With episode 6 coming out today, the finish line for Marvel’s “What If…” series is in sight. Unfortunately, I’m not confident they will ever land the proverbial plane with this show. Once again, episode 6 reminded me of the major frustrations I have with this show. Don’t get me wrong, there are incredible moments to be found in Marvel’s “What If…” series, but they feel half-baked and not complete. Here’s our review of episode 6: Killmonger saves Tony Stark.
The Forging of Iron Man Never Happens
As seen in the trailers, Killmonger swoops in to save Tony Stark from wayward shrapnel and the imprisonment by the Ten Rings. This single event changed the entire hero landscape of this universe. The Watcher reinforces that heroes are not born they are forged in darkness. With Tony Stark never going through his terrorist imprisonment, Iron Man never happens. As with most “What If…” episodes, the implications of a world without Iron Man are unclear.
Killmonger’s “Grand” Plan
Killmonger is one of Marvel’s most complex villains. He’s motivated by a genuine desire to empower people like him, but his approach is way off. In this universe, he’s still pursuing that plan, but his strategy is more manipulative and political. Through Stark’s tech and killing Rhodey, Killmonger convinces the U.S. military to build his vibranium liberators. Little did the military know, Killmonger used his inside knowledge of the liberators to gain trust with Wakanda. Ultimately, his manipulations and assassinations result in him becoming the next Black Panther.
The Problem with Marvel’s “What If…” Series
Overall, episode 6 was fine, but it left me hanging once again. “What If…” lacks finality and completion in its storytelling. Outside of the Dr. Strange episode, each story leaves me wondering what happens next and not in a good way. These stories feel half-baked, like loose threads never sown into a taught design. It’s as if Marvel sat in a room and spitballed cool ideas instead of complete stories. I understand the show is about exploring the possibilities, but it doesn’t mean you don’t seek finality. With three episodes remaining, I hope they cinch it together at the end.