After two intriguing and fun installments, What If… delivers its most solid episode yet. It asks a terrifying question “What If… The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?”. As such, the story explores what would have happened if the Avengers never formed, leaving the Earth defenseless to outer-world threats.
The episode kickstarts with this premise without losing time to set things up since from what we see in the beginning, this Universe seems to be exactly what we’ve seen in the MCU until Nick Fury started recruiting the Avengers.
The altering factor is the eliminations we see taking place during the tale. One, by one, each possible Avenger is neutralized without them ever having a chance to become their greatest selves.
Fury and Natasha steal the scene
In murder- mystery style we are taken through the investigation lead by Natasha Romanoff and Nick Fury about who’s behind the attacks. Black Widow takes the forefront in this episode, which is a nice change from what we’ve seen in the MCU so far.
Moreover, we get to see her abilities. One of the scenes even hints at the criticism some people have regarding her lack of powers. In response to that, Black Widow shows her true force and exactly why she is an Avenger.
Similarly, the focus on Nick Fury is also crucial to highlight even more his importance to the super-hero team. As the mastermind behind The Avengers initiative, he proves to be resourceful time and time again throughout the story’s duration.
Familiar moments revisited
The pace of the narrative is quick and engaging. We keep wondering throughout the episode what is happening, how things happened, and what’s going to happen next. In other words, it uses the best features of mystery stories in between the action of the superhero genre.
There are, like in previous episodes, references to the MCU movies. Whole scenes from Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man 2 are recreated. And while it is a great nod to Marvel fans, it doesn’t feel, however, like pure fanservice. The recreated scenes are integral to the narrative and serve a clear purpose within the story.
This results in unique storytelling quality. Therefore, the third episode is able to combine the best from each of the different approaches we’ve seen in the previous episodes. It is grounded on the MCU reality while taking the story into the wildly different and ambitious territory.
For instance, we have Loki’s appearance, which heightens the tension of the episode. It provides even more challenges to the already complicated situation of the protagonists, elevating the stakes of the narrative.
Besides the tension and the question of what if… the world lost its mightiest heroes, humor is a highlight, which helps to counterbalance the darkness of the episode. Some of the moments are able to be authentically funny, without being forced, as is the case with many of the jokes present in the Marvel Movies.
What If…The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?
The episode is extremely engaging right until the end when we have the big reveal and an impactful tease about the future of this Universe. With its mixture of mystery, action, and compelling narrative it is the best episode so far. After watching it, it will be hard not wanting to know what will come next.