"Marvel's What If...?" Season One Talkback (Spoilers)

Rate & Discusss this Season!


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Freddy

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I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. The story was good time and with T'Challa Star-Lord they had pretty decent balance of him being more serious than Peter Quill, but still more comedic than he was in the main timeline. I did, however, raise an eyebrow over Korath and Thanos. Yeah yeah, alternative universe and butterfly effect, but it would be one thing for Korath to simply respect T'Challa and being a total fanboy over him, especially since he was portrayed as such a no-nonsense warrior in the movies. As for Thanos, since we don't actually see T'Challa talk him out of his plans, it doesn't feel right to imply that Infinity War could have been avoided, if the heroes simply explained their stance on the matter more politely to him.
 

Yojimbo

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It was quite amusing how much changed because Yondu didn't go after Peter personally. Noticed T'Challa goes after the Power Stone 6 years before Peter does (2008 vs. 2014) so I guess that would be a nitpick given Morag's situation but they never did establish exactly when every 300 years the waters recede or for how long. It was intriguing enough that the Collector becomes a bigger threat when Thanos became a Ravager, wonder if that's a hint of things to come in the main timeline given Collector avoided getting killed by Thanos in IW. I mean, he even killed a couple big bads and stole their gear like Hela and Malekith. Nebula sporting blonde hair was amusing and impicitly having a thing with T'Challa was probably the most unexpected thing. Also intriguing was the absence of Gamora.

Ha ha, but nice to see some things stayed constant like Carina betraying the Collector.

But honorableninja hit the nail in the head, it was truly a celebration about what a difference one man can make.

Wonder if this version of Peter and Ego will be revisited next season.
 

Rick Jones

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The episode was a lot of fun but I really don't know if I could picture T'Challa being able to reform Thanos the way that he did. He would still have a lot of blood on his hands by this point but everybody just treats him like a jolly giant. I'm sure he's met lots of people at this point to have tried to reason with him. What made T'Challa's approach so successful?

Cap shouldn't be around yet on this timeline, so I wonder when The Collector would have gone and gotten his shield. It's also pretty interesting that he would have so much swag from so much heavy hitters. I guess that he really was much more of a threat without a despot like Thanos around too quell his fire.

If this is 2008, Shuri should probably be a lot younger at the end when we have the whole big family reunion. I'm not sure if it's legitimate canon that the little boy from Iron Man 2 was Peter Parker but in Spider-Man Homecoming, we do see that when the Battle of New York happened, Liz Allan was still young enough to make pictures that looked grade school level, and I think she might even be older than Shuri.

I wonder if Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk have emerged yet or will emerge in this world. That doesn't matter as far as this story goes, but it would be interesting to see if it was affected any like all this other stuff.

I really liked the whole back and forth between "Cha Cha" and Nebula. It felt very flirtatious while also dangerous, much like the type of interaction we would see in a heist movie or a movie based around con artists, etc. Korath being such a fanboy felt odd but there must be something about T'Challa's charm and prowess that brings it out of people. I wonder how Ronan would react to this or what he'd even be up to while all of this is going on.

I never thought of the Black Order being independent operators outside of Thanos's rule but I really don't know much about them outside of what I've seen in cartoons or movies.

These What If...? scenarios really do raise so many more questions but I did think the episode was a lot of fun. The Watcher seemed to hint at something very cataclysmic happening at the end due to Ego retrieving Peter on his own. I wonder if this will lead into a return to this timeline. The next episode has been the one I've really been eager to see but it was nice to get a little more time with Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa, or T'Challa period.



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Neo Ultra Mike

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"What If... T'Challa Became A Star Lord" - You know I'm pretty sure the team purposely made the first episode with Peggy as Captain Carter as a "yeah see look at us slightly ease you into the idea of how expansive this could be" considering it was still a Captain America related character becoming a Captain America esque character without much crossover between the various worlds of the MCU. Thus kind of thinking we'd get a bunch of stuff like that "What If Pepper was Iron Woman" "what if Jane was Thor before that actually happens in Thor 4?" "What if Hank actually let his daughter Hope be Ant Man?" You know a lot of ones that keep the worlds the same just by changing who is the top dog. But yeah thankfully we're seeing a lot more then that in only the second episode as this pretty much crosses over two of the most beloved yet different worlds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy. Like yeah both are worlds about amazing tech with heroes with a powerful family lineage but in terms of tones and identities it's hard to think of two more differing ones in the MCU. So the idea of mixing them together actually is already exciting and then you take the premise of "what if T'Challa was the one who wound up being taken by Yondu" as the key difference maker and go from there and yeah you get a pretty solid adventure.

