Marvel’s “What if…” Season Review

Story posted October 20, 2021 in

The end of asking what if has finally arrived.

Marvel’s ambitious, animated “What if…” series has concluded. The show dealt with different events that occurred in the MCU and asked, what if something else happened instead of the event that occurred in the movies?

It was an interesting topic to do especially with the multiverse just starting to be introduced, something that allows them to do a show like this.

All the episodes explained that things went differently than in the live action movies because it was in a different universe.

For example, one of the universes dealt with Peggy Carter getting the super serum or another has the marvel universe overrun by zombies.

Each episode would be in their own little bubble and the audience gets a new one each week. The only thing connecting each episode was the narrator, The Watcher.

The Watcher is an all powerful being that watches each universe - but the catch is he cannot interfere, he can only view them.

Eventually, the episodes started to connect.

The second to last episode features Ultron finding out about the multiverse and slowly trying to destroy it, leading to The Watcher breaking his oath.

To stop Ultron, The Watcher gathered up the heroes from each episode to fight back and ultimately defeat Ultron.
The final connection to each episode when most of the season felt like it was made up of one-off experiences was brilliantly executed. It felt like the first “Avengers” movie when the audience sees the Avengers gathering for the first time, but on a lesser scale.

The Watcher was an interesting character. He is basically the ultimate Marvel fan. He cares for each episode but he only watches just like the audience.

At the end, Black Widow confronts him about how he watches and never helps and asks if he even cares about them? Just like a true Marvel fan, he explains he cares about them. That they feel like real people to him even though he can’t interact with them.

The Watcher portrays most audiences watching Marvel movies and it was really fun to see a character that is like any other fan.

But each character was well-written. For example, Dr. Strange’s episode still felt like he was still Dr. Strange but crazy, or how Killmonger had the same goals he had in “Black Panther” except he went about them differently. There was very good character development where they still felt like characters from the movies, but at the same time their own character.

Another thing that made “What if…” even more fascinating is instead of live action, like Marvel normally does, they used a unique animation style. It was a mix of 3D and comic style similar to the style in “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.”

That style was perfect for the entire season and looked beautiful throughout. The animation added depth and different big scenarios that live action probably would not allow or would be too pricey to do.

One issue with the show was the voice acting. Since they got the actors from the movies who weren’t voice actors, they did not perform well in their voice roles.

An example of one was Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo’s voice just felt awkward and very bizarre whenever his character talked.

Some of the new voice actors didn’t sound too great either. For example, Mick Wingert, who played Iron Man in the show, just didn’t have the same feel that Robert Downey Jr. had as Iron Man. To Wingert’s credit, it is hard to follow up such a well-done performance that Downey Jr. had.

But due to the flaws of some voice acting, others exceled. Samuel L. Jackson did amazing as Nick Fury, even in animation, or Jeffery Wright, The Watcher, throughout the show performed as an amazing narrator.

“What If…” was a spectacular animated show. It was filled with amazing writing that was true to its characters and somehow turned self-contained episodes into one big connecting story. Overall, “What If…” is a fun superhero show that is not like any other “Marvel” show.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communications major. To contact him, email