The new MarvelWhat If… Series Ep #1 and #2 review explores what could have happened if some of the events of the MCU occurred in a different manner. A premise that comes straight out of the comic books to infuse the Marvel movies with new possibilities.
After the release of the two first episodes, it’s possible to see what the series is all about and how it subverts and parallels some of our favorite storylines.
Its art style is a mixture of the best elements from 3d and 2d animation. It seems to come straight out of the comic book page, much like the art in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. But though pretty, the animation doesn’t have the same level of quality as the aforementioned film, coming across as a little bit stiff.
Still, its colors and drawing lines are beautiful and certainly more attractive than the MCU general aesthetic.
Each episode poses an interesting question, bound to make any fan curious as we’ll see down below.
The First Avenger: Agent Carter
This premise is so cool for two reasons. First, it manages to provide something different but still grounded in the MCU logic. It is something that didn’t happen but could have happened if things were just a little bit different.
Second, it is important to have a female lead as the first episode in the series. Marvel movies don’t have a good track record regarding female representation. Only recently they have been putting females in the forefront with Black Widow, Captain Marvel, and the Scarlet Witch.
As such, the representation is nice. And it is even better since it is embedded into the text. The episode does a good job of showing the struggle of being a female in the 1940s. Even as the strongest person in the room, Peggy has a lot of trouble receiving respect from misogynist men.
It is very fun to see Peggy as Captain America, as we already know from her title series, she is very capable and would do a great job. Besides, seeing the design of the costume with the United Kingdom flag creates a nice change.
But though the narrative centers around Peggy, it doesn’t forget Steve Rogers. We are shown exactly why he is a hero. It has nothing to do with the fact that he was injected with the super-soldier serum, but with the fact that he has persistence and a great heart. He is willing to sacrifice himself even if he’s not the strongest man in the country.
Another important aspect of the narrative is Steve and Peggy’s love story. We see their relationship unfold through different circumstances which make no change regarding their feelings for each other.
Playing it safe
The episode manages to reference and homage the original movie, if you’re a fan you will notice when, and that’s always exciting to see. But if this episode has a downside is exactly that it stays a little too much on the safe side.
As said before, the more believable narrative, within the source movie parameters, is great to make us connect with the story, but I was still hoping for more twists. The episode refrains itself from providing newer ideas and insight into the characters.
It probably won’t be the most intriguing episode or remarkable one, but it still is a solid introduction to the series. It is entertaining and action-packed, with all the qualities a Marvel movie can offer.
Well, this one got me wondering how they were going to connect these two seemingly unconnected stories. And the explanations were somewhat reasonable, though there were plot holes regarding the repercussions. But I chose to use suspension of disbelief and carry on with the story.
Though some things could be better explained, I think in this case it is important to not hold on too much to details, since 30 minutes is not nearly enough to explain completely how these alternate realities work. With that aside, this episode was a lot of fun!
It is so interesting to see T’Challa as a space traveler, and somehow that matches his personality. His story arc made total sense for the character, building upon what we saw in the movie.
We get to see what it would be like if his idealistic nature was able to flourish instead of being suppressed by his father’s beliefs. This universe’s T’Challa is all about helping the oppressed. The narrative adds a nice connection with the end of The Black Panther movie.
Upon watching it, I realized that his actions in this episode are a reflection of the character’s growth at the end of the movie. This was a nice touch and a beautiful farewell to Chadwick Boseman.
On the topic of this episode’s reality, it is full of surprises. It is almost unbelievable how they bring some well-known characters into completely different roles. One, in particular, was very surprising and his villainous philosophy was used as a running gag, which was really amusing.
The episode also delves into the space-heist genre, which is fun. We follow an intricate plan and awesome action sequences that keep you at the edge of your seat. The visuals are beautiful, very colorful, and bright, perfectly expressing the excitement of space.
This episode has a lot of merits when it comes to creativity. It has an interesting narrative and mixes characters I never thought I would see together in very unusual group dynamics.
The episode brings the best of both Guardians of The Galaxy and Black Panther to bring a story that is full-on humor but is able to comment, even if only slightly, on deeper themes.
Definitely a must-see!
What If… Series Ep #1 and #2: There’s more to see
What If… Series Ep #1 and #2 bring the characters we love and the big action sequences we also love but in different scenarios.
It provides entertaining possibilities and proves to be another breath of fresh air for the Cinematic Marvel Universe. With creativity, this could become an ongoing series and marvel us through many years and alternate universes to come.
You can read about our impressions of the third episode here.