One weakness I am noticing is that due to probably the limited length and the fact that these are sort of one offs does make it hard to have an interesting emotional core. Since here it's pretty much Yondu lying about Wakanda being destroyed and T'Challa being mad at him about it for... like a minute but then still them working together and yeah having that happy ending of T'Challa going back home. Like I don't mind having a happy ending but quite honestly any sense of drama of T'Challa finding out his home wasn't destroyed felt super rushed and honestly I think it would of been more interesting if this was a world where yeah the earth really did scorch itself. Like something really good happened to the universe because of T'Challa becoming Star Lord but there was a cost for it especially since that moment of T'Chaka's hologram in the space ship was like super cheesy and if the emotion isn't earned just felt there for the sake of being dramatic but no weight being pulled from it. And honestly I don't think with these unless the focus is on it should there really be drama. I get having that in the movies and in the other shows because you know those have the time and space to develop them but these 30 minute stories really don't so it does feel ridiculously forced. Also do kind of wish we had a better like finishing move for Collector because the battle with him was good and I think his fate was appropriate but they winked too hard at Yondu taking away his "call the other items" device so that super rocket knee to the face didn't have the same impact it really should of.

That said I did really like the rest of this. Honestly I know some people still felt Chadwick Boseman was a bit too stotic for T'Challa but that was the point of the character in the MCU to play counter to most of the other heroes. He could be really charmy and witty (seriously watch Marshall that's a really good example of him oozing charm as an actor) so it is nice to see them go in that direction. Honestly I like the idea since this was a T'Challa who wanted to see the universe and explore the worlds him bonding a lot quicker then Peter who probably spent so much time in a state of shock/sadness being taken when his mother died that he could be much more easily emotionally manipualted by Yondu. here though much more equal partnership and really like how this actually does totally change how the Ravagers work. It is fun totally exploring this different world where the last one felt still bound to the typical Captain America story while this could be much more it's own thing quickly passing through the Guardians of the Galaxy 1 opening into an Ocean's 11 style plot. And though Ant man is a heist series it always had a different feel then an Ocean's "let's explain the plan through montage and then slowly reveal all the triple crosses going on as it's happening." It's not as clever as Rick and Morty making fun of how ridiculous these set ups are but it works and I admit I was kind of "tricked" by Nebula's triple cross since yeah we don't know exactly how the allegiances will entirely go in this set up so I could see her going true to her more comic book roots of being more just a general villain but I like that the actual plan was between T'Challa and her using him as a diversion while she got the actual goods. Plus the action in this one though probably not having as impressive shots as Peggy flying around through the air last week still some good action. Thanos owning the guards and being tag teamed by Proxima Midnight and Corvus was good especially Nebula coming in and how she took out the two. And yeah it was super cool seeing The Collector use the Dark elve blade and then Hela's horns in combat and Yondu and T'Challa double teaming him. And do love that Carina helped out T'Challa so she could get proper payback against Collector by having all of those he collected off him. Much better use of her getting vengeance then just trying to off herself and also like the idea of Collector having been this big bad because of the power vaccum left by Thanos.

