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So far Marvel’s What If series has been a blast. We’ve seen Doctor Strange destroy a whole universe by his actions, an episode where T’Challa is Star Lord and in Episode 5 we get a zombie outbreak! The ‘What of’ series is shaping up to be must-watch Marvel content. We’ll review the entire episode in this article and share our thoughts. We will be getting into story and plot elements in this review so this is your official spoiler warning.
What is Episode 5 of Marvel‘s What If…?
The episode opens with us seeing Bruce Banner hurled to earth using the Bifrost. (So this episode takes place during the events of Infinity War) At this time Hank Pym is in the quantum realm attempting to save his wife, but his wife contracts a zombie virus in this Universe. She bites Hank who then bites Ant-Man, and then the three infect California as microscopic zombies.
The Avengers eventually show up to deal with the threat and are all taken out by zombies. The remaining superhero’s which are Spider-Man, The Winter Soldier, The Wasp, and a few notable characters such as Happy Hogan, Sharon Carter, and Okoye, must survive and travel to a destination that may have a possible cure.
How Was It?
Episode 5 is a very interesting episode. It is entertaining as well, but I do feel Marvel tried too hard to make us feel happy during this episode. For example, in the episode, we come to find out that Ant-Man was cured by Vision, who’s motivated to find a cure after Wanda Maximoff becomes a zombie.
Ant-Man is clearly the light-hearted comic relief of this episode, but his jokes were rather misplaced in my opinion. These characters are losing friends and seeing people die in front of them. They are having to fight zombie versions of their friends and loved ones, and before you have a moment to feel anything emotional there is a poorly timed joke or “dad joked” as Scott Lang calls them.
Spider-Man was one of the few characters in this episode that truly felt real. He was trying to save his comrades, all while processing all of the loss he’s experienced now and throughout the character’s history.
Even though I have my criticisms about how emotionally over the place this episode was I will say that there were still moments that excited me. One moment I’ll mention is Bucky Barnes interacting with a zombie version of Steve Rogers, Captain America. It was also really cool to see caps zombie corpse slide off of his shield.
Another high point for me, was when we see a zombie version of Thanos with an almost complete infinity gauntlet. I’m not sure how the remaining team would’ve dealt with this, but the episode cuts off immediately after the reveal.
Overall I did find this episode enjoyable, but I wish this episode had a more consistent tone throughout. This episode will you have all over the place emotionally. You may feel happy, sad, scared, and hopeful and this can occur all in one scene at times. My official rating for this episode is a 7. It’s good, but not a great episode. The misplaced humor and inconsistent tone really hurt this episode for me.
Now I’d like to hear from you. How did you enjoy this episode? Feel free to share your thoughts below.