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"What if …" – the Disney+ series … is kind of 'meh' ?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  ced1106 1 week, 4 days ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    Well … I think it is.

    To those who don’t know. “What if …” is an anthology series set in the Marvel universe. It explores the question “What if .. [a pivotal moment] didn’t happen like it did in the offical canon”

    It’s apparently based on a comic book series, but then I’m not into comic books so it could have been an original idea.

    The good stuff ?
    They’re using the original actors for about 99% of the roles so far. I think Black Widow was not the actress, but everyone else was or at least sounded like the original movie actor/actress.

    The opening episode (‘what if … someone else became Captain America’ ) was interesting.
    The ‘what if’ itself was a bit iffy and the “look at the oppression of women during WW2” was a bit annoying, but overall I enjoyed it.

    The 2nd episode (‘what if … black panther was starlord’) was crap. Maybe it’s down to me not knowing Black Panther, but when even [spoilers] turns out to be a good guy after all with zero explanation it feels like the episode was abused to tell us how great the dead actor was that played Black Panther in the movie. Not sure if he had completed his lines before or they found an alternative to voice the few lines he couldn’t say. Best to skip this episode.

    3rd episode (‘what if … the avengers never assembled’). It’s here where the time needed to set the scene and tell a story really kills the episode. The idea was interesting, but the execution was lacking. It’s in this episode the constraints of having to tell a movie-lenght story in +/- 20 minutes is really hurting the plot. I also think that by not showing the actual ‘what if’ the story lacked impact.

    4th episode (‘what if … doctor strange lost his heart instead of his hands in the accident’).  The concept was nice, but again the story stuffers from having to do his entire origin story in a few minutes in order to set the scene for the ‘what if’ and then blast through his actual movie in mere seconds in order to get to the moment where the ‘if’ can be explored proper. It doesn’t help that the scene at the end felt like it was added to pad the episode.

    Also : why does every ‘what if’ have to result in Earth / the universe getting destroyed ? (or at least the implied theme appears to be that only the prime universe gets to have the ‘happy ending’)

    So yeah … at the moment a definite “meh”.
    I think the core problem is that they’re trying to condense a movie-length plot into a single cartoon lenght episode.

    Best episode so far was the first, but mostly because the alternate Captain was so much more fun than that damned American and his crappy accent 😛
    The plot didn’t appear to be too rushed so it kind of worked within the constraints.

    Anyways … that was me rambling on something I know nothing about (my superhero knowledge is limited to the movies).
    Things may get better, but I’m not betting on it. At least the show is short enough that I don’t mind.

    I also think that it is a shame they’re limited to the Marvel Universe. A “What if … Luke never left his home” could have been interesting plot.



    did you watch them to the end, I’m wondering cause the avengers not assembling finishes with Loki in charge of earth, proving they were fucked without them

    also Capt Carter didn’t end badly and there was fuck all to do with the oppression of women in WW2, if you’ve not seen Captain America then prepare for spoilers, EXACTLY THE SAME THING HAPPENS TO STEVE! He is prevented from going on missions and being part of the war effort. They just chose a different set up for it, women were not front line troops for the British or US military



    I like the Captain Carter one. They changed enough to make the story interesting and she kicked some serious ass, but so did Peggy Carter in the Captain America movie.

    I did find the other 3 to rather dull and the Dr Strange one was really tedious with the constant attempts to ‘fix’ the accident and then the ‘absorption’.

    The series has potential and some of the What If…? comics from my collecting days were good, although I was into X-men than and only picked up a select few issues.


    Cult of Games Member

    I haven’t been able to summon up the will to watch them yet. The animation looks awful from the clips i have seen. And the stories seem pretty uninspired and comprising of a lot more than one “what if” per episode.

    At least they are outside of canon unlike the very “meh” Wandavision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier (shouldn’t it be White Wolf?) which contained some very dubious moral messaging. And the truly terrible Loki which breaks the whole MCU.

    And lets not mention Black Widow 🙁

    “Kind of meh” for any of phase4 so far seems like high praise indeed. Maybe i will go and watch What If? after all.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  innes.


    I really liked the murder mystery one. Captain Carter and the one with Doctor Strange were also quite nice, sure goign back in time and trying to fix something that can’t be fixed or resulst in even worse is nothing new but it was enjoyable. Not sure about the Star Lord one, true seeing Thanos as a “good” guy and talking about his plan was entertaining.

    But I agree that the 3rd und 4th could have used more runtime.
    And as far as I know Black Panther is voiced by Chadwick Boseman, so I don’t think the intention was to made him look good and make us feel something.




    Cult of Games Member

    Captain Carter is the only episode with a ‘good’ ending … and only because there are enough survivors left for a future with superheroes to become an option.

