"Marvel's What If...?" Season One Talkback (Spoilers)

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Frontier

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Wow, what an intense episode. I didn't think the ending would be that bleak.

Gotta give credit to the animation here, we got some really cool and bizarre imagery, but it makes sense considering which film they were diverging from. I also think Cumberbatch's voice performance was genuinely really good here, especially when he had to voice both of his characters in the same scene.
Cumberbatch got to voice Dr. Strange and Domammu and now he gets to voice Dr. Strange and evil Dr. Strange :cool:.
 

M.O.D.O.K.

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I've been catching it up with this show and I've been enjoying it more by each episode. The scenarios keep getting increasingly more exciting. It was really cool that Strange Supreme actually interacted with The Watcher on this one.

I kind of thought the gnome that Strange Supreme absorbs was a nod to the gnomes from Trollhunters, especially since A.C. Bradley worked on that show as well.
 

Rick Jones

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I've been catching it up with this show and I've been enjoying it more by each episode. The scenarios keep getting increasingly more exciting. It was really cool that Strange Supreme actually interacted with The Watcher on this one.

I kind of thought the gnome that Strange Supreme absorbs was a nod to the gnomes from Trollhunters, especially since A.C. Bradley worked on that show as well.
I thought of Trollhunters with the gnome, too. I feel like I've seen gnomes that act like this somewhere else as well.

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bigdaddy313

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MAN that was SAD.
MAN that was DARK.
MAN the MUSIC is very DEPRESSING.
This was a very good episode, I don’t think I have being this sad for an MCU production.
He will definitely be back cause I think I remember him talking to Agent Carter asking who she is.
Loving it.
Even in darkness the show is GORGEOUS.
 

RoyalRubble

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Another What If? Q&A session premieres today on Disney+!
whatif_card.jpg

Marvel's What If...?
Season 1, Episode 5
- What If... Zombies?!
Episode Debut
- September 8, 2021

Comments?

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Additionally, please use Spoiler Tags if you wish to discuss the events of an episode in other threads outside this Talkback for the first 7 days after its premiere (i.e., as soon as a new episode debuts, Spoiler Tags for the previous episode aren't mandatory any longer).
 

honorableninja

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I know the original comic went to some dark places but i really hope episode 6 is a little more upbeat as these past three episodes in a row had been truly depressing.
 

Neo Ultra Mike

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"What If... Zombies?!" - I'm guessing another big appeal for the creation of this series other then to bring together variations of characters or teams you really wouldn't see otherwise in the MCU is also to do ideas in the comics that yeah would never regularly make it to the movies or even other TV shows. In this case, Marvel Zombies. What was once an ijoke about fans who bought nothing but Marvel comics becamse a popular series of horror comics showing off an alternate world in the comics where most of the human populus was eaten and what roamed the planet were your favorite comic book heroes... who had become horrifying zombies looking for anything to fuel their hunger. Which just seems like one of those cool ideas you would never see translated anywhere since even though zombie shows are still popular it's not the kind of sub genre you can still into regular marvel. And heck going back to what I said when this show started most animations that could show other world without fear of effect budgets wouldn't delve into those kind of more depressing ideas. However this series certainly could and that's actually one of the things that sold this concept to the fans, probably right behind Captain Carter and Star Lord T'Challa. So how was it in practice?

One of those ideas I wish was taken more serious or at least less jokey throughout though at least why they used humor was actually explained in this one that was still tense and though really scary at all, did at least sort of deliver on this concept... kind of.

