Marvel may be about to have that multiverse and eat it. Given the implications of projects such as Loki and the next Doctor Strange movie In the Multiverse of Madness, the landscape for telling stories around the famous Marvel characters looks to have expanded considerably. The remit of the forthcoming animated series What If… (taking its name from the Marvel comic of the same moniker) takes some of the most key moments in the Marvel and MCU history and gives them a tweak… asking what might have happened if something had altered, an outcome was change or different people made slightly different decisions.
As with the comic, the stories are overseen by a cosmic entity known as The Watcher – voiced here by Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright – a being able to observe different time-lines but who must never interfere with the outcomes.
We’ve now got confirmation of the ten-episode series debut date (11th August) and a proper trailer highlighting some of the twists, turns and alt-realities we should be ready for. Through the run of self-contained stories, we’ll see a world where Peggy Carter given the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. There’s another where Yondu kidnaps a young Prince T’Challa and instead of Peter Quill and one where Tony Stark is saved from a terrorist attack by Killmonger and doesn’t sustain the injuries that would originally inspire him to be Iron Man. There’s also a world with a devastating zombie outbreak, turning many of the greatest Marvel heroes into an even bigger threat.
Many of the MCU actors such as Robert Downey Jnr, Samuel L. Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston and Hayley Atwell are voicing their animated counterparts and in a bittersweet note, the series will feature the last performance by Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who passed away in 2020.