Easily the best part of this though is seeing how different pretty much everyone is because of T'Challa Star Lord. I love the idea that not only is Thanos a member of the Ravagers because T'Challa was able to convince him the Infinity Gauntlet snap away plan was bad but everyone making fun of him for being "Captain Genocide" when he still thinks that idea had merit and no one being behind it. That's been played as a joke on the internet but it's nice to see Marvel get in on that from a Thanos it makes sense to jest with in that matter and like him getting back at Korath for making fun of him or him actually trying to be a good father by staying behind. I do really like how this is a more playful Nebula too who is rocking much more of her standard beauty queen look from the comics (I don't remember her being blond in them though but the work goes with her) flirting with T'Challa and T'Challa even pointing out how he tried to put her and Thanos in therapy and her still having issues with her dad at the end but them being closer. I like seeing Howard give instructions on how to reach the specific item and T'Challa being confused just frees him and Howard uses that opportunity just to get a drink even as all the doors are closing. I like seeing Kraglin and Taserface more on the same general page as members of the crew and the "all humans look alike" was actually a really solid joke. I do like Yondu being fine with being more openly protective and him having to stumble at the idea of admitting he took T'Challa at the end was great. And really funny Drax cameo of him getting a picture with T'Challa (and major props to Fred Tatiscore because yeah I thought Dave Baustista returned for this but he didn't but I couldn't tell the same) though oddly enough I think my favorite character here was Korath. Really in the original Guardians movie his biggest claim to fame was going "... Who" and confused shrug and yeah his death and... being there in Captain marvel didn't net him as really an interesting character but them totally changing that to making him a Star Lord fanboy who knows all about him and wants to get in a fight with him and comments how good he is and Star Lord taking pity and making him a Ravager and him claiming to be Star Lord's best friend is just so funny. Like Djmon Honsou even when selling confused still had a seriousness to him which was part of the joke but he just went full force goofy here and that really worked for me and the idea of this guy being a Ravager who are now the "Robin Leech" (another funny reference) of the universe I just find so great.

So yeah really solid episode. Again the emotion isn't selling me but the fun heist and different twists on all of these characters and most of the action was and yeah though we obviously tease a "What if Peter met his father while he had lived on earth for so long" at the end do like this self contained adventure. I am hoping for a more serious one of these or one that doesn't really try for the heart as this sort of stories it doesn't work for but still good stuff. And yeah nice tribute with Chadwick at the end though I think we see him in other episodes but eh get to those when we get to those I suppose.
 

Rick Jones

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I'm guessing that the Dairy Queen we see Peter working at is the same one from his hometown that was destroyed by Ego's pods in Guardians 2.



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Frontier

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It was very bittersweet hearing Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in this. Sweet in the sense of how great it was to hear him in the role again and still instilling the character with the humanity and personality he embodied on film, and how true to the character this episode was, but sad still thinking of what a monumental loss his death was :crying:.

Who knew the key to Peter Quill getting taken into space was Yondu not leaving it to the other Ravagers :p?

T'Chaka! It was pretty awesome they got John Kani back and we got to see young T'Chaka and old T'Chaka. You can kind of assume his resistance to the Western world is in part driven by what happened to his brother :sad:.

T'Challa as Star-Lord...definitely paints a better picture than Peter Quill as Star-Lord. I mean, he actually ends up becoming the competent and legendary outlaw Quill portrayed himself as, he gets long better with Yondu, he redeems the Ravagers and basically turns them into the Guardians of this universe, he makes Korath into a fanboy and gets him to join the good guys, he manages to talk Thanos out of his plan, he helps Nebula become more well-adjusted and repair her relationship with her father (and have hair), Drax's family survives (solid Drax voice from Fred Tatasciore, by the way) he helps Carina defy the Collector and survive, he frees all of the Collector's prisoners, and...he gets to go home and reunite with his family, with a still alive T'Chaka. At least up until the end this really seems like a much better timeline o_O.

At the same time...it feels like some of the changes to the setting felt a little too silly or fun at the expense of what we went through with the characters in the main timeline? Like Korath was this loyal soldier and then he just becomes a goofy best friend character making jokes. And Thanos killed millions, ravaged planets, mentally abused and traumatized his daughters, and now he gets to be a good guy who has a running gag about how his plan wasn't actually a genocide? I guess sometimes it pays not to think too deeply about that :(.