Again though at least this one explains why some of the characters are trying to be more positive there were still some who kept chattering or made bad jokes I couldn't really get behind. Banner's "Ahhh don't eat me" in the beginning got pretty annoying (though at least after that he got better), and though it was amusing Happy imitating the blaster sounds felt a bit too juvenille and out of place even for him. Like Krillin made that joke in Dragon Ball Z Abridged but it works in that kind of series well here actually doing it felt off and took away from the scene when he was grabbed and dragged away by Hawkeye. And man I normally like Scott even with his lame sort of dad puns but him just making a bunch of head and zombie jokes and not really contributing anything else to the situation did grate on me. Like there's being intetnionally lame to try and offset the more dire situation but then there's doing it even when you shouldn't be blabbing and for every sort of decent joke (him saying he's an Avenger at heart) there were like 5 or so that weren't (saying Hank would chew him out) that just felt out of place. Also though I get this was probably done not only to save on actor budget and because of everyone's expectations of zombies, wasn't the unique idea about the Marvel Zombies in the comic book that they were sentient but driven by hunger and just able to excuse any other thought about it so long as they could feed it? Like they were fully capable in the comics of making plans and communicating and that's what added to not just the comedy but the unique horror of the situation. I mean it's clear this episode was homaging the idea (especially with Black Panther more on that later) but it was removing one of the best aspects of it. Honestly if they wanted this to be a more comedy based episode they could of just focused on the characters turned into zombies bantering about their hunger and how they were going to feed it instead of focusing on the survivors. I guess because we're likely never going to see another "Marvel characters in a zombie movie" in the MCU they wanted to go with the story that had more "heart" to it but again a problem of these episodes is that they are trying to cram in different tones when really the focus should be more on one facet since this isn't the movies where they have more time to balance the tone. I guess I could also nitpick the timeline some (I know Ant Man and the Wasp for the most part happened BEFORE Infinity War so I get it leading to the infection before Thanos's forces came but wasn't this also when the Avengers were broken up? I mean you'd think the idea of a zombie apocalypse would be enough to have them temporary working together but the Thanos invasion technically didn't lead to that until after the snap but eh that's again super nitpicky) but really tone and not taking potential of the zombie idea are the main points here.

That said there's a lot to like in this episode. The comedy that worked was good. I am glad to actually see Kurt away from Luis and Dave and interact with other heroes and his Baba Yaga stuff was good (the jump scare bit was another eh joke) especially when he was actually taken away by Scarlet Witch. And I admit the exchange about Wakandas not getting horror movies and instead getting american reality shows and Kurt saying that's a burn on anyone was certainly worth a laugh. I also really liked Peter's "how to survive the zombie apocalypse" video especially the annoyed reactions of Happy and Sharon having to be a part of it. And there were some pretty funny lines like Sam being taken out and Bucky admitting to not really being that sad or Peter talking about not jinxing yourself by saying you made it half way when you're out. Plus I admit I really like the actual talk of why there's levity between Peter and Hope. Where Peter admits after how much he's lost (man is this the first time the MCU directly referenced Uncle Ben? Feels like it) and how he was encouraged by Aunt May to keep going because if you give into sadness you're not honoring the memories of those who were left behind which is nice. And you know major props to Hudson Thames who I had never heard of before but he easily sounds so much like Tom Holland it's super easy to imagine the actual Tom playing him. Which you don't always get from the VA replacements (I still really liked Lake Bell for instance but you can tell that's not Scarlett Johannsen while this one's a lot more difficult) and that's what help sells the earnesty of the role. Which is what makes the connection he has with Hope work so her sacrifice growing to giant size and getting them to the beacon site while being devoured by the other zombies work well.

I also like the weird messed up sort of connections the team has to go through here. Like how this whole thing started because of Janet getting the Quantum Virus and bringing that back that started the whole zombie uprising and then the reveal that Vision though not able to be infected was actually luring people in to be eaten piece by piece. Thus being able to work in T'Challa still being around just without a leg which man major props to the team for working in THAT reference to Marvel Zombies which you wouldn't think they could do but no they found a way to work it in organically. And I really like too this actually beinga twist on Bruce actually able to get Hulk out to fight the zombies. Honestly I wish we saw more of Hulk vs Zombie Scarlet Witch since man where else owuld you see those two particularly go at it but I do think that moment works and having picked off so many members of that team over the episode so it's harder to know whose going to bit it does sell the seriousness of the situation especially the ending teaser of Zombie Thanos. Cause I was going "wait isn't Thanos going to come down to earth if the stone signature is still there" and yeah like that twist on his arrival. Honestly last week was much better as it was more focused and still had a much more interesting ending but still a good episode. Probably would of been better with either less comedy or better written bits and again still felt like it wasn't taking full advantage of the situation but still a good one. And again props to still using this idea that otherwise no one else would of tackled from the comics.
 

