Marvel What If…? Episode 9 Review
For nine weeks, Marvel’s given us our first look at the new MCU Multiverse with their animated series, What If…? At first, it looked like this show would be an anthology series. We’d look at an alternate version of the MCU every episode, then move on. However, all that changed when Marvel threw us a universe-sized curveball. In one universe, Ultron beat the Avengers, got the Infinity Stones, and killed almost everyone. Worse, he learned how to travel to other universes and stood poised to wipe out all life in the multiverse. Not even the Watcher could sit back and do nothing. It was time for him to step in and save the multiverse. But first, he was going to need a team.
Multiversal Avengers, Assemble!
The first few minutes of the episode pick up where we last left off: the Watcher and Strange Supreme need to assemble a team to stop Infinite Ultron. Thus, they recruit heroes from several of the worlds we’ve seen throughout the season. The exceptions being the universe where the Avengers all died, and the zombie universe. The latter for obvious reasons.
However, there’s one member coming from a universe we never got to see: one where Gamora somehow beat Thanos. Rumor has it that that story was supposed to be in the first season, but got pushed back, leaving fans left in the dark for the moment. After catching everyone up to speed, the Watcher dubs his new team…the Guardians of the Multiverse.
While I can understand why he’d give them that name, I don’t like it. It seems better to have something with the Avengers in it. Considering that this is the multiverse equivalent of the Avengers first assembling, it would be appropriate. Alas, there’s no time to worry about that, as the threat of Ultron comes knocking.
The Final Battle For the Multiverse Was…Okay.
The team’s fight against Infinite Ultron ends up taking them back to his original universe, where they’re joined by Black Widow, who’s now the last sentient being left on Earth. With her help, they come close to beating Ultron, but fail to destroy the Stones. Turns out, the MCU’s Infinity Stones don’t just work outside their universe; they’re unique, meaning any attempts to destroy them with another universe’s tech won’t work!
In the end, it doesn’t matter: Natasha fires a well placed arrow into Ultron, uploading Zola into him and ending Ultron for good. Then Killmonger pulls the classic double-cross, and he and Zola get sealed away in a pocket of reality, forever engaged in a tug of war for the Stones. Justice!
As far as battles go, this one met all the basic tenets of the MCU. Strange Supreme showcased how magically jacked he was several times, even opening a portal to the zombie universe! However, the overall final battle felt…meh. Considering how it’s supposed to be for the fate of the multiverse, we shouldn’t feel like that. Yet, the final battle of Avengers: Endgame carries more emotional weight. Marvel could’ve gotten a lot more creative with it, if you ask me.
What’s Next for the Multiverse?
With the battle over, the Watcher sends everyone back to their respective realities while Strange Supreme guards Killmonger and Zola. However, he gives Natasha a well-deserved reward. Rather than send her to her dead universe, he lets her move to the one where the Avengers never rose, letting her reunite with some of her old friends. As for Captain Carter? The post-credits scene teases that an old friend might be waiting for her.
Speaking of friends, a big highlight of the episode was the relationship Captain Carter and Natasha had. They were firm BFF’s in their universe, and certainly acted like it. However, there was also some romantic subtext going on between them that I think a lot of people will pick up on. I don’t know if we’ll see Captain Carter again, but if we do, I think I now ship her and Nat together.
As for T’Challa, this marks the final time we may see him in the MCU, due to Chadwick’s passing. The worst part is that there could’ve been a Star Lord T’Challa spin-off series, were he still alive. Maybe in another universe, they’re enjoying that right now. For the rest of us, though, we have to wait for season two to travel the multiverse some more.
As far as season finale’s go, I think the action could’ve been a lot better. Still, at least the show tied everything together, so I have to give it credit for that.
I Give “What If…The Watcher Broke His Oath?” A 3/5
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