Today the Sci-Fi Pubcast is recording our second What If? themed episode and this Wednesday brings the season finale of Marvel’s What If? So let’s take a look at these shows. TL, DR; they’re all great.
WANDA VISION: It was so much fun speculating from week to week what was going on and who was responsible. This is why shows needs to be watched weekly and not binged. I can’t stand when streaming services drop an entire season at once. The discussion and speculation disappears and the internet just becomes instantly rife with spoilers. I like to watch one a day, forcing me to mute and avoid the subject altogether.
I do think that the show should have begun in a different manor. As I recall it wasn’t until the end of episode 3 that we actually knew what was happening at all. I like Marc Bernardin’s (Fatman Beyond podcast) idea that the first episode should have been Monica’s POV as she investigates this mysterious anomaly and discovers Wanda at the center of it. That would have maintained a mystery while still letting us know what is real and what is fake.
I have to admit I was on the “It was Mephisto!” bandwagon but I wasn’t too disappointed when it turned out to just be Agatha slash Wanda. I definitely look forward to seeing the next chapter for Wanda, White Vision, and Monica.
FALCON WINTER SOLDER: this was the most traditional series and the weakest of the four, but still very strong. I really enjoyed the Falcon and Bucky pairing, but there were several aspects of the show that let me down.
Like everyone, I was extremely underwhelmed with Sharon Carter a) barely appearing and b) turning out to be evil. I’m still hoping she’s a Skrull, because this character evolution really did not ring right for me.
I was also hoping for more big budget movie action, the kind promised in the opening scene.
It was great to introduce Isiah Bradley, but he really needed more screen time. They should have done an entire flashback episode just for him.
Speaking of “What If?”, the original version of this story was about the Flag Smashers stealing a virus and a vaccine to use on people, but that was changed post-COVID. I’m afraid the Flag Smashers never worked as villains for me, and I wonder if it was due to these after-the-fact plot revisions.
LOKI: Far and away my favorite. This exceeded my every expectation. I thought it would be Loki bopping around in different timelines doing hi-jinks; instead we got a vital introduction of a major new concept and villain that will define the next five years of the MCU! Loki and Sylvie were such a wonderful character pairing, as was Loki and Mobius. The show was hilarious and moving and epic in every episode. Not one complaint. And I never expected to actually meet Kang in the finale! Well, “a” Kang. A delightful surprise. I thought this would be the most inconsequential of the series since it was a “fake” Loki in a “fake” timeline and I was delighted to be proven wrong.
WHAT IF?: I’m a big fan of animation, but I did set my sights lowest for this one. I figured because it was animated it would be fun but wouldn’t “count”. I’m not sure how much this will feed into the future of the MCU, but this is another series that exceeded my expectations. It has been so much fun seeing these alternate takes on the MCU. I especially love seeing character pairings we never got the chance to get in the existing movies. Wasp and Spider-Man! Thor and Captain Marvel! Can’t wait to see how it ends!
As for what comes next, I was not excited for Hawkeye until I saw the trailer, which does look pretty fun. I haven’t read the comic it’s based on. I like the character of Ms. Marvel but I never found her actual comics or villains to be very interesting, so the jury’s out on that one. She-Hulk will hopefully be a lot of fun, particularly with Bruce and Abomination in it. I’m most looking forward to Secret Invasion since that is a huge comic story-line and I can’t wait to see how they adapt it.