Marvel's 'What If…?' Trailer Breakdown: Everything The New Footage and Poster Reveals About the Animated Series07/08/2021
The latest trailer for Marvel’s What If…? animated anthology series showcased the alternate takes on the familiar stories and characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Inspired by the Marvel Comics series of the same name, the series promises new approaches to the events we’ve seen unfold on the big screen with many of the MCU stars lending their voices to these alternate versions of the heroes and villains they play in the movies. To help sort through all this, we’ve broken down all the different takes on the MCU with a Marvel’s What If trailer breakdown.
What If Killmonger Saved Tony Stark?
The trailer kicks off with a familiar scene from Iron Man’s origin story. Where Tony Stark was originally injured by one of his own missiles exploding in front of him, instead Erik Killmonger shows up and saves him. How will that change Iron Man’s trajectory? If he’s not injured, then what happens? Will he stay on his path to becoming a warmonger selling weapons to the highest bidder? Could be team up with Killmonger as a villain? Could Killmonger become his Rhodey?
What If the MCU Had a Zombie Apocalypse?
The Marvel Zombies storyline is a famous one in Marvel Comics, and this is probably the only way we were ever going to see it adapted for film or TV. In this tale, it looks like a zombie apocalypse overtakes the MCU, giving us undead versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and more. It appears characters like Hulk and The Winter Soldier are some of the few left trying to stop the insanity. But how do you stop zombie superheroes?
What If T’Challa Became Star-Lord?
An episode of What If…? will imagine what T’Challa’s life would have been like if he was kidnapped as a child and became Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy instead of Black Panther. Yondu raises him, turns him into a thief and Ravager, and he seems to follow mostly the same trajectory of Star-Lord. However, there is something we didn’t see in the movie glimpsed in this trailer, and that’s a fight between Star-Lord, Yondu and The Collector.
Part of me wonders if there will be some kind of tie between T’Challa no longer being in Wakanda and Killmonger’s place in the nation. There’s footage of the Black Panther villain leading armies in Wakanda alongside the nation’s finest warriors, including some familiar faces from the MCU. Could Killmonger become a heroic Black Panther? Maybe Wakanda ends up going to war with Tony Stark? The characters do seem to be battle armed machinery of some kind.
What If Spider-Man Became the Sorcerer Supreme?
There isn’t any footage of this in the What If…? trailer, but the official poster clearly show’s Spider-Man wearing the Cloak of Levitation. How does Peter Parker become the Sorcerer Supreme? We have no idea. But it seems like a fun way to lead into his team-up with Doctor Strange in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home.
What If Peggy Carter Became Captain Britain?
Here’s one of the alternate MCU stories we’ve known about since this series was announced. Peggy Carter steps up to become Captain Britain when the experiment that would have turned Steve Rogers into Captain America is interrupted by Hydra. This lets Peggy Carter become the superhero, and Steve Rogers still sticks around as her sidekick. In fact, footage that was shown elsewhere during a panel presentation tells us that Steve Rogers is in that big Iron Man suit that Captain Britain is seen hitching a ride on through the sky.
What If Doctor Strange Was a Villain?
Along with Peggy Carter becoming Captain Britain, it appears that she’ll be squaring off with Doctor Strange as a villain. A shot shows a gaunt Doctor Strange confronted by Captain Britain, and there are several moments where it appears Stephen Strange is on a darker path than he otherwise would be on if he were a hero.
What If Asgard Invaded Earth?
We’re not exactly sure what’s happening in a few of the shots throughout the trailer so far, but it’s clear that Loki and much of Asgard engages in some kind of conflict with Nick Fury and Earth. Perhaps this story imagines Loki came to Earth himself to stir up trouble. However, it appears that he has some of Thor’s friends along with him. Perhaps in this version of Thor, the God of Thunder is made to be the outcast instead of Loki, and the rest of Asgard wants to go to war with Earth.
What If Black Widow Was The Winter Soldier?