Rick Jones

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Peter's how to guide reminded me a lot of Zombieland. They were not afraid to let the blackened zombie blood splatter in this one. The Marvel humor definitely stuck out here but I guess that's been a thing throughout these episodes. I haven't been one to really complain about the use of humor in these movies but you really feel it in this many movie format. I guess it keeps things from being Walking Dead levels of depressing here. All of these zombies were still able to retain their skills or powers while losing speech. Even Zombie Thanos is ready to make his snap. What would he even snap for now? Would he commit to his annihilation of half the population of the universe or would he be trying to satisfy his infinite hunger? This was kind of like the collection of the sidekicks or something but It was still nice to see all of these characters trying to band together. You do feel like knocking some sense into each one of them when they separate from the group though. It was interesting to see how much Vision would allow himself to be corrupted over his love of Wanda. It was very much like we saw with her in WandaVision, maybe even to a more sickening level.

Of all the places to finally hear the words Uncle Ben, this had to be it. My feelings can be mixed on MCU Peter sometimes but I love this hopefulness. Hope seems to be a running theme on this show. It's probably one of the thing that endears superheroes to me in the first place. Uatu says it could be what damns this reality but it will be interesting if he has a change of heart about that sometimes this season.


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Mostezli

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Hope seems to be a running theme on this show. It's probably one of the thing that endears superheroes to me in the first place.
Lol what about when they're talking about a cure after they've been murdering everyone including their superpeers. Think the most enlightening aspect of the MCU is that the Ant-Man & Wasp corner of their universe is not only a how-to guide on killing the Avengers and spawning the zombie apocalypse, but also establishing time travel to the point where none of this matters.

I think I enjoyed this episode the most just because it lines up with all the other alternate takes on zombie-themed movies & shows that's been all the rage.
 

Freddy

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I probably should admit that I'm a fan of the original Marvel Zombies comics, before saying anything. I understand that they are very divisive and definitely not for everyone, but this is clearly trying to be a spiritual adaptation of them, so some comparison is fair IMO.

I was suprised how gruesome this episode was allowed to be. Sure, the previous episodes were allowed to be fairly violent in places, but Wong having a chunk of (grey alien) flesh hanging out of his mouth and (black zombie) blood all over the place would be too extreme for most American cartoons not aimed exclusively at adults. I was even more suprised that they were allowed to adapt still alive Black Panther being used as a zombie food source from the first Kirman MZ mini-series. But, on the other hand, having the zombies keep their intelligent and personality completely (with the exception of being more than happy to eat people) seems to have been a step too far for them, which was disappointing.

I would say most of the emotional scenes, like Hope's death, hit pretty well and there was good post-apocalypse feel in places. And the ending hit just the right note.

Also, to give a major credit where it's due, Hudson Thames' Tom Holland impersonation was flawless. If we hadn't know in advance that he wasn't reprising, I would have been certain that it was Holland.

But, man, the humor was really bad in this episode. I know that zombie movies often have a dark sense of humor, but that's the word. *Dark* sense of humor, not goofy. Some of it was fine, like the stuff around Spider-Man, since it was kept in-check, but Scott Lang was insufferable. Making a quip when one of your best friends gets eaten alive just goes too far.

