highly entertaining with its darkly comic tone. It’s like someone wandered into the Marvel Studios office and just started creating chaos and mischief (the presence of Loki in this episode doesn’t feel like an accident), and they just had to run it.

This devil-may-care attitude is what I want to see from What If…? I don’t really need to see the stories I already know with a different protagonist. It’s cute and comforting, but “cute and comforting” is a task already filled by most MCU movies. They don’t need more of that attitude, and to make such a minor change defeats the point of the series. If you’re going to ask "What If…?" shouldn’t the answer to that question be big, bold, and outlandish since the outcomes won’t have any effect on the larger MCU narrative? Why do something as simple as “What if instead of this hero it’s this other hero” when you could have the fun of “What if we just murdered the heroes?”

I don’t know what the future holds for What If…? but my hope is that while the first two episodes were tasters to get the casual fan on board with the premise of the series, it’s Episode 3 that shows what the show really intends to do and starts taking us on wilder and more outlandish rides through the MCU to show what Marvel would never do in a big, theatrical release but wouldn’t mind doing on an animated Disney+ show. If that means killing Avengers or (as the trailers have shown) turning them into zombies, then I’m fully on board with that kind of multiversal mayhem.

KEEP READING: 'What If...?' Episode 2 Easter Eggs Explained: Everything You Might Have Missed



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