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The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand at a rapid pace, and the newest series, which airs every Wednesday on Disney+, is the What If… series. Personally, I love the series, but I have come across some fans recently that have differing opinions. This got me thinking, if you are an avid comic book reader, and are aware of what the ‘What If…’ series is capable of, would what we are seeing right now interest you, or better yet is the ‘What If…’ series being held back by the limitations of the MCU?
What Is Marvel’s What If?
Before we go into the potential of the What If… series being held back, let’s talk about what the series is. Marvel’s What If… is a series of comic books that center around popular characters in stories in the Marvel comic book universe. These stories are primarily designed to be fun ideas that ask the mind-numbing question what if a certain event in Marvel Comics played out differently? Here are a few examples of storylines that you might see, and find interesting.
As far as I have been able to tell, these stories are canon. Which is the same as their MCU counterpart. What happens in ‘What If’ may or may not directly affect a particular Marvel storyline. This element to me is just simply cool! Not only do we get these entertaining stories that help us to see different sides to a location or a character, but to know that these changes may be in some cases permanent is very exciting, and I am totally on board with this, and it all sounds like great stuff.
Is The MCU Holding The What If… Series Back From Being Great?
This brings me back to my original point of this article. Is the What If series being held back by the MCU? In some cases, this could actually be a really interesting argument. In episode 4 of the What If… series we follow Doctor Strange, (if you’d like to view my full review of this episode, please view it here), he is still the Doctor Strange we come to know and love in the MCU so far until a similar car accident ends up killing Christine, which is Doctor’s Strange love interest in the MCU. Strange trying to bring her back to life sets off a change of events that eventually destroy his entire universe.
Now after watching this episode, there were a few things I noticed, the first was the limitation of Doctors Strange. He really didn’t use very many spells while fighting himself in this episode, and I felt that could be to keep the character in line with what we have come to expect in the MCU. Based on this I seriously doubt we are going to see any real character progression here, and this is not something I personally have an issue with, although it does feel like we got a ‘discount’ version of the character.
The very first episode of What If… followed Peggy Carter, as she took the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. This story was different but had a very similar arc to the first Captain America movie. I’ve heard some fans say that this episode really wasn’t that different and that the arc was very similar, and I’d have to agree with you there. The What If… stories all vary differently, with one story being vastly different from the next, and as a fan of this series I welcome all of the changes no matter how vast or minuscule they may feel.
My Final Thoughts On The What If… Series.
The MCU version of the What If… series almost feels like a much-needed break from the normal MCU movies. For example, at the end of the Doctor Strange episode, we do get a not-so-happy ending, and this was a much-welcomed change. Even though we watch heroes struggle with major threats and villains, it is sometimes significant if the hero loses or at the very least the hero’s actions affect the world they live in negatively to some degree. I personally feel this is why films like Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War stick out so much for fans. Just having your film end where the hero doesn’t win seems to really spice things up.
This shows the beauty of the What If series for me. I also understand how a portion of fans feels about the series. I also agree that the series hasn’t really stepped out there in regards to how crazy things can get, and I feel that’s partially due to the limitations of them being set in the MCU. I will also add this is only the 4th episode of the series, and we still have other episodes to look forward to. I will continue to review each and every one of them for you on our site and give them all a rating for you. If you’d like to view my review of episodes 3 or 4 you may do so by clicking the link under the ‘related blog post’ section.
Now it’s time to hear from our readers! How do you like the What If… series? We welcome all thoughts down below in the comments section of our blog. Thank you for reading!