Warning: Spoilers ahead for What If…? Season 1, Episode 6, “What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark”
The latest episode of What If…? brings back Erik Stevens aka Killmonger, one of the fan-favorite villains. He saves Tony Stark in Afghanistan reducing the need for creating armor. Instead, he gives the CEO a new task: creating unmanned combat drones. In the real world, the US army already uses combat drones. But these fictional ones differ in the sense; they are AI-driven, making human soldiers obsolete. These drones are reminiscent of the Gundam army as noted in the episode itself.
Tony Stark quickly designs and develops the drones run on Vibranium as suggested by Killmonger. But the search of Vibranium leads both to a path of crime that brings them to Ulysses Klaue.
The episode then turns to Killmonger’s habit of playing both sides. When he gets to know about the deal with Wakandan dogs, he cuts in only to kill both his cousins T’Challa and James Rhodes. But Tony catches his act through Jarvis and puts the Liberator to first combat test. The drone tries to build up to match the style of Killmonger, however, fails to do so. Killmonger eventually kills the drone and Tony Stark. Without Tony Stark, there will be no drone and no technology to create the armor. In theory, these drones are scary, but they are no match to Killmonger’s fighting skills.
The rest of the episode shows the US military bought the technology and starts mass-producing it. The drones are put into the fight against the Wakandans. But yet again, Killmonger slips towards the side of the Wakanda and offers them the head of Klaue just like in the movie. He tricks the Wakandan royal family into letting the drones in resulting in full battle.
Of course, Killmonger defeats the drones and becomes the crown prince and subsequently Black Panther. Without Tony, the drones are never improved thus left to be taken advantage of by the enemy.
Watch this latest episode now on Disney+!