WHAT IF...? - Everything We See In The Series IS Canon In The MCU; Head Writer Reveals What Was Off-Limits
Despite being an animated series, What If...? Head Writer A.C. Bradley has made it clear that everything we see in the show is canon, while also revealing what Marvel Studios wouldn't allow her to include!
What If...? may be an animated series, but that doesn't mean it's any less important to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe than the likes of WandaVision and Loki. In the latter series, we recently witnessed the birth of the Multiverse thanks to the actions of Sylvie, and this show is going to explore that concept even further.
Yes, we'll be spending time with more Variants, but in an interview with IGN, Head Writer A.C. Bradley made it clear that everything we see is canon. "The events of What If...? are canon," she stated. "It's part of the MCU Multiverse. The Multiverse is here. It is real, and it is absolutely fantastic, people."
In a separate interview with Games Radar, Bradley was asked if there was anything she couldn't do while working on What If...?, and the writer confirmed just two things that were "off-limits."
"One was we couldn’t do anything that the movies or TV shows were already doing. So that let us go to weirder and stranger places," she teased. And the second? "Despite my damndest, I was not allowed to use Star Wars characters. I tried many times; they kept reminding me that Luke Skywalker is not an Avenger," Bradley added, clearly joking...well, we think!
We're not surprised that a Star Wars crossover is off the cards even in a series as crazy as What If...?, but we can't help but wonder if Bradley still made an effort to sneak some Easter Eggs in.
Needless to say, What If...? clearly isn't a show you can afford to miss when it launches on Disney+ on April 11. It'll also be fun to see what sort of impact it has on the stories we know will be told in everything from Spider-Man: No Way Home to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki season 2.
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Variants we can't wait to see in What If...?
6. Ultron Victorious
We don't actually know the name of this Variant just yet, but it's impossible not to be intrigued after seeing him on the poster. If we had to hazard a guess, this episode is going to explore what would have happened if Ultron had managed to make The Vision's body his own, with the end result being that he would have conquered the planet and Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The fact this "Vision" dons an Ultron-style armour is really cool, and a closer look at that suggests this version of the villain has mastered the Infinity Stones to become truly all-powerful.
Many fans have argued that Marvel Studios failed to do Ultron justice as a villain, but this Variant likely takes over Earth, kills Thanos to become the rightful wielder of the Infinity Stones, and probably makes his influence felt throughout the entire Galaxy. That's going to be epic.
5. Marvel Zombies
Okay, we're cheating a little here because this isn't limited to one specific character, but c'mon, how could anyone not be looking forward to seeing undead versions of The Avengers?
Based on what little we've seen from What If?, we know that Captain America, Iron Man, and Hawkeye will be among them, with Bucky stepping up to try and stop his old friend. Honestly, we have no idea what scenario is going to lead to this happening, but Marvel heading down the Marvel Zombies route isn't something we ever expected to see in the MCU, animated or otherwise.
Zombie Captain America jumps out at us of those we've seen, and this is hopefully the first of many visits we're going to make to the horror/supernatural side of this shared world. That's going to continue with the likes of Moon Knight and Blade, of course, and should be a good taste of things to come.
4. "Zombie Hunter" Spider-Man
Spider-Man was going to be in this feature, regardless, and not just because we never expected to see the web-slinger on Disney+! While there have been rumblings Steve Rogers is beneath the mask instead of Peter Parker, we're more intrigued by what leads to the hero ending up with Doctor Strange's Cloak of Levitation.
However, with it now revealed that this is a "Zombie Hunter" Spider-Man, consider us even more curious about where this wall-crawler's story is heading!
The prospect of a Spidey who has found himself alone in a post-apocalyptic setting fighting the undead is just batsh*t crazy enough to work, and this animated series feels like the best place to explore such a wacky idea. Regardless of who is beneath the mask, we're psyched to see the iconic character return to the world of animation.
3. Star-Lord (T'Challa)
T'Challa being taken from Wakanda as a child by Yondu and his Ravagers is a fascinating concept, and while we know the MCU's Black Panther suits up as Star-Lord, something tells us he'll be vastly different to Peter Quill. Should he find his way back to Earth, we could even end up with a hybrid of the two, and that's another exciting prospect.
It's going to be emotional watching what we now know to be Chadwick Boseman's final performance as this character, but we can't wait to see what he does with this fresh take on the hero.
In the comic books, Marvel has explored the connection between Wakanda and alien civilisations, and we'd love to think that something similar could happen in the MCU. However, we're mostly just excited to see Boseman let loose and have fun with this Variant of the usually stoic King of Wakanda.
2. HYDRA Stomper
Look, we have no doubt whatsoever that Captain Carter is going to be a beloved, breakout character in What If?. We honestly can't wait to see her in action, but the HYDRA Stomper has seemingly been overlooked by a lot of fans and that's why we're expecting him to take everyone by surprise.
Powered by the Tesseract and created by Howard Stark, this Iron Monger-style suit of armour will be piloted by a Variant of Steve Rogers who never took the Super Soldier Serum.
Captain America: The First Avenger established that Steve was a hero even without that, so getting to see him blast into action at Peggy Carter's side should be a joyous sight to behold. We're also curious about how their relationship will play out given the complete change in circumstances!
1. Erik Killmonger
We gave this final entry a lot of thought, but Erik Killmonger was such an interesting character to spend time with in Black Panther that we can't help but be excited to see more of that next month.
This version of T'Challa's cousin saves Tony Stark from being captured by The Mandarin's men, but inadvertently stops Iron Man from ever being created (we're assuming). That alone leaves us with a vastly different world to explore, though it's the shots of Killmonger in Wakanda that have grabbed our attention, especially if we assume some of these stories take place on the same world.
Perhaps this Killmonger returns to Wakanda and, without T'Challa there, reclaims his throne in a more noble manner? A Funko Pop has shown him suited up holding the severed head of an Ultron drone, so we're literally counting down the seconds until we get to see what this Variant can do!