What If…?: What’s hidden in plain sight in episode 9

The Watcher in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
The Watcher in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /
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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Gamora (Zoe Saldana)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017 /

The lost tenth episode of What If…?

As the Watcher went from universe to universe, gathering those he chose to become “The Guardians of the Multiverse,” he goes to recruit a variant of Gamora (voiced by Cynthia McWilliams). Apparently, this Gamora is with a version of Tony Stark (voiced by Mick Wingert), and he wears what looks like Hulkbuster Iron Man armor with Sakaar hieroglyphs and paint. They’re also at Nidavellir with Eitri, melting down Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet. And as this scene unfolded, the first question you likely asked was, “Which episode of What If…? is this supposed to be from?”

What you may not have known is that the first season of What If…? was originally supposed to run for ten episodes instead of nine. According the series’ executive producer, Brad Winderbaum, and showrunner A.C. Bradley, production for the animated series halted during the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Marvel Studios still managed to complete nine of the episodes, but one of them couldn’t be finished on time. Therefore, that particular episode will be rolled over into Season 2 of What If…?.

And what will this episode be about? Based on we can guess from what “What If… the Watcher Broke His Oath?” showed us, this appears to be a reality in which Tony Stark, not Hulk, wound up on Sakaar. The most likely scenario in which this could have happened is if Tony, while rerouting the Nuclear Missile into the wormhole during the climatic “Battle of New York” in Avengers, didn’t make it back before that same wormhole closed up. Somehow, this resulted in him also meeting Gamora, and the two of them teaming up to defeat Thanos (hence why she’s wielding her adoptive father’s double-bladed broadsword) before he used the Infinity Gauntlet to snap away half of all life in the universe, and even destroyed the Infinity Stones.

This also would mean that this is a Tony Stark who never created Ultron. But if you listen carefully, this Tony still says a variation of the “building a suit of armor around the whole world” line the original Tony said in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The only difference is he said “universe” instead of “world.” Perhaps that also explains the reason why the Watcher selected Gamora instead of Tony.