The 6th episode of Disney+’s What If premiered on September 15 and made us ponder another question. What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? The episode had the viewers on the edge of their seats as Tony got his hands on Vibranium at the beginning of his career as Iron Man. Additionally, he creates an entire army of drones with battlefield AI, just like what he wanted in Ultron. However, he didn’t stay long enough to use any of that.
The episode started with the same sequence as 2008’s Iron Man. The Ten Rings attack Tony’s convoy, only this time Killmonger rescued Tony Stark from the captivation. So, all the events that led to Tony’s redemption were altered. Tony never became a superhero or an Avenger. However, with the help of Erik Stevens’ knowledge of Wakanda, Tony gets a chance to work with Vibranium. Erik became his partner-in-crime but stabbed him in the back the moment he was done with Tony.
A SHORT SUMMARY
The episode featured Tony Stark in all his old habits. He was a selfish, money-obsessed womanizer with great engineering skills. Killmonger came into the picture as a Navy SEAL who was stationed 20 klicks away from where Tony was supposed to be abducted. He befriended him until he was in his inner circle. He introduced his doctorate thesis on army bots called the Liberator Drones. The ‘gearheaded orphans‘ followed the plans but failed repeatedly due to the power problem. Similar to the main timeline, Tony was about to hit the million-dollar idea of miniaturizing the arc reactor. However, Stevens suggested the use of Vibranium as a viable alternative almost immediately. This led them directly to the Wakandan thief, Ulysses Klaue.
Even though Tony got the vibranium, he lost his life-long best friend, Rhodey, to Erik. He then confronts Erik and comments on how Jarvis sees everything. Tony releases the Liberator Drone with the motive to kill Erik. The Drone imitated Erik’s fighting style, a callback to when Tony did the same to Cap in the last fight of the Civil War. However, Erik was too smart for Tony’s good and outsmarted the drone and Tony. Erik used the Dora Milaje spear on Tony and kills him in cold blood. Following this, the USA declares war against Wakanda and deploys the Drones. This all was a big scheme for Erik to win the trust of his uncle and inherit the throne. He double-crosses the US Army and ends up being the next Black Panther, all according to his plan.
THE VIBRANIUM ARMOR!!!
MCU fans have always expressed their wish to see Tony Stark built an armor suit out of Vibranium. The vibranium is the most versatile metal in the MCU and a vibranium suit could’ve defeated Thanos in the first battle. After the release of Black Panther, fans have speculated over the addition of a vibranium armor in Tony’s collection. However, Thanos never gave them a chance to build the Dream suit. However, What If gave us this opportunity, showed us a glimpse of a Vibranium suit, and wasted this chance all over again. Tony was killed mid-episode, without having the chance to see what his Drones were capable of.
THE FAILURE OF THE DRONES
All these dreams were shattered when we saw the Wakandans go through these drones like Drax goes through the Sakaarians. But this doesn’t mean that the Drones were weak. The drones were made of the same thing as the Wakandan weapons. However, if the Drones were to fight against an army with non-Vibranium weapons, they would have been a force to be reckoned with.
The drones were almost a creative waste without their creator. Tony was the brains behind the drones and without him, the failure was inevitable. He died right after Erik destroyed his prototype. US government took over the production of the Drones. The ultimate defeat of the drones could’ve been prevented if Tony was there to improve them. Tony has always had a desire to improve his initial designs, but that needed him to be ‘not dead’. After this failure, the future of Tech suits is finished in this timeline.
Fans are used to watching Tony in an armored suit, but the drones were a major fall. Moreover, Killmonger was super-villainous in this timeline. Kill monger is supposed to be one of the best villains in the MCU but because of this reason, he didn’t have the same impact as before. What If is a prism of endless possibilities, so if Marvel were to produce an episode with Tony in a vibranium suit of armor, they can do it in the future. These suits and drones were Tony’s legacy, and this episode was a disgrace to the memory of Tony in the main timeline.
What are your views on these Gundam drones? Do let us know in the comments.