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What Changed In Marvel After T’Challa Became Star-Lord?


Marvel’s What If…? is on an epic journey to reimagine all the events from the Infinity Saga. So far, we have seen, Peggy becoming the First Avenger. On the other hand, Steve Rogers donned the HYDRA Stomper designed by Howard Stark which represented Iron Man. In the second episode, we saw the Ravagers kidnapped T’Challa from Wakanda and he became the Star-Lord. And in the third, we saw Hank Pym go on a killing spree as he killed Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Hawkeye, and even Thor. But speaking of the second episode, what all changed when T’Challa, the rightful Black Panther, ended up becoming Star-Lord? Let’s check it out!

1. Ravagers Are The Guardians of the Galaxy.

Marvel's What If Episode 2
Marvel’s What If Episode 2

Originally, the Ravagers kidnapped Peter Quill and stayed on the normal course of stealing things, heists, and whatnot. This was even hinted at a conversation between Yondu and T’Challa where the former talked about their usual decision of selling a possession to the highest bidder. But by kidnapping T’Challa, this course was reinvented as he talked morale into the Ravagers. So in this reality, the Ravagers are the real heroes.

2. No Need For The Avengers.

The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers (2012)

Outside of What If…?, the world didn’t really need the Avengers. That’s because, in the original timeline, Thanos gave the Tesseract to Loki which was a major threat. Hence we needed a team of heroes to come and save the world. But in the anthology animated series, that never happened because our righteous T’Challa convinced Thanos that there were other ways of saving the universe and not just carrying out a mass genocide. So this reality didn’t need the ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.’

3. Gamora & Nebula Aren’t The Same.

Nebula in Marvel's What If...? Episode 2
Nebula in Marvel’s What If…? Episode 2

One of the most interesting changes in the second episode was the happy lives of Nebula and Gamora. Now that Thanos is not the bad guy, he never went on to kill Gamora’s family as he never set out on his ultimate mission. So Gamora, on one hand, remained happily ever after with her family. But Nebula was still Thanos’ adopted daughter. But she wasn’t deconstructed every now and then and tortured. That’s why he remained a trusted ally and even helped save the day.

4. Drax Didn’t Lose HIs Family.

Drax the Destroyer in Marvel's What If...? Episode 2
Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s What If…? Episode 2

Just like Gamora, even Drax didn’t lose his family. In the original timeline, the Kree warrior Ronan the Accuser went to Drax’s planet and killed his family in front of him. But just because Thanos changed his way, the event was removed from reality altogether. This in turn leads us to the fact that Drax never became the Destroyer and Ronan never destroyed Nova Corps. But speaking of Drax, he’s still the honest, funny, and straightforward character there is.

5. New Big Bad – The Collector.

The Collector wearing Hela's helmet in What If Episode 2
The Collector wearing Hela’s helmet in What If Episode 2

T’Challa really downsized Thanos as a threat. But still, the universe wasn’t safe as The Collector took Thanos’ place. The Mad Titan even explains that just because he stepped down and lived a normal life, The Collector saw it as an opening and became the ultimate kingpin. Even though he wasn’t a threat like Thanos, he was still a mobster, with the Black Order under his command and millions of prisoners.

6. Thanos Never Snapped His Fingers.

Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War
Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War

The biggest change that T’Challa brought to this reality by stopping Thanos is that there was never a snap. In the MCU, the snap was the worst thing that the heroes could ever imagine. Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, both showed the after-effects of a snap. But in this reality, just because the Ravagers kidnapped T’Challa and he got the chance to travel the universe, he was able to stop Thanos. As a result, there was no conquest for the Infinity Stones, there was no battle on Titan and Wakanda, and the Titan never snapped his fingers.

7. Ego Still Remains A Threat.

Kurt Russell as Ego in What If...? Episode 2
Kurt Russell as Ego in What If…? Episode 2

As seen at the end of the second episode, Ego somehow managed to find Peter Quil regardless of how events unfolded. In the original timeline explained in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Ego finds Quill in space and explains him his origins and his true heritage. So this proves that this main event was not altered in What If.

8. Black Order vs. Thanos.

Thanos vs. Black Order in What If...?
Thanos vs. Black Order in What If…?

In the original timeline, we remember the chaos that the Black Order brought to the Avengers. We have seen them assisting Thanos in killing Loki, Heimdal, and even Vision. They arrived on Earth and firsthand visited the Avengers. But now, Thanos is not the real threat in this reality. Instead, it’s The Collector. Originally, Black Order went from planet to planet to kill people and be the harbinger of chaos. But now they work for the Collector as the security! This clearly indicates that many people throughout the universe didn’t die, and many planets were left free off of their arrival.

9. King T’Chakka Lived.

T'Chakka in What If...? Marvel Episode 2
T’Chaka in What If…? Marvel Episode 2

One of the major differences in this reality is that Wakanda never opened up to the world and King T’Chaka never became a victim of Zemo’s vicious plan. Instead, he lived and searched for his son all over the universe. This means that Wakanda never lost a king and he remained the Black Panther. But T’Chaka being alive also alters the events of Age of Ultron – it never happened. This means Tony never built Ultron, and the battle never happened.

10. Are Captain America & Thor Dead?

T'Challa vs. The Collector in What If Episode 2
T’Challa vs. The Collector in What If Episode 2

One major scene from What If‘s second episode hints at the fact that even though Thanos didn’t attack Earth, someone else did. And that someone is The Collector. This was hinted at by the fact that he had Captain America’s vibranium shield and Thor’s Mjolnir in his collection. The fact that he wore Hela’s helmet means he killed her too, proving that even Odin died which is necessary for the return of the Goddess of Death. Hence, this means that no matter what all good T’Challa did after becoming Star-Lord, there were still some downfalls.

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Written by Deepak Vasisht