Is Marvel’s What If  worth the watch?

Spoiler Warning!!!

With the conclusion of Marvel’s Infinity Saga many have been wondering where the Marvel universe will go now. With the release of harmlessly mediocre shows such as Wanda Vision, and Captain Falcon and the Winter Soldier many thought Marvel was falling off. This was prior to the release of what many consider Marvel’s best TV show, Loki. 

Loki redefined what Marvel could do. It strayed far away from the standard Marvel formula and went on to do something new.
In the season finale of Loki the sacred timeline is broken which in summary creates various branches of reality where different things take place. For example instead of Iron Man dying in Avenger End Game, the Avengers lose because Spider Man lost the gauntlet. Simply put there are literally infinite possibilities now. And with this new multiverse opening up it created an endless array of options for Marvel to make spinoffs. And as any business would do they took this chance immediately. 

Marvel’s What If is as simple as the name suggests. It goes through events in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and asks “what if Black Panther was Star Lord?” This means that literally any story can exist in this show there are infinite possibilities. 

But does Marvel utilize this potential well? 

Yes and no. 

Peggy Carter as “Captain America” In Marvel’s new TV show What If (Marvel)

The first episode takes place in a universe where Peggy Carter becomes Captain America instead of Steve Rogers. And it is a very fun episode I would normally have no complaints about, however, it utilizes almost all the same emotional beats as the original Captain America movie. Every happy moment and sad moment is ripped almost straight from older movies which is the initial worry I had for this TV series. I don’t want to rewatch movies with tiny differences.

Star Lord (T’challa) fighting the collector in Episode two of What If (Marvel)

Luckily the show takes a fast turn for the better. As the second episode takes place in a universe where T’challa becomes Star Lord. This, while using the same characters, is not a retelling of The Guardians of the Galaxy. It takes a sharp turn to deal with an entirely different villain and plot. This is exactly what I was hoping for when this show was announced. 


The third episode was fun with twists and turns. Essentially the story was about the Avengers being assassinated before they became the Avengers. This was a fun mystery episode and showed just how creative Marvel can get with different universes and timelines. But ultimately it was forgettable and pretty generic. 

Doctor Strange after becoming Strange Supreme in Marvel’s What If

The most recent episode at the time of writing is about Doctor Strange, and it is by far the best episode yet. When Doctor Strange got in the car accident instead of losing his ability to perform surgery he lost his girlfriend Christine. This causes him to go insane trying to bring her back. Only to find out it is impossible. Nonetheless he seeks power so he can undo her death. He finally gains the power but in the end it leads to the destruction of his universe. This is, in my opinion, the best episode because it shows the vulnerability in Doctor Strange while simultaneously showing his power, it gives Strange a new level of characterization not yet seen, and it has some of the best animation in the show so far. This episode is everything I want What If to be. It is a very unique variation of an old story, and it adds to the source material instead of reusing it.

But is What If worth watching? It isn’t a must watch if you want to follow the events of the MCU and it likely will stay as a spinoff. But nonetheless I think What If is most definitely worth a watch. It has unique storytelling with new bits of your favorite stories, all in only 30 minute episodes. 

What If is a great step for Marvel’s future and overall a great TV show.