Marvel “What If…” Episode Six Review

Story posted September 23, 2021 in

Just like in the previous review, “What If…” continues the trend of being an exceptional show.

Each episode takes one detail from the previous Marvel movies and changes it. Then, the episode will play out what would happen after.

In previous episodes, the show tended to be lighthearted and fun, like giving Peggy Carter the super serum or having Black Panther as Star-Lord. Then the previous two episodes were very dark dealing with zombies and the grief of losing a loved one. This one was a weird mix of the two.

This episode took the audience back to the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It answered the question “what if Killmonger saved Iron Man in Afghanistan.”

It picks up with Killmonger saving Stark’s life. With this act, Tony Stark never changes his war profiteering personality, hence; Iron Man never exists.

At the press conference in the scene after, Stark hires Killmonger to be the head of security of Stark Industries. Killmonger’s first act exposes Iron Monger, the bad guy in Iron Man, which earns the complete trust of Stark. He then promotes Killmonger to COO.

Pepper Potts and Happy, Stark’s friends, start to grow a distrust towards Killmonger by not knowing his motives.

The episode continues with Killmonger starting to use Stark’s genius to build an army for him. Claiming a suit of armor will protect lives which tricks Stark into doing whatever he wants.

The only catch to this is that they need a metal called vibranium to power the suits. This leads to Colonel James Rhodes, Stark’s best friend, to go meet a dealer to get this metal. Then Black Panther interrupts the meeting.
Black Panther kills all the guards and when he goes to take the metal, the audience sees Killmonger’s true side. Killmonger uses a sound gun to kill both Blank Panther and Rhodes.

This event finally shows his motive; to change the system of the world.

The rest of the episode is the slow build of Killmonger’s grand scheme acting out.

First, Stark uncovers Killmonger’s plan and after a fight with a suit, Killmonger kills Stark.

With the death of Stark and Rhodes, the USA puts the suits into mass production so they can send them to war with Wakanda, who they blame for the deaths of the aforementioned characters.

Meanwhile, Killmonger heads to Wakanda recreating a famous sequence from the movie “Black Panther” but changes it to instead of T’Challa being the king, it is T’Chaka.

Once Killmonger is there, he starts to convince T’Chaka by using his family connection to him that he has successfully become a part of the Wakandan royal family. But Shuri, T’Chaka’s daughter, is skeptical of Killmonger.
When the USA suits attack Wakanda, the suits lose connection and end up being taken over by Killmonger.

Killmonger, while playing both sides, sends the suits to complete the attack and then he and the Wakanda army go to war.

The Wakandans end up victorious.

After the emotional battle, Wakanda turns Killmonger into their new Black Panther before the war completely kicks off between USA and Wakanda.

When Killmonger gets the Black Panther power, he meets with T’Challa in the astral plane. T’Challa then warns Killmonger that people who don’t earn their own powers but steal it will get what’s coming to them.

The episode ends with Killmonger looking off at the sunset, getting his dream to finally change the world with the two biggest armies at his disposable, but also Shuri and Pepper are teaming up to try to expose Killmonger.

At the end of each episode, it tries to end with a life lesson. The show’s lesson this week was saying that evil’s misdeeds inspire good, but this felt like a stretch. There was no inspiration of good except at the end.

The bright spot of the episode was Michael B. Jordan’s performance of Killmonger once again. Jordan’s performance had the same intimidation, reliability and skill as the first time he played the role in “Black Panther.”

The other voice acting of the show felt alright. Mick Wingert’s Tony Stark felt like it was trying too hard to mimic Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark. Downey Jr’s performance of Stark is hard to follow, so it’s hard to criticize Wingert’s performance too much.

The other voice actor, because many weren’t played by their original Marvel movie actors, just had the same flaw as Wingert’s. It is just hard to follow a good performance of a character and it just feels off.

Otherwise, the episode felt good especially with its beautiful animation style.

Overall, Killmonger and the emotions of seeing his plan play out felt like an enjoyable time especially with the final battle but compared to other “What if…” episodes it felt like a mid-tier episode. Hopefully, the next remaining episodes Party Thor will bring back the fun “What If…” episodes.

Rating: 3/5 stars


Ethan Hetrick is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu