WHAT IF...? - Ranking The 5 BEST Variants In Marvel Studios' First Animated Disney+ Series

What If...? introduced a lot of Variants during its first season, but which of them stand out as being the best? With so many to choose from, this wasn't easy, and we think you'll have something to say...

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What If...? wrapped up its debut season last week minus the same level of fanfare as shows like WandaVision and Loki. For whatever reason, Marvel Studios' first animated series didn't generate the same sort of buzz as its live-action predecessors, but there was still a lot to love about the show.

The many Variants we met along the way were the obvious highlight, and the inclusion of some truly great alternate takes on familiar faces served to show how much potential this series has. With that in mind, we've decided to highlight both the best and worst efforts in the Disney+ series, starting with the former. Now, singling out just five was no easy feat, but we've somehow managed to do it. 

Unfortunately, some deserving heroes - and villains - failed to make the cut, hence why you sadly won't see good Variants (like Doctor Strange Supreme and Ravager Thanos) who were simply part of great episodes. Next week, we'll be getting even more controversial by bringing you our "worst" list, but below, you'll also find our take on the potential future these characters have in the MCU.

To take a look through this ranking of What If...?'s Variants, simply just click on that "Next" button!

5. Zombie Scarlet Witch

We met a lot of great characters in "What If...Zombies?!", including a Vision whose love for Wanda Maximoff had seen him lure innocent people to Camp Leigh in order to sustain his undead bride. 

It's clear now that this relationship is toxic in just about every reality, but that zombie Scarlet Witch definitely left us wanting more. The rest of the brain-munching Avengers simply didn't leave the same lasting impact, and while she's seemingly been trapped on Infinity Ultron's dead world, something tells us we could see more of this Variant of Wanda in the not too distant future. 

Should these zombies gain the same level of sentience as their comic book counterparts, this Wanda could easily tap into the same powers as her MCU counterpart and become a big bad for this animated series. She's frightening enough as it is, but throw in a desire for brains, and we have one woman you would not want to mess with (something this episode of What If...? made apparent).

4. Captain Carter

This Variant of Peggy Carter didn't resonate with all fans the same way, and that's perhaps because "What If...Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?" was a pretty straightforward retelling of Captain America: The First Avenger. Take that aside, and how could you not fall in love with this character?

Hayley Atwell did a tremendous job as a Peggy who still had that same romantic connection for Steve Rogers, all while the Super Soldier Serum flowed through her veins. This badass female superhero made an immediate impact and the live-action potential here is obvious. We're not basing this ranking on that, however, and Captain Carter was awesome in her own, animated right.

Never was that more evident than when we found her in the present day, and after a brief team-up with the Guardians of the Multiverse, she now looks set to reunite with Steve. It sounds like that story will play out in What If...? season 2, and we cannot wait to see how this love story ends. 

3. Star-Lord (T'Challa)

It's a great shame that we'll never get to see Chadwick Boseman play this T'Challa Variant in animation or live-action. It was recently confirmed that a spinoff was in the works prior to the actor's death, but there's simply no getting around the fact the work he was able to do was iconic and utterly amazing. 

Taken from Earth as a child instead of Peter Quill, this Star-Lord has brought peace to the Galaxy, reforming Thanos and turning the Ravagers into a force for good. It was fascinating to see the positive impact T'Challa had on the universe, and a reminder of how great this hero is regardless of the costume he wears. Like Peter Quill, though, it was also a heckuva lot of fun to spend time with him.

"What If...T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?" ranks as one of the best episodes of television Marvel Studios has produced, and the character at its centre deserves much of the credit for that being the case.

2. Infinity Ultron

Unbeknownst to the heroes of the MCU, a Variant of Ultron very nearly managed to conquer reality itself. Had it not been for the interference of The Watcher, there's a very good chance he would have succeeded, especially with a seemingly unstoppable physical form and the Infinity Stones on hand. 

By the time all was said and done, Ultron had been wiped away by Arnim Zola, while his armour had been taken by Killmonger. With that in mind, chances are Infinity Ultron won't be making a return after that memorable two-part finale (at least not in the same form), but we still loved everything here. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron did a good job with the character, but it was What If...? that really showed the world-ending potential of this villain. With any luck, Marvel Studios is now going to be motivated to bring him back in live-action - with James Spader - as this just proved there are still stories to be told. 

1. Heist Nebula

Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the last two Avengers movies, Nebula has become a standout character in the MCU. Many fans were disappointed she didn't get to wield the Infinity Gauntlet and undo the damage Thanos had inflicted on her in Endgame, but this episode of What If...? at least offered us an idea of how things could have gone for the villain turned anti-hero.

More femme fatale than badass warrior, this Nebula was a love interest for T'Challa and just a fun, extremely cool presence in the Disney+ series. In terms of her performance, Karen Gillan knocked it out of the park, and it's clear there's a tonne of potential for this Variant of the Mad Titan's daughter.

We're hoping the fact that Star-Lord series isn't happening won't result in "Heist Nebula" being sidelined because even though a live-action appearance is probably unlikely, we'd love to spend more time with her. She may be a beauty, but this Nebula also knows how to kick ass, and a series of solo adventures could be tremendous fun (especially if she's paired up with her dear old dad). 

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