Marvel’s What If…? was allowed to be the most ambitious superhero show of the year simply because anything is possible in animation. And anything was possible in What If…? as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was turned upside down through a multitude of possibilities that could have happened if the events we saw play out in the movies just played out a little bit differently.
With superb animation and entertaining rewrites of the MCU, fans got the chance to see how things would have looked if Peggy Carter became the world’s first super soldier, if Doctor Strange lost his heart instead of his hands and if the world was overrun by zombies (and Avenger zombies!). More than that, though, it was an enlightening introduction to the multiverse for fans of the franchise and a solid starting point for what’s to come from it on the big screen.
The biggest criticism of What If…? is that it stuck too close to its source material, simply reimagining a number of events as a “little bit different” instead of a lot. Is that a fair critique? Perhaps, “What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger” didn’t throw us in at the deep end of possibilities, but if you ask me, that’s exactly why it worked. Not only is Captain Carter the show’s most important character outside of The Watcher, that episode set the stage for the ambitious installments to come. And, boy, did they come.