What If…? premiered on Disney+ on August 11. The episode started with a monologue from The Watcher. He went on to explain the space-time continuum and how each decision has the capability to branch into various universes. The series is supposed to have a total of nine episodes in its first season. Surprisingly though, Disney+ has already announced that What If…? will be picked for a second season. There are quite a few What If Storylines that were dropped in season 1. So maybe they could be picked up in season 2!
The first episode was all about that one decision made by Agent Peggy Carter when she decided to stay for the experiment. And how it came to change the course of history as we know it. The Watcher guided us through the possibility where Agent Carter took the super-soldier serum. As we go ahead with the show, the head-writer A.C. Bradley talked about the dropped plotlines for some episodes that never saw the light of the day.
WHAT IF… SPIDER-MAN ACTUALLY BECAME A SPIDER?!
Spider-Man does not have an episode based solely on his life decisions yet. Rather he is set to play a role in the Marvel Zombies episode as he is often referred to as the Zombie Slayer in the comics. And making Peter Parker transform into a spider could easily make things take a dark turn. Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man undergoing metamorphosis might seem too David Cronenberg-y (like in The Fly) for the MCU fanatics. One of the great things about the MCU is that it is suitable for all ages but including a Teen-Spider in the show might just be too heinous. Surprisingly, they approved the zombies.
Bradley went ahead and said:
It would have been hard-R for a show that probably your kids will end up watching. It was a little too dark. So I was like, okay, that’s fine. Can I do zombies? And they said, yes, you can do zombies.
WHAT IF… TONY STARK WAS INDIANA JONES?!
Many MCU fans, including Bradley, have been fascinated by the distant relationship between Tony Stark and his father. We never saw Howard and Tony in a room together until Captain America: Civil War. The tension between them gave an idea to Bradley. She had always admired The Young Indian Jones Chronicles and wanted to integrate MCU with the former. She saw similarities in the father-son relationships in both the characters and she was intrigued to explore the results of doing so.
To quote Bradley, “At the end of the day, Tony Stark is the guy who was never supposed to be the hero, becoming the hero.” Actually, this storyline was meant to show us the version of Tony Stark who is not so self-absorbed.
WHAT IF… CAPTAIN AMERICA BECAME CAPTAIN HYDRA?!
This subplot was recently uncovered in the Secret Empire series of comics. It involved a series of events that started when Steve Rogers fell off the train instead of Bucky. The idea was considered as fans would’ve loved a Hydra version of Steve Rogers after seeing him whisper Hail Hydra to Agent Sitwell in the elevator scene. In the subplot, Steve Rogers served Hydra and even took up the mantle of Captain Hydra.
My idea was, if Steve fell off the train, we would jump forward in time,” Bradley says. The Steve Rogers version of Winter Soldier would not slyly operate in the shadows, but instead aggressively and openly pursue the cause of his new evil overlords.
What made this arc interesting was the major twist with Red Skull joining the Allied Powers. After Captain Hydra rose to power, Red Skull joined forces with Agent Carter, Howard Stark, and Bucky to stop him. Bradley revealed that it was actually this idea that got her the job as the head-writer.
WHAT IF… TONY AND PEPPER MET LUKE SKYWALKER?!
A.C. Bradley revealed her love for Star Wars by pitching in a possibility where Tony Stark crossovers the Star Wars universe. Bradley even suggested introducing Rocketman in the Multiverse as a joke. She truly wanted to go over the limits with this show but unfortunately, this subplot was also turned down. She said,
I would pitch Star Wars characters. That was me half the time having a joke, and also just really liking Mark Hamill having worked with him on Trollhunters. Sometimes you would push the crazy ideas just to see if there was any movement.”
WHAT IF… LOKI WAS WORTHY?!
Loki has been an intriguing character since his introduction in 2011’s Thor and became a fan-favourite after the first installment of the Avengers. A deleted scene of Thor: The Dark World revealed Loki imagined himself wielding Mjolnir and his fans wanted Marvel to explain that scene. Bradley knew that What If…? will be the perfect platform to do so but the Studios dropped this idea. She revealed that the creators wanted to avoid giving characters a focus who were already getting their standalone shows.
Marvel Studios has truly outdone themselves with these ideas. The ideas vary so much from their sources, especially the Cronenberg-Esque idea for Spider-Man. Nevertheless, Marvel has always given out their best content and they are not going to stop now. And if Marvel was to reconsider their decision, it isn’t too late to announce the third season, so never say never.
What do you think about these What If…? ideas? Do you want any of these in the upcoming seasons? If yes, which one and why? Do let us know in the comments section below.