The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a collection of all kinds of characters. We have strange new additions happening to the franchise with every new piece of media that comes out. The most sinister addition to the characters happened in What If…? We met strange new variants of our MCU characters and they appealed to us in ways we never thought possible. While most of these characters were inspired by the comics Marvel Studios made significant changes to their lore. Here are 10 things Marvel changed about Marvel Zombies in What If…?.
Zombies were not the Protagonists
The original story of Marvel Zombies comics has the Zombies as the main characters of the story. They’re somewhat sentient and become far more intelligent after they learn to suppress their hunger. This makes the Zombies more durable than human beings and for once it was nice to see a Zombie apocalypse happen from the side of the Zombies. But Marvel Studios changed this in What If, with the zombies being the villain once more.
The Gore was Mild At Best
The original comic has a lot of bloody parts and a substantial amount of gore. It is written by the creator of The Walking Dead so we did expect some kind of shock value but this gore is used exquisitely. The purpose of the graphics is to make us realize just how harrowing such a thing can be. We can guess that they toned it down because of budget constraints and content moderation. Regardless, the comics were much more bloody than the episode.
There were only a few survivors in the original Zombie comics. This included Magneto, the Acolytes, and Black Panther. Notice how Black Panther is the only common denominator between the show and the comics. This was because there was one thing that the show kept from the comics. The Zombies had kidnapped T’challa similar to the show and were eating him little by little. It is a truly gruesome panel but hammers home how dangerous these creatures are.
Not The Same Intensity as the Comics
The most interesting thing about the comic stories was that the Zombies were not mindless monsters. They were a lot more intelligent and they were the same people other than their insatiable hunger for flesh. This made them turn on the same people they swore to protect. How would you react if you saw Peter Parker devouring his own wife while his guts spill out of his body? This is more than a little damaging for young readers.
The Zombies were the ONLY thing Adapted
What If…? Zombies was an adaptation of Marvel Zombies in name only. It only took the premise of Zombies and made a story around it. However, it was quite sad to see that this story was only limited to the zombie virus outbreak. The rest of the show focused purely on the survival of the remaining band of heroes. Making this a zombie survival show in the MCU rather than Marvel Zombies.
Source of The Zombie Virus
In the show What If…? the zombie virus came from the Quantum realm. Hank Pym went to the quantum realm to rescue his wife Janet Van Dyne and found a zombified version of this. This origin of the outbreak is very different than what happened in the comics. In Marvel Zombies a zombified sentry of another universe was sent by The Watcher to zombify the earth. This is another difference between the versions since the comics have one Watcher for every Universe rather than one for the multiverse.
Scott Vs Wasp
In the show, we saw that Scott Lang was reduced to a floating head. However, in the comics, this was not so. In fact, Scott Lang was not part of Marvel Zombies in the comics, mainly because Hank Pym was playing ant-man at this time. Moreover, the story of a floating head does draw a parallel from the comics. The only difference is that it was The Wasp who was reduced to a floating head after she lost to Ant-Man in a fight.
The original Marvel Zombies story did not feature Sharon Carter. She is just not a relevant character with respect to the comics’ ethos. However, she was an integral member of the team in the show as she tries to survive alongside everyone else. This is quite nice and we always love the appearance of Emily VanCamp. She must have paired her recording sessions with her acting engagement on the set of Falcon & The Winter Soldier.
Magneto & The Acolytes
The story of Marvel Zombies starts with Magento fighting off the zombie horde, A battle which he eventually loses. Later he is saved by the Acolyte when they come to earth and they are the ones who save a half-eaten Black panther and the Wasp too. This makes them and Magneto the only non-zombie characters in the entire story, Which is part of why the original comic is so full of gore.
This may be because MCU does not have the X-men yet, but in the comics, Wolverine was the only survivor of the X-men fighting to keep his sanity. He had already turned into a zombie but then again Zombification is not something that can change Wolverine. He has always been a killing machine so he just added being a zombie to his personality.