There's a also a major plot-hole. It's established pretty early on that Hope can have ants eat zombies in a blink of an eye and seemingly with no ill-effect on the ants themselves. There are billions of ants, easily more than humans (and therefore zombies). What's stopping her from wiping out all the zombies with ants?

So, yeah, real mixed feelings with this one. Not saying it was bad or without merit, but probably the weakest thus far.
 

Frontier

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Who knew the Pym family could cause so much grief in the Multiverse? Like Hope dying sets off events that lead to the death of most of the original Avengers and here the quest to save Janet ends up dooming the world to a zombie apocalypse. Is this some kind of karma for Scott helping save the universe in Endgame or something :oops:?

This was rather...jokey for a zombie episode considering the content involved. I mean, I'm not saying there couldn't have been humor or I didn't laugh at the jokes, and that's probably why they were able to get this approved to begin with, but it kind of detracted from the severity of what was going on when we had characters still quipping or making jokes, especially when Scott as a head turned up. Like even he realized the jokes were in bad taste and yet he kept making them :(.

Ironically a zombie apocalypse was able to bring the Avengers together again after Civil War, and gets Black Panther to join them, but it doesn't do any good. But hey, Josh Keaton got, like, two lines as Captain America :p.

Is it just me or did Bruce Banner look more like Mark Ruffalo in this episode than he did in his last appearance? Maybe it's because this was actually based on actual Mark Ruffallo Bruce Banner content :proud:.

Hudson Thames did an uncanny job imitating Tom Holland's Peter Parker in this one. I actually feel like this was probably a standout rendition of MCU Spider-Man, even compared to the movies. I mean, sure he only wears his mask for the first scene but the episode makes him such a central figure, shows how inspiring and powerful Spider-Man's optimism is, and actually lets him interact with more of the wider MCU than he really has in any of the other movies. They even mentioned Uncle Ben :D!

About the only thing that felt off was that, facially, he looked a lot older than Tom Holland's actual face, but I wonder if that was because they couldn't use Hollands' likeness without Sony's permission. I read they couldn't use the Homecoming suit design either so the suit in the show is actually based on the Disney Park version of Spidey. Also those web-shooters were huge :murphy:.

The Cloak of Levitation knows when it likes someone :proud:.

I wonder if the only reason Okoye was in this episode, or at least part of it, was because her actress is from The Walking Dead :rolleyes2:?

I'm sorry to say it, but was anyone really surprised Happy was the first one that got taken out? "Pew Pew" kind of made his zombification more comedic than it should have been though :sweat:.

It was nice to see a version of Sharon that's still a hero, even if Steve Rogers still kind of ruins her life :sad:.

What is it with David Dastmalchan and being on a suicide squad? Poor dude still didn't make it. At least Kurt got to see Scott again...

I don't think Sebastian Stan's acting performance was as stilted as the first episode (in fact his dry delivery when Okoye cleaved Falcon was perfect), but it felt like Bucky should have been way more emotive when fighting Zombie!Steve than he was :shrug:.

Hope finally goes Giant-Woman (which I guess confirms she can do that in the main universe), but...did no one think she was going to end up being a giant zombie after they left her there? Did they just think they were safe because the zombies weren't moving on the camp? Hope should have at least transformed back or taken herself out before it got to that point :confused:.

Vision feeding live humans to Wanda after she zombified because he couldn't think of anything else to do to her was...something. And then he can't bring himself to end her so the only thing he can think of to atone is to kill himself. How many times can Vision die at this point :rolleyes:?

It was kind of interesting see how sentient the zombies are when they can utilize their hosts skills and powers so effectively, and Zombie!Wanda still seemed to regard Vision :eek:.

I liked Scott being in grief over losing Hank. I wasn't sure if they would tell him about Hope but then he sees zombie Hope when they're flying out of there. He lost everything :crying:.

People disappointed at the lack of Hulk in Infinity War and Endgame will be happy to see Bruce finally Hulk Out near the end, although will also probably be a little disappointed that they cut away before they really got into Hulk vs. Scarlet Witch. And did I hear a little of Fred Tatasciore in Hulk's grunts? It sounded like him :).