Nebula meeting T'Challa and T'Challa helping with Thanos lets her get more in touch with her feminine side, complete with long blonde hair with a dash of a femme fatale edge (but still far from evil, especially when it comes to her Cha-Cha). I don't think that's her natural hair color, and it didn't seem like a wig, so did she get some genetic modifications to have hair? Or maybe she she wasn't mechanized as much in this universe to where she couldn't grow hair anymore? It's not a bad look for her, surreal as that is to say. And she and T'Challa totally have something going on. I think they were definitely going to have a very specific kind rendezvous when they reunited :rolleyes2:.

I am kind of curious about the fate of the other Guardians. I guess Rocket and Groot probably just kept on doing the same stuff they were doing before they got arrested with the rest of the team. We saw Nebula but they conspicuously never mentioned what happened to Gamora...I'm almost kind of wondering if this is the same world where Gamora ends up becoming her father :eek:.

Was...was that female Ravager always there? She seems new (it was nice to see Kraglin and Taserface though) :confused:.

The Collector becoming super buff was...something, but I guess he needed more of a physical presence here. I'm kind of amazed he had Cap's shield, Mjolnir, Helmet's headdress, and Malekith's knife...as well as Korg's arm :mad:!

The Black Order being in the employ of the Collector was unexpected, but I guess they were always going to end up becoming mooks/bad guys. I'm not sure if this appearance was more impressive for them than their roles in the movies, given they die just as quick, but I guess at least Proxima gets more to do :rolleyes:.

Ha, The Mad Titan is mad. I see what they did there ;).

Howard! It's kind of funny to see him go from a cameo, an appearance in Marvel cartoons, to now being inserted back into his first MCU appearance in an MCU cartoon, all voiced by Seth Green :D.

Nothing to get the Wakandan Space Program going quite like the Crown Prince vanishing into space. I don't want to think about what the Collector did with those Doras :oops:.

It was nice to see Cosmo again. That scene at the end with him in the cockpit with T'Challa and Yondu would've been the perfect spot for him to finally star talking telepathically, but maybe they're saving that for when they cast someone as his voice in the movies :).

Just when it seems all happy and fun with T'Challa back in Wakanda...Ego finds an adult Peter Quill on Earth (at Dairy Queen of all things), still listening to music but without the experience and adventures needed to oppose his dad, and thus dooming the universe. Because change comes with cost :knd1:.

(As an aside, Brian T. Delaney does a good Chris Pratt impression :cool:).
 

Yojimbo

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I really don't know if I could picture T'Challa being able to reform Thanos the way that he did.
I think the main idea was that T'Challa is more personable than Peter Quill and was always going to be skilled in diplomacy and bring the best out of people. T'Challa encountering people like Thanos pre-Phase 1 timeline, stopped a lot of things that happened in the MCU except for a few things like Carina betraying the Collector or Ronan seeking the Power Stone.
I never thought of the Black Order being independent operators outside of Thanos's rule but I really don't know much about them outside of what I've seen in cartoons or movies.
I guess without them being conditioned to Thanos' ideology, they would easily fall under the employ of whoever filled the power vacuum.
 

JoeMabbon

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That was one of the best "Or is it?" endings I've seen in a long time.

I think the main idea was that T'Challa is more personable than Peter Quill and was always going to be skilled in diplomacy and bring the best out of people.
It was a little more than just being personable, Quill was able to turn a crew of killers and a-holes and killers into the Guardians after all. It was more that T'Challa threw himself headlong into adventure, which is why his relationship with Yondu and the Ravagers was so much better than Quill's who was forcibly abducted. Right after his mom died.
 

Rick Jones

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Nebula meeting T'Challa and T'Challa helping with Thanos lets her get more in touch with her feminine side, complete with long blonde hair with a dash of a femme fatale edge (but still far from evil, especially when it comes to her Cha-Cha). I don't think that's her natural hair color, and it didn't seem like a wig, so did she get some genetic modifications to have hair? Or maybe she she wasn't mechanized as much in this universe to where she couldn't grow hair anymore? It's not a bad look for her, surreal as that is to say. And she and T'Challa totally have something going on. I think they were definitely going to have a very specific kind rendezvous when they reunited :rolleyes2:.