We’re not sure of the context of this particular spin on the Captain America franchise, but there are several shots of Natasha Romanoff as The Winter Soldier, or at the very least a version of Black Widow taking the place of the assassin that Bucky Barnes is warped into. Natasha can be see speeding on a motorcycle, and on top of wielding her electrified fighting sticks, she also has a shield to throw around. Will this play out as a sort of sequel story to Peggy Carter’s Captain Britain origin story?
What If Ultron Attacked Las Vegas?
It looks like Ultron’s army is taking on The Avengers again, but instead of the fight happening down in Sokovia, it appears the robots are attacking in Las Vegas. The only character we see taking on this army there is Thor, and we’re not sure if there are any other Avengers in the area or why the action has shifted to Las Vegas, but a Marvel fight among the neon lights should look pretty cool in animated form.
What If Hawkeye Became The Hulk?
There’s a shot where Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, appears to be turning into The Hulk. Could he be part of the new assembly of Avengers? After all, there are only five superheroes in that one team shot, and they need a big guy, don’t they? But how does Clint Barton’s story change if he’s now Hulk, and where is Bruce Banner?
What If Ego The Living Planet Visited a Restaurant?
All right, we don’t really know what Ego The Living Planet is doing in this show, but there’s a shot of Star-Lord’s father, still with the likeness of Kurt Russell, who appears to be in some kind of closed diner. Will this character still factor into Star-Lord’s story somehow, or will he have an entirely different role in What If…? instead.?
What If Something is Going On in the Quantum Realm?
That’s definitely the Quantum Realm, but who is that standing in this shot? My bet is that it’s Janet Van Dyne from the Ant-Man franchise. She appears to be wearing the tattered cloth she wrapped around her Wasp suit in the Quantum Realm. But I suppose it could easily be someone else taking on the same role and ending up trapped in the subatomic world.
What If Something is Going on with Wanda Maximoff in Wakanda?
There’s this quick shot in the trailer that appears to be Wanda Maximoff waving off a spear thrown at her by the Dora Milaje. What’s she doing in Wakanda? Is she trying to turn it into Wa-Wanda? (I’m sorry).
What If Scott Lang Was a Severed Head?
All right, this show is going to end up in some weird places. We can’t be sure, but it seems like Scott Lang is a severed head in one of the episodes of Marvel’s What If…? In a glass jar like those character heads we’ve seen in Futurama, a head shouts a single “Hey!” and it sounds a lot like Paul Rudd, who has been confirmed to be in this show. Beyond that, all we can see is that the head is in a chair next to Vision, so we have no idea what the hell is going on there.
What If Vision Became Some Kind of Infinity Stone Knight?
In another strange turn of events, the poster for What If…? features this perplexing image. That’s clearly the face of Vision within this armor, as evidenced by the Mind Stone positioned in his forehead. But why is he wearing a suit of armor that holds the rest of the Infinity Stones and has a helmet that looks like the face of Ultron? Could Vision take the role of Thanos and Ultron in some kind of big battle with The Avengers? Speaking of which, if that happens, it won’t be with the Avengers you’d expect.
What If The Avengers Had a Different Roster?
What If…? will also give us an entirely different roster for the Avengers. In fact, that shot of this new version of the Avengers makes me think that the series could be interconnected like the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and all of these alternate takes could culminate in a crossover of the different versions of these characters.
In a shot juxtaposed with an animated recreation of that iconic hero shot of all of the Avengers in New York, we see Killmonger as Black Panther, Peggy Carter as Captain Britain, Gamora decked out in Thanos-like armor with a double-sided blade staff, T’Challa as Star-Lord, and a new version of Thor. However, if all of What If…? is interconnected like the movies of the MCU, I’m not sure how stuff like that Infinity Stone Knight version of Vision, Spider-Man as the Sorcerer Supreme, or Marvel Zombies comes into play. I guess we’ll find out when the show premieres on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
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