Marvel's What If...? episode 6 spoilers follow.
Up until now, Marvel's What If…? hasn't felt like essential viewing in terms of understanding the MCU at large, not unless you're a die-hard stan. Sure, producer Brad Winderbaum said his show is just as important to the MCU as Loki was, but he would say that, right?
Despite it being implied that the multiverse seen here was created in the wake of Loki's finale, What If…? still looked more like a fun experiment than anything else, one where we simply imagine how strange the MCU might look if different choices were made.
But now, a new mid-season trailer seems to confirm that there's much more to Marvel's new Disney+ show than meets the eye. And if we're right, our MCU is going to look very different by the end of season one too.
Fans who instantly fell in love with Captain Carter or T'Challa's Star-Lord will be very happy to see them return in this new trailer, and these aren't just clips taken from their previous episodes either. Along with some familiar frames, the promo also gives us a glimpse of returning faces including both of these heroes along with others like the dark Doctor Strange last seen in episode four.
The Watcher wasn't kidding this week when he said, "Heroes are never really gone." Even Shuri and Pepper Potts can be seen teaming up here in the wake of Killmonger's betrayal from episode six.
The trailer also reveals some new variant heroes we haven't seen before, including a different version of Thor talking about the episode-five zombies with Dark Strange. Could this be the much-rumored Party Thor fans are keen to go on a rager with? Quite possibly, and at one point, it looks like Captain Carter is leading an entire team of these alternate heroes in much the same way that Captain America did in the first Avengers film.
So what's going on? Why are these seemingly stand-alone stories suddenly colliding now in one big crossover? We first had a hint that each episode was connected thanks to the recurring appearance of a tentacled entity who we can only assume is Shuma-Gorath, a major Doctor Strange villain from the comics.
But it's not until this trailer arrived that we realzed Marvel's What If...? isn't actually an anthology show at all, but instead one that's wholly interconnected.
It's likely that the Watcher is the one who's responsible for the trailer's multiversal team-up. Although this god-like being has vowed to never interfere, it's been hinted more than once that he's been frustrated by this. In episode four, the Watcher even addresses Dark Strange directly, warning him that the path he's on will lead to madness...
So is our favorite giant bald guy just miffed or is there a greater threat to the multiverse looming ahead? Why not both, right?
If we took one thing from Loki's show, aside from the joy of Throg, it's that messing with the multiverse is a big no-no. And given how everything fell apart in the finale, it seems likely that each reality we've seen so far in Marvel's What If...? may soon be under threat from total destruction, probably thanks to Kang (or one of his many, many variants).
That's certainly a good enough reason for the Watcher to go on a Nick-Fury style recruitment spree across each reality to pick the ultimate Avengers team. Perhaps that's even the reason why he's watching these worlds in the first place.
But whatever the catalyst for all this might be, what we do know is that Marvel's What If...? is building towards a huge crossover event, one that will likely feed into the multiversal hijinks fans expect to see in Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Doctor Strange sequel. And who knows? Maybe some other heroes we haven't seen in this trailer will also return by the end of this season? Just don't expect to see Uncle Ben pop up any time soon...
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