Just when it seems all happy and fun with T'Challa back in Wakanda...Ego finds an adult Peter Quill on Earth (at Dairy Queen of all things), still listening to music but without the experience and adventures needed to oppose his dad, and thus dooming the universe. Because change comes with cost :knd1:

I was wondering who voiced Drax but I didn't realize it was Fred, which is funny with his old VA Dave Sobolov working on the episode too but this sort of thing must happen all the time in voice acting. One switcheroo that was always funny to me was when James Arnold Taylor and Josh Keaton voiced Peter Parker and Harry Osborn respectively in the Friend or Foe video game and then had the roles reversed when they were doing Spectacular Spider-Man.

It seems as though things with Thanos changed before Nebula had to really start undergoing all of the gruesome cybernetic modifications that he subjected on her, including the ones on her scalp. Did they make mention of her having an eye replaced here?

Much respect to anyone working hard at what they do at Dairy Queen but it's a shame that Peter probably ended up there driftless. I guess he really did need to touch the stars and to be somewhat guided by Yondu. It does seem as though this twist could give way to one of those really dark What If...? endings, despite all of the positive change we've seen due to T'Challa leaving Wakanda for space.

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reflection01

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I enjoyed this episode quite a lot. The story was good time and with T'Challa Star-Lord they had pretty decent balance of him being more serious than Peter Quill, but still more comedic than he was in the main timeline. I did, however, raise an eyebrow over Korath and Thanos. Yeah yeah, alternative universe and butterfly effect, but it would be one thing for Korath to simply respect T'Challa and being a total fanboy over him, especially since he was portrayed as such a no-nonsense warrior in the movies. As for Thanos, since we don't actually see T'Challa talk him out of his plans, it doesn't feel right to imply that Infinity War could have been avoided, if the heroes simply explained their stance on the matter more politely to him.

It’s implied T’Challa met Thanos well before we met Thanos at the end of The Avengers.


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Magmaster12

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The quality of voice acting is all over the place for this ranging from terrific to god awful.

This is most likely the reason why movie actors are not used for the cartoons, many have busy careers and only have so many takes they can do, hence why John Kani can give an amazing voice-over, while Karen Gillan who is huge right now can barely pull off a performance.

Super weird considering how many actors from Dr. Who give their best work in the audio dramas.
 

Frontier

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The quality of voice acting is all over the place for this ranging from terrific to god awful.

This is most likely the reason why movie actors are not used for the cartoons, many have busy careers and only have so many takes they can do, hence why John Kani can give an amazing voice-over, while Karen Gillan who is huge right now can barely pull off a performance.

Super weird considering how many actors from Dr. Who give their best work in the audio dramas.
I don't know if it was so much Gillian sounding off so much as Nebula sounding different because her characterization is different in this.
 

Freddy

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The quality of voice acting is all over the place for this ranging from terrific to god awful.

This is most likely the reason why movie actors are not used for the cartoons, many have busy careers and only have so many takes they can do, hence why John Kani can give an amazing voice-over, while Karen Gillan who is huge right now can barely pull off a performance.

Super weird considering how many actors from Dr. Who give their best work in the audio dramas.

I personally thought Gillan did fine. Sure, her performance was maybe little understated, but I think that was by design, since they were going for that "Film Noir Femme Fatale" archetype. Compared to previous episode, at least there weren't any downright clunkily delivered lines like Sebastian Stan and Dominic Cooper had.
 

Gold Guy

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I liked both episodes, but episode 2, to me, really took advantage of the show's format better.

My favorite scene in the first episode was actually Captain Peggy's first action scene. There's this CBM trope where when heroes first use their powers, they get kinda giddy about it, and it was cute seeing her excited reactions to being able to flip trucks over, among other things. It's a side of her we haven't seen too much.

But the second episode overall just had a lot more fun stuff. Thanos being a good guy, Nebula with hair (and flirting with T'Challa, Carina getting to live, that Howard the Duck cameo, etc. Also, a fun flex that they got Kurt Russell back, just to say a single line. Maybe he'll pop up again soon?

