Wednesdays are mostly our Marvel review days on the blog, so it’s time to talk about today’s episode of What If …? called What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? There will be spoilers from here on out, so proceed with caution.
What was it about?
What if someone eliminated the candidates for the Avengers initiative before they ever had a chance to band together?
I’m really feeling like I’m having my ups and downs with this show. While I tremendously enjoyed the plot of last week, I was somewhat disappointed with this episode. It wasn’t just the way it felt rushed in the short run time, but it also seemed like the real story only started once it ended. Let us break down what the episode was about!
- The episode covered the span of a week, with every day more or less featuring the death of one of the Avengers. It all started with Tony Stark’s demise, which Black Widow got framed for. Then, it continued with the assassination of Thor by the hand of Hawkeye, who, just like Black Widow, claims innocence, which was followed by his own death. After that the Hulk literally exploded and even Natasha got found after her escape from SHIELD’s capture and taken down. Nick Fury (alongside Agent Coulson) seemed to be the only one left standing.
- I was somewhat surprised to see Doctor Ross, which is silly, because of course she is part of Bruce’s story, but we haven’t seen her in so long. In fact, in the live action version with the character being portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, she has never even been mentioned.
- I didn’t see the point of rehashing each death in detail, as few of them have lasting consequences within the episode, except for Thor’s passing. His death prompts Loki to arrive on Earth with an army, vowing to revenge his brother. Fury manages to strike a deal with him by offering him the real assassin in return for leaving the planet in peace.
- Natasha, before her final battle, managed to give Fury a hint at who was behind the attacks. She called him and told him that it was all about Hope. We, as devoted MCU viewers, obviously knew right away that it had to do with Hope van Dyne, but she really couldn’t have just told him the full name instead of repeating her first name twice on the message? Seems inefficient to me.
- In this universe, Hope was an agent of SHIELD, just like her mother before her. They both died on missions, which left a grieving Hank Pym unable to deal with his emotions. He, in his suit could manipulate all the situations without being seen, therefore being the real culprit. He got tricked by Loki, who disguised himself as Fury to coax out a confession, and eventually got taken in by the Asgardian army.
- Loki wouldn’t be Loki if he didn’t betray someone. So, despite Fury honoring his deal with the trickster God, Loki decides to stay on Earth and without anyone stopping him and a full army to back him, he manages to take over the rule of the planet within a day.
- It was odd to see Fury and Coulson so non-chalantly dealing with the alien invasion. However, the episode ends with Captain Marvel showing up for back up and Coulson looking at the frozen shield of Captain America. Maybe in this universe he was never unthawed? We literally don’t find out more as this is where it all fades to black.
- What I noticed within the episode was that the Watcher was present in the sky/background a lot more obviously than in previous stories. I don’t know why it stood out so much here, but it did. I still wonder if he will really just remain someone to tell us tales or if he will eventually be involved in something as well.
As you can see, I kept that a lot shorter than with previous Marvel reviews or recaps, but I really wasn’t that impressed by the episode. Wouldn’t the meat of the story be about how Fury has to find alternate Avengers team members? How did Loki manage to conquer Earth in a day? There seemed to be exactly zero pushback from anyone as he spoke in front of the UN, which could possibly be because of his large armada, but come on. That was way too easy!
I have no idea what next week’s episode will be about, as I think they’ve only revealed the first three in advance, but I hope it will be something I can be more enthusiastic about again. Not even the funny quips about Thor’s glorious hair could keep me entertained for long here. Maybe I just also didn’t want to watch all the Avengers die … again. See you for more next week!