6 What If Comics That Should Inspire Episodes in the Show’s Third Season

The classic What If comic books told some fantastic stories that the third season of Marvel Studios' What If...? should definitely consider telling on the small screen.

6 What If Comics That Should Inspire Episodes in the Show’s Third Season


  • Season 3 of Marvel Studios' What If...? has been confirmed, with one episode involving Red Guardian and Bucky Barnes having already been teased.
  • The show should start taking more influence from the comic books it's named after, which have a rich history of brilliant alternate universe stories dating back to 1977.
  • "What If Dr. Strange Had Been a Disciple of Dormammu?" and "What If Thor Fought Odin Over Jane Foster?" are two of the stories the show should consider adapting.
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The second season of Marvel Studios’ What If…? came to its thrilling climax at the end of 2023, with the brilliant episode “What If… Strange Supreme Intervened?” The show introduced some great new characters, played intriguingly with existing ones, and told some fun stories. However, it rarely took direct influence from the comic book series it’s named after. That’s a shame because, since their inception in 1977, the What If comics have explored some fascinating alternative scenarios for established characters – stories that would be brilliant to see animated on the small screen.


The third season of the show has already been confirmed. A teaser trailer showcasing an episode that will include Red Guardian, Bucky Barnes, Bill Foster, and Ranger Morales has aired, and that’s all anyone currently knows about it. It would be nice, however, if the comics influenced some episodes of the show named after them. With that in mind, these are some of the What If stories it’d be cool to see depicted on the television series.

6. “What If Dr. Strange Had Been a Disciple of Dormammu?” (1979)

What If Dr. Strange Had Been a Disciple of Dormammu?
“What If… Dr. Strange Had Been a Disciple of Dormammu?”

1979’s “What If Dr. Strange Had Been a Disciple of Dormammu?” follows Stephen Strange as his hands are fixed by Baron Mordo using dark magic, as instructed by Dormammu, who sees evil potential in him. When Strange returns to his career as a surgeon, he is booted out for malpractice and ends up as a disciple of his classic mortal enemy. Audiences have seen Strange turn evil in What If…?, but this would be a very different take on that. Witnessing the MCU’s most heroic human sorcerer as a henchman of one of its most mighty villains would be fascinating.


5. “What If Thor Fought Odin Over Jane Foster?” (1981)

What If... Thor Fought Odin over Jane Foster?
“What If… Thor Fought Odin over Jane Foster?”

This 1981 story was sold on the cover as “What If Thor and the Avengers Battled the Gods?” It depicts Odin seemingly approving of Jane Foster as Thor’s wife but secretly setting her up to fail, which results in Thor and his allies taking the fight to the Allfather. Odin disapproved of Natalie Portman’s character in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Season 3 of What If…? could take influence from this issue and show Thor rebelling against his father because of that disapproval and bringing his Avengers allies along for the ride. It would be awesome.

4. “What If Captain America Were Elected President?” (1981)

What If... Captain America Were Elected President?
“What If… Captain America Were Elected President?”

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve Rogers got his happy ending at Avengers: Endgame’s climax when he traveled back in time to be with Peggy Carter after helping to defeat Thanos. However, What If…? could take influence from a 1981 story to depict an alternative path for the World War II hero. “What If Captain America Were Elected President?” follows Rogers as he successfully runs as the presidential candidate for the fictional “New Populist Party.” The story sees Rogers killed fighting his old nemesis, the Red Skull, but the What If…? series could tell a different story with the same basic premise. Seeing Captain America as U.S. president in the MCU would undoubtedly be intriguing.

3. “What If Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben?” (2004)

What If... Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben?
“What If… Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben?”

Live-action Spider-Man movies have given us three brilliant Aunt Mays played by a trio of outstanding actresses: Rosemary Harris, Sally Field, and Marisa Tomei. However, Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben had already passed away when the character was introduced to the MCU, so a successor to the character played by Cliff Robertson and Martin Sheen went unseen. What If…? has the chance to rectify that by giving us a hypothetical MCU version of Ben Parker by taking inspiration from 2004’s “What If Aunt May Had Died Instead of Uncle Ben?” In the comic, Ben takes the blame when Spidey’s pursuit of his Aunt’s killer results in the criminal’s death. The series could take the same route or do something different. Either way, seeing MCU Uncle Ben would be cool.


2. “What If Jessica Jones Had Joined The Avengers?” (2004)

"What If... Jessica Jones Had Joined The Avengers?"
“What If… Jessica Jones Had Joined The Avengers?”

Krysten Ritter played Jessica Jones to high critical acclaim in Netflix’s Jessica Jones and The Defenders from 2015 until 2019, but she hasn’t been seen since the former show ended. Now that Marvel Studios has complete control of the characters from those shows, it’d be great to see Ritter reprise her role in voice form in the third season of What If…? An episode inspired by 2004’s “What If Jessica Jones Had Joined The Avengers?” would be fantastic. Jones has an attitude, and her reaction to and interactions with the various characters who are members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes would be awesome and hilarious.

1. “What If the Hulk Went Berserk?” (1984)

What If the Hulk Went Berserk?
“What If… the Hulk Went Berserk?”

Snippets of an out-of-control Hulk have been shown in the MCU – in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, for example, when Wanda Maximoff influenced Bruce Banner’s mind using magic – but movie fans have never seen him go entirely crazy. It’s also unlikely it’ll ever happen now that Banner and the Hulk have merged. If season 3 of What If…? uses 1984’s “What If The Hulk Went Berserk?” as inspiration, that could change. The comic depicted the likes of the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and Donald Blake’s Thor attempting to control him, with Thor ultimately forced to kill him. Something similar with familiar MCU characters trying to satiate the big green guy would undoubtedly be fun to watch.


Written by Kevin Stewart

Articles Published: 77

Kevin Stewart is a full-time professional freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the industry. He's produced more than 2000 pieces of published work on sports and entertainment topics - work that includes listicles, news articles, feature articles, voice-over scripts, quizzes, opinion pieces, and more. He's worked for the likes of NBC SYFY, Paste Magazine, FourFourTwo, Screen Rant, Digital Spy, CBR, WhatCulture, College Humor, The Richest, SportsKeeda, The Sportsman, and SugarScape. As an editor, he's managed the work of teams of up to 45 writers. He's a former business owner who's educated to degree level and has a BA Hons in Business Management. He loves movies (especially horror, 80s films, and superhero flicks), football (Tottenham Hotspur fan), keeping fit, and travelling the world.