The latest What If…? episode provided what may be one of the darkest and yet also most uplifting entries into the MCU canon, and gives fans plenty of fun moments to ponder upon by the end of the episode’s 30-minute runtime.
The following piece contains MAJOR SPOILERS For What If…? Episode 5, if you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend you do. For our own thoughts on the episode you can check out our review here!
WHAT IF…? A DOOR FOR SEASON 2 IS OPENED
The What If…? episode recounts the tragic tale of a ragtag group of remaining Avengers on the tail of a supposed “cure” to the quantum virus that has affected much of the U.S., if not the world at this stage. The episode ends with much of the cast being either brutally (and I mean brutally) killed or left behind as Spider-Man, a legless Black Panther and a bodiless Scott Lang depart for Wakanda.
By the episode’s end we see a zombified Thanos in standing among the rubble of Wakanda, with a nearly-completed Infinity Gauntlet to boot.
The events of this episode showed that even zombified, the heroes retained much of their strength and abilities, meaning if this Thanos gets a hold of the mind stone that the heroes are holding, he could be using it for a lot more than half of the universe.
With the odds seemingly stacked against the heroes, where could a possible sequel lead? Well you only need to look to the stars…
WHAT IF…? THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY JOINED IN TOO?
While this episode ostensibly takes place during the same time period as we’ve seen in Infinity War, we were only limited to the Earth-based heroes of the story. Meaning we’re yet to see any of the big cosmic heroes, which include Thor, Captain Marvel and of course, the Guardians of the Galaxy.
If we are to receive a proper follow up to this episode in Season 2, the best logical route forwards would be for them to head beyond Earth.
This isn’t out of place with the Marvel Zombies storyline either, as the original comics saw the zombified heroes take the battle to Galactus in space. While Galactus will be off the cards for next year’s season (as series director Bryan Andrews has stated that the show will not introduce any new characters), the story still has numerous different points from which it can lead into.
ENTERING THE THEORY REALM
While we are entering theory territory here, there’s still always the possibility of any of these ideas coming to fruition. You’ve been warned…
First of all, there are many characters who are still unaccounted for throughout the episode. Aside from the aforementioned cosmic characters, people such as Nick Fury and his SHIELD compatriots, Wakandan characters such as Shuri, Nakia and M’Baku, as well as the surviving half of Asgard are still unaccounted for.
One can infer that Fury as the world’s greatest spy would be able to handle himself in such an event, or at the very least have some form of contingency in place. The fates of many characters are still unknown by the end of the episode, with the two big ones being Hulk/Bruce Banner, as well as Bucky. The Wakandan and Asgardian characters are also still up in the air, although their chances are not looking great.
If the possible sequel does keep the ending’s trio alive, one sad point to note would be the lack of Chadwick Boseman and his amazing talent.
As for Thor and the Guardians, one possible route a sequel could take would be Thor leading the Guardians back to Earth to finish off Thanos for good. Who knows, we might even get a reaction out of Peter Quill this time after his first time returning to Earth in about 30 years?
On the flip side of this scenario, we also must consider The Watcher’s final words in this episode, where he foretells “the end of this universe…” While it’s unclear to say whether his wording here was indicative of this timeline’s eventual doom, or only a possible – if likely – outcome, it’ll be interesting to see what the impact of a zombified Mad Titan could mean for the universe at large.
This latest episode of What If…? ended up being my favourite of the series so far, and despite me having some personal issues with it and the series as a whole, the fun and heart mixed with the surprising amount of gore and violence made this an episode I’ve already re-watched twice (and plan on revisiting again later on).
It is of course unconfirmed whether or not this episode will receive a sequel (or if it’s final moments will be left up to interpretation similar to the cliffhanger in Episode 2), but if we do I’m sure it’ll be able to deliver even more Marvel Zombie goodness, and hopefully hold the brakes just that little bit more to give us some time to breathe with the characters.
If you have any theories of your own about where a follow-up episode could take us, let us know! For more on What If…? and Marvel as a whole, be sure to stay tuned to us here at The Illuminerdi!