And just when you think our heroes have a chance to save the world and forget Thanos was still supposed to invade...we cut to zombie!Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. These Earths are getting more and more depressing o_O.
 

Yojimbo

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I wasn't feeling this episode. Boy, the AU Hanks really get into a lot of mischief this season. Is the producer not an Ant-Man fan? lol. I wonder if Peyton Reed knew they were going to debut Giant Wasp in this series, if not and he was planning a big scene for Quantumania... awkward. Them pulling a Futurama with Scott's head took me out of it completely. I didn't get why Thanos would still go to Wakanda. Wouldn't he have instead teleported to to Camp LeHigh to go after Vision and the Mind Stone?
 

Frontier

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I wasn't feeling this episode. Boy, the AU Hanks really get into a lot of mischief this season. Is the producer not an Ant-Man fan? lol. I wonder if Peyton Reed knew they were going to debut Giant Wasp in this series, if not and he was planning a big scene for Quantumania... awkward. Them pulling a Futurama with Scott's head took me out of it completely. I didn't get why Thanos would still go to Wakanda. Wouldn't he have instead teleported to to Camp LeHigh to go after Vision and the Mind Stone?
On the other hand he's also showing how dangerous they can be so...it balances out :sweat:?

I guess most people probably assumed Wasp could go giant since she has the same tech that Ant-Man has...although I guess this would be the second time another piece of media might have stolen something he wanted to show, especially if he was saving the giant thing for Cassie :(.

Headless Scott with the jokes was a little much.

I guess the question is what Zombie!Thanos is thinking since he might have different intentions than normal Thanos.
 

Rick Jones

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I liked the episode but the humor and the emotional numbness were the problem for me. Futurama Scott really had no purpose in this episode outside of humor and it wasn't good. I wonder if part of it is the actors having fun and adlibbing like what I believe I heard happened with Clark Gregg in episode 3.

As I think about it more and more, Zombie Thanos was a striking image but it makes him no more frightening than the regular version. I could picture the regular version showing up and maybe even welcoming the zombie outbreak since it would probably make it easier for him to acquire the stone when they land. I really can't figure out who would have infected him either unless it was the other members of the Black Order who would have arrived before him. He also has experience with creatures like these if you count the aliens he unleashed on Wakanda to destroy the shields.

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Yojimbo

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If it's known, what do we know about with the 4 episodes are left this season? From the trailer I think there's party Thor, Kilmonger is king of Wakanda, and something with Ultron - he wins?
 

Rick Jones

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It looks like Blue Spirit did the first two and Squeeze did this one.
Episode 4 was Flying Bark and 5 was Squeeze again.

If it's known, what do we know about with the 4 episodes are left this season? From the trailer I think there's party Thor, Kilmonger is king of Wakanda, and something with Ultron - he wins?
It looked like Ultron got the Vision body he wanted in the trailers. That one might lead into the finale since everything seems to be hinting at Ultron being the threat that these alternate heroes have to band against to save the multiverse.
 

Yojimbo

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It looked like Ultron got the Vision body he wanted in the trailers. That one might lead into the finale since everything seems to be hinting at Ultron being the threat that these alternate heroes have to band against to save the multiverse.
Neat, maybe a 2 parter. I guess that divergence point will be Ultron killing J.A.R.V.I.S. before it took a physical body and attacked the Avengers in the tower.
 

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Just catching up since busy with work lately. Last ep I saw was Tchalla as Starlord.

So for What if . . . Pym killed Avengers (I know that wasn't the title, just lazy). I wasn't all that thrilled by it. Just honestly felt rushed on to get to the conclusion. I can see some things being brought up in the MCU for real especially with Pym being one of the top scientists around. A little anachronistic for us though. Pretty interesting little concept, but wasn't all that excited by it.

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