I think Marvel Cinematic Universe fans can all agree that the game of digging through the concept for clues and making up theories is a huge part of the fun. In that sense, then, the new Disney+ animated series What If…? amounts to Marvel saying: “You are seen.”
This is a show that tempts us to mull over. What might have happened if Peggy Carter had received Dr. Erskine’s super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers? Where would Peggy’s life have gone? What about Steve? Or Bucky? Every episode shouts back to Marvel’s comic book origins. What If? cleverly avoids the path of least resistance by simply turning Captain America into a gender-swapped Captain Britain.
Doctor Strange 2 Producer Addresses Confusing What If…? Connection
That cartoon crossover confirmed rumors of connections with What If…?. Marvel Studios’ animated anthology explored alternate MCU timelines, while other theories were turned off by this trailer. Subtitles revealed the evil Doctor Strange Variant to be “Sinister Strange,” not What If…?’s Strange Supreme.
If we think he is evil, then we should wait for his other variants. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness producer Richie Palmer noted that regardless of all the Multiverse cameos, this film is all about Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange “reckoning with himself.”
“After all the decisions he’s made over the years, this movie really shows Stephen reckoning with himself.”
One self-judgement won’t matter, as the MCU’s Strange will be faced with many versions of himself in the flesh. This was similarly explored in What If…? Episode 4, where viewers follow a Stephen Strange who loses his love in his infamous car wreck.
“Things get pretty trippy. We love that episode of What If…?, and we hope to do it justice. It shows another version of Doctor Strange – one who let the universe he lived in be destroyed because of his love for Christine. If he was capable of that, for a selfish reason, is that something that our Stephen would be capable of doing, too? We’d like to think, ‘No, our guy’s the hero,’ but you never know.”
Multiverse of Madness Animated Inspiration
What If…?’s Strange Supreme was get into a human reality. His lust for power came from the grief of losing a loved one. This only emphasized that no matter how disfigured he became, Strange was still a real person with real emotion deep down inside. His fall from grace was birthed out of a “selfish” motive, not purely evil intent.
One big question is Will “What If…?” eventually tie-in to the timeline-splitting ramifications of the “Loki” Season 1 finale? Will the series follow some live-action spin-offs? as executive producer Brad Winderbaum suggested was a possibility in a recent interview. Maybe or maybe not. But unlike every other MCU show on Disney+ so far, the most interesting thing about “What If…?” isn’t the ramifications that the series could have for future franchise installments.