What If…?—Season 1

what if season 1 poster review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun and different look at the Multiverse, Uatu

Needs to be more daring and risk taking since it is free of constraint

what if season 1 title card review episode guide

Enter a world of endless possibilities!

From a home outside of the universes, Uatu the Watcher sees the Multiverse and maintains his oath not to interfere.  From his perch, Uatu sees a world where Peggy Carter becomes a hero of World War II, T’Challa is defender of the galaxy that no one expected, the Avengers never formed, Dr. Strange takes a dangerous path, a hungry horror consumes Earth, Erik Killmonger raises the bar on his revenge, Thor chooses a life of partying, and Ultron finds the ultimate power.  With all the danger in the multiverse, Uatu discovers that he might have to make the ultimate choice concerning his oath.

What If…?—Season 1 is a Marvel Comics anthology animated series.  The series premiered on Disney+ on August 11, 2021 and aired weekly until October 6, 2021.  The series received positive reviews.

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Is Zombie Scarlet Witch that far off real Scarlet Witch?

I have always been a big fan of the Watcher and What If…?  The idea of endless possibilities gives fans a means to question those moments in films (and originally comics) where the odds are stacked against the heroes and they prevail…often here, they don’t.  What If…? is a fun and relatively quick ride into the unknown, though some of the stories do become a bit tedious.

The benefit of an anthology series is that if you don’t like one episode, you get a “do-over” the next episode.  While there were a few dull entries to What If…? this season, largely most of the episodes did have good points to them.  In addition to creating interesting spins on stories, the series manages to carry on the spirit of the source films by not really having the characters act out in ways that are unrealistic…even with something like the Doctor Strange episode, it feels like Doctor Strange would take those paths to save Christine…because of not losing his hands and the change in perception that created.

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Though Darcy drives me nuts I’d watch a Darcy-Howard the Duck show…and anxiously await the arrival of Beverly who wouldn’t be happy about it

A problem of What If…? which I have seen floating around online is a legitimate criticism.  Due to the MCU, What If…? seems a bit limited to the MCU.  The stories are inherently tied to the movies instead of the comics since those are the characters that viewers know.  This makes sense, but it also doesn’t have to be the case because the title literally frees up a lot of aspects of being locked into the MCU and I wish the series was a bit more daring…like What If…Marvel Comics 616 World Was the MCU?  It could be fun and What If…? kind of skirts some of the fun by sticking with the MCU.

I will say that the stories do a decent job building suspense.  A lot of the episodes (especially near the end) get a little tense and the stakes are surprisingly high despite the Multiverse aspect.  When a story can literally be erased or ignored, the Multiverse creates a danger in tension, but the series does a decent job keeping the stakes high (which rarely was the case with the comic book).

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I feel seen

I do hope moving forward that the series highlights some of the minor characters and potentially introduces characters that would never make a Marvel movie.  With such limited runs, this is probably an unlikely request, but even in scenes where we saw “flashes” of other worlds, I feel that What If…? missed opportunities to give fans extra cameos of characters that they have been requesting make the big MCU leap.  It has little cost and can be written off as an “alternate universe” even if the character later premieres in a bigger role.

What If…? is a winner in my book because it is fun and has potential.  The season is good, but it can be stronger.  The animation isn’t bad, but it is best when it is extreme and experimental.  I would love to see a bit more blending of What If…? with something like Star Wars:  Visions to see some really extreme versions of the Marvel Universe (and with multiple animators and storytellers, maybe longer seasons and more exploration would be possible).  Regardless, What If…? is a good addition and I’ll be watching the Watcher again when Season 2 rolls around.

What If…?—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

what if season 1 captain carter were the first avenger peggy

“What If…Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?”

1.1       What If…Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? Release Date:  08/11/21

Uatu the Watcher observes a reality where Peggy Carter finds herself forced to take up the Super-Soldier experiment during a Hydra attack and becomes the hero the world needs…Captain Carter!

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“What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?”

1.2       What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? Release Date:  08/18/21

Uatu sees a world where Uatu and the Ravagers accidentally kidnap T’Challa instead of Peter Quill.  Now Star-Lord is a hero and a mission to rob the Collector could force T’Challa to reconcile the past he thought he had lost forever.

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“What If…the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?”

1.3       What If…the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? Release Date:  08/25/21

Someone is targeting potential members of the Avengers Initiative…Tony Stark, Thor, and Hawkeye are dead.  Others are Fury’s potential team have been added to the list and those responsible for the murders must be found out before it is too late.

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“What If…Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?”

1.4       What If…Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? Release Date:  09/01/21

Dr. Christine Palmer has been killed in the accident which was meant to maim Dr. Stephen Strange and send him down a path to be the Sorcerer Supreme.  Uatu the Watcher sees a world where Christine’s death has Dr. Strange seeking to change an absolute point of time in order to save Christine…at any cost.

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“What If…Zombies?”

1.5       What If…Zombies?! Release Date:  09/08/21

Bruce Banner is headed to Earth to warn the heroes of the world of Thanos attack, but Uatu sees a world where a zombie plague is unleashed in the attempted rescue of Janet Van Dyne.  With a potential cure, the Bruce Banner and the survivors of the plague must battle hordes of zombies in the hopes of saving humanity.

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“What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?”

1.6       What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? Release Date:  09/15/21

Attacked by the Ten Rings, Tony Stark finds a savoir in Erik Killmonger…but the Watcher sees a world where Killmonger has bigger plans and an alliance with Stark could provide him the means to avenge his past.

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“What If…Thor Were an Only Child?”

1.7       What If…Thor Were an Only Child? Release Date:  09/22/21

Odin’s entering Odinsleep and Uatu sees an Earth where Thor has come to party.  Without Loki to keep him in check, Thor can get a little wild and saving Earth might mean S.H.I.E.L.D. will have to bring in the big guns to slow Thor down.

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“What If…Ultron Won?”

1.8       What If…Ultron Won? Release Date:  09/29/21

Ultron has claimed the Infinity Gems and the whole universe is at stake, but Ultron’s discovery of the Watcher and the Multiverse could mean that the more than the universe could die.

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“What If…the Watcher Broke His Oath?”

1.9       What If…The Watcher Broke His Oath? Release Date:  10/06/21

With Ultron threatening the multiverse, Uatu the Watcher must break his oath and interfere with the world.  Collecting heroes from different universes, the Guardians of the Multiverse are about to face off against Ultron…and the fate of reality hangs in the balance!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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