Voice performance wise, I also think episode 2 was way more consistent, and Chadwick Boseman gave a genuinely good vocal performance, he obviously had fun with it. Josh Brolin also sounded pretty much the same, but I guess his role in IW/Endgame was already part voice performance after all. For what it's worth, I thought Nebula sounded fine. I even laughed at her line reading of "Should I mark you down as undecided?"

The animation took some getting used to, but I do think the action scenes really pop, and that might be the most important thing at the end of the day. The shading is a lot better than a lot of the recent cartoons, at least.
 

hobbyfan

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Fun first episode. The only thing with the look of the show that I still need to get accustomed to is how cartoony character expressions can be. There were some fun action moments here. It did move very fast and I don't know how much they could have really slowed it down but having a little room to breathe probably wouldn't have hurt. I had no problem with the voices although I thought that Howard Stark felt a lot like Varrick from Legend of Korra at times. Red Skull's goal here felt a lot more like it was in those first episodes of Earth Mightiest Heroes where he was pulling in Asgardian beasts to make up his army. I wish we got maybe a little taste of what the effects of this change were on the wider world. They definitely left room for more story at the end, which is the MCU way. As much as I'm glad to see them acknowledging that first one-shot short, Bradley Whitford's character was insufferable for me. Not even a little bit of the patronizing attitude from the short but a full on, non stop chauvinist. They really made me miss Colonel Phillips. How is this guy in charge of anything with his lack of a mind for this? All in all, so far so good. I hope to see them really dive into the craziness of the premise even more with the future episodes. (You would think a Cthulhu elder god creature would be crazy enough)

I can't believe that I didn't think of how much this would remind me of Wonder Woman until I was actually watching the episode.


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Dominic Cooper was reprising his role as Howard Stark here. The opener kicked butt. Terrific animation, best I've seen in a Marvel cartoon in more than a decade.
 

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Another "What If?" question to ponder. Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

whatif_card.jpg
Marvel's What If...?
Season 1, Episode 3
- What If the World Lost its Mightiest Heroes?
Episode Debut
- August 25, 2021

Comments?

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Additionally, please use Spoiler Tags if you wish to discuss the events of an episode in other threads outside this Talkback for the first 7 days after its premiere (i.e., as soon as a new episode debuts, Spoiler Tags for the previous episode aren't mandatory any longer).
 

Yojimbo

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Hmm, very intriguing. So the implication is in the main MCU, S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to recruit Hope van Dyne at some point but she turned them down and remained at Pym Tech. But here in this AU, she said yes, was killed in the line of duty implicitly by the Winter Soldier because of the mention of an Odessa mission (which in the main MCU Black Widow famously took on and was shot by Winter Soldier), and Hank went mad with grief and used the Yellowjacket armor to assassinate all the Avengers recruits. And this all cascaded into Loki taking over Earth without Thanos and Fury paging Captain Marvel way earlier in the timeline. I was a little bummed they didn't end it on what the new Avengers team looked like.
 

Rick Jones

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I was really clueless about what the catalyst would be until we got to the resolution. It was pretty grim to see all of the Avengers taken out like that, and to see Hank lose it to that degree. Bruce's death was especially gruesome. "What If Hank Pym went berserk?"

I was wondering if the point of time that changed was maybe Hope learning about her father and mother's SHIELD exploits earlier and deciding to go into the family business while she didn't learn in the main continuity until it had to be dragged out of Hank during the first Ant-Man movie.

On another note, it was kind of personally funny to see Lake Bell working as a voiceover actor here, after seeing and enjoying her movie about doing voiceover work years back.

One quibble I had with the episode was that I just thought that some of the humor was misplaced. I really enjoyed seeing them attempt an episode like this and I was looking forward to this.

I was a little bummed they didn't end it on what the new Avengers team looked like.

All three of these episodes have had endings that feel like they're leading up to sequels or revisits. This might just be a one and done though, ending on the note of Fury still trying to assemble a team to take on Loki and his Asguardian troops now as a way to exemplify that Hope never dies, like The Watcher says. I do wonder what other recruits Nick would have besides the two Captains. Skrulls, Inhumans, rebellious Asgardians, Wakandans? Who knows? It would be interesting to see whoever it was.

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