    The Loki one should have ended with him ruling the earth instead of Fury calling captain plank to really sell that the earth was doomed.

    @iceeagle85 the murder mystery felt a bit rushed … it didn’t get time to breath.
    Maybe fans of the comic understood the cause of that one better, but to me it felt like they retro-actively found a way to make those murders happen. How to kill avengers ? Get a guy who can turn into atoms to kill them so we don’t need to explain anything …




    From what I recall, the Hank Pym of the comics was a wife beater (Janet Van Dyne Wasp), obsessive and got kicked off the Avenger at one point I believe. So him going psycho and killing the other Avengers because Fury got his daughter involved and killed is not a stretch, but the story was crap anway.

    I don’t get why there’s so much hate for Captain Marvel as I enjoyed the movie, but I liked the character from the comics… she was more complex than the movie made her…

    Or is the hate for Brie Larson?


    Cult of Games Member

    @pagan8th ‘hate’ is a strong word. The big problem with that movie is that she didn’t have to lift a single finger to gain her powers, there was no journey from n00b to superhero, and it made zero sense.

    Can we talk about the zombie-episode now ?
    I think that finally was an episode that sort of worked.
    It also helped that it didn’t feature any superheroes, except hulk and spidey. The rest were a random bunch of squishy humies that probably were picked because they could be killled without much effort. It didn’t explain why there wasn’t a horde of zombies outside of [spoiler] location or why [spoiler] could even use their powers after turning zombie, but without the latter feature the threat would be zero (and it’s a ‘feature’ of all superhero movies as the ‘super’ makes any threat pointless once they master their power … ).

    If we get more episodes that focus on telling a story instead of trying to squish an origin story/movie in a 20 minute episode we should be good.


    Cult of Games Member

    What If? has always been a somewhat hit & miss prospect – some of the comics have been stone-cold classics, others have been middling at best. And this series on D+ is somewhat handicapped out of the gate as they have tied it so closely to the MCU whereas the joy of the comic series was they had literally ALL the toys to play with – the lack of X-Men and Fantastic Four was particularly noticeable this week when they were so key to the source material. I think though they have a plan for this series and overall I’ve enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing where it goes next (was not ready for T’Challas speech about the dead never being gone if we remember them from this weeks episode though).

    At a push though, it’d be a nice touch if they perhaps looked at incorporating the What If? idea into the various Marvel shows they now have in one place on Disney Plus?  By which I mean returning to the 90’s X-Men, Spider-Man, X-Men Evolution, Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends, Earth’ Mightiest Heroes etc and doing What If? episodes in the style of those series. Hell, a lot of the voice talent from those series are still working….



    The zombie episode was nice, sure it was dumb to split up in the train after saying it was bad. Also I don’t know why Wasp didn’t  follow them Hank was able to use his suits powers.

    But apart from that I enjoyed it.



    @pagan8th Oh I am there with you when it comes to Captain Marvel (both movie and character) even if it’s considered to be wrong opinion by some people on internet.

    I can see Zombie episode to be very popular considering how popular “what if” story Marvel Zombies is that pretty much has same premise as this one.



    Yeah, it’s Meh.

    It  just doesn’t matter how nice the voice acting and the animations are (and they should be – the house of mouse is the best at that), there is just no real consequences as it’s not the “real” marvel universe, so you can just take it or leave it because it just doesn’t matter to the mainline MCU.

    Which is pretty much how I felt about the ‘What I’d comic books too…. You just can’t tell an engaging story if no consequences really matter.


    Other people’s mileage may vary.


    Cult of Games Member

    @skodamarine I have that with the superhero stories themselves already … they’re going to win anyway, why bother watching?
    I think that’s why I liked Guardians of the Galaxy and (the new) suicide squad as they ware a-typical of the genre.

    Anyways … “What If” could have been a great space to explore alternate storylines within the universe, but the ones so far have been pretty bland.. It makes me wonder if these were the best that were within the comic book series or if they are simply following the comic book series.


    Cult of Games Member

    not seen any of the series sounds very like the LOKI series which was good in my opinion.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  zorg.

    Cult of Games Member

    new episode : ‘what if … tony was saved’
    The end had a real deus ex machina when it is revealed that snarky smart kid magically has evidence of the bad guy.
    The scene apparently only exists to show that there will be ‘new heroes’, but it fails to make sense at any level.

    So far I can say that I’ve only really liked the first episode. The ‘zombie’ one was interesting, but this week we are back to sucking badly.

    @zorg I haven’t watched Loki, but I must admit that anything which features this iteration of the character must be worth a watch. Maybe it’s because British guys are good at playing bad guys ? 😉

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