WHAT IF...? Poster Assembles The Watcher's Formidable Guardians Of The Multiverse
Marvel Studios has released a new poster for What If...? that puts the spotlight squarely on The Watcher's Guardians of the Multiverse, a superhero team every bit as formidable as Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
In the season finale of What If...?, The Watcher assembled his Guardians of the Multiverse. Led by Captain Carter, the group included T'Challa Star-Lord, Doctor Strange Supreme, Thor, Black Widow, Killmonger, and Gamora. Together, they managed to defeat Infinity Ultron, saving countless realities.
Killmonger ultimately showed his true colours and ended up trapped alongside Arnim Zola after attempting to take Ultron's power for himself, but the rest of these heroes were returned to their respective realities (or, in Natasha Romanoff's case, a new one).
A second season of What If...? is in the works, and expected to arrive on Disney+ in 2022. Whether the Guardians will assemble again remains to be seen, but we're likely to meet countless new Variants in that next batch of episodes; with that in mind, a whole new team is definitely a very real possibility.
This past Wednesday, Marvel Studios dropped Assembled: The Making of What If...? on Disney+, and you can check out the trailer and poster below (it's not overly revealing, but worth a watch).
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questions we hope What If...? asks during season 2!
8. "What If...HYDRA Won?"
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers, Black Widow, and The Falcon managed to stop HYDRA from killing those they deemed a threat and taking over the world. With that, Alexander Pierce was killed and the remaining members of the group either fled or were arrested. S.H.I.E.L.D., meanwhile, also fell.
In this reality, it would be fascinating to see HYDRA overcome the heroes and enact their plan. The MCU would be unrecognisable, while the heroes remaining would really have no choice but to fall in line and do what Pierce says (especially as he'd have S.H.I.E.L.D.'s resources and those seeming unstoppable Helicarriers on hand).
The Winter Soldier would likely have remained loyal to HYDRA in this reality too, and we'd love to see the story jump ahead a little to see how a team of "Dark Avengers" on Pierce's payroll would have fared against Thanos...
7. "What If...Hawkeye Died On Vormir?"
Clint Barton attempted to leap off that cliff on Vormir, but Natasha Romanoff stopped him and ended up falling to her death. With that, Hawkeye was able to secure the Soul Stone for The Avengers, but at the cost of one of his oldest and most beloved friends.
Swapping things around could have had major ramifications for Avengers: Endgame's final battle, while it might have been up to Black Widow to deal with the fallout of Clint's time as Ronin (something we're anticipating being explored when the Hawkeye TV series rolls around).
With that in mind, this episode could also tie into Kate Bishop's MCU debut, and address what became of Yelena Belova when she still had her sister to rely on. For fans of Natasha and Clint, this would be a must-watch, and What If...? could have a lot of fun with the question.
6. "What If...The Avengers Never Assembled?"
After Agent Coulson was killed by Loki, Nick Fury manipulated The Avengers into assembling at his behest. However, had his loyal right-hand man in S.H.I.E.L.D. not been attacked by the God of Mischief, Earth's Mightiest Heroes more than likely would have gone their separate ways.
Something tells us that will have major ramifications for the Battle of New York, and it could mean Loki's invasion played out completely differently (especially with Thanos looming above).
We don't think it would be as simple as showing Loki emerge with the win, but as the World Security Council wanted to nuke the city, that could be interesting to play around with, especially with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye all doing their own thing.
5. "What If...Bucky Became Captain America?"
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier did a great job of exploring Sam Wilson's decision to wield the shield as Captain America. However, many fans were disappointed Marvel Studios didn't follow the comic books by having Bucky Barnes pick up where Steve Rogers left off.
An episode like this could follow Bucky after he made good on his threat to take the shield from John Walker. The former Winter Soldier becoming an "unofficial" Captain America is bound to create a vastly different version of the MCU, and would almost certainly lead to very different roles for everyone from Sharon Carter to Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and Baron Zemo.
Marvel Studios might need to add a little more to this one to make it substantial enough for an entire episode, but another possibility is that Steve chooses him instead of Sam.
4. "What If...Iron Man Won The Civil War?"
At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers and Bucky managed to defeat Iron Man and went on the run (with Cap later breaking his fellow Avengers out of The Raft). That led to the formation of the Secret Avengers and played a huge role in how Avengers: Infinity War played out.
Had Tony Stark killed the assassin who murdered his parents and defeated Cap, what would that world look like? With Iron Man heading down a dark path and Steve also behind bars, more than Thanos' eventual arrival on Earth might be different. This feels like a concept worth exploring, and one that can actually see What If...? take us to some appropriately weird and crazy places.
The events of Civil War had an effect on everything from Spider-Man: Homecoming to Ant-Man and The Wasp, and this is an instalment we'd actually like to see a lot more of Peter Parker in.
3. "What If...Wanda Maximoff Never Became The Scarlet Witch?"
This episode would be a little more complex than the title suggests, but we'd love to see a reality where Agatha Harkness never work Wanda Maximoff up and she continued living "happily" in Westview.
Even without Agatha's interference, things were starting to fall apart, but as Wanda's influence increased over the Hex, we could have seen her influence eventually spread across more than just New Jersey. That would be nuts, especially if The Vision became some sort of unwilling pawn trapped in a hellscape of Wanda's doing that, to her, is obviously a happy ending.
This would by no means be a story about the Scarlet Witch falling into madness or villainy. Instead, it would explore the consequences of Wanda's actions on a larger scale, and could even throw in a few ideas that WandaVision failed to address (here's looking at you, Mephisto).
2. "What If...The Other Heroes Were Snapped?
Here's a fun one for you. In Avengers: Infinity War, we watched as the likes of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Black Panther, The Falcon, and Scarlet Witch all turned into dust. However, what about a reality where it was the other way round and Captain America, Iron Man, and the rest of the heroes we followed in Avengers: Endgame were among the dusted instead?
This would be a lot to squeeze into one episode (so how about a two-part finale?), but it would genuinely be fascinating to watch as some of the heroes listed above deal with the fallout of the Snap.
These remaining heroes would be without heavy-hitters like The Hulk and Thor, but would have the smarts of Shuri and the fighting spirit of everyone from Groot to the resources of Nick Fury. They could have still beaten Thanos and made things right, but the story would be a whole lot different...
1. "What If...Loki And Sylvie Took He Who Remains' Offer?"
Heading back to those Disney+ TV shows, this is a story that can only really be told after we've seen Loki's second season...well, we think so, anyway. At the end of the first season, He Who Remains (a Kang the Conqueror Variant) offered the God of Mischief and Sylvie the chance to take his place and rule over the "Sacred Timeline."
They refused, but had the unlikely couple been tempted to take over...well, they'd rule over the MCU! That could lead to them rewriting history and fully falling into villainy, while it would also stop Kang from ever returning. If anything, heading down the comedic route with this What If...? episode might work best, especially if their actions have unintended consequences.
We'll see, but this might be a really fun way to better explore that concept of the Multiverse, the TVA, and the significance of the "Sacred Timeline" to the wider MCU.