Series Review: What If…? – Season 1 (2021)

Marvel’s new What If…? series set out to flip pivotal MCU moments on their head, much like the comic series its concept is directly adapted from. For the most part, it does a decent job with it, but as with any anthology series, it’s mostly inevitable there are going to be some really disappointing episodes mixed in with the good ones.

The moments the series shines the brightest are when it takes chances with its content. Most notably, the Doctor Strange episode is very well done, as it provides a remarkable amount of development and insight into the mind of Strange himself. The tragic nature of the episode manages to give it a very grounded and emotionally tangible story, something that is unfortunely absent in a lot of superhero media. The zombies episode and the Ultron episode also stand out as some of the higher points, and although not as bold as the aforementioned picks, the finale was certainly entertaining as well, despite its heavy reliance on fan-service.

The unfortunate thing about the series is that pretty much every other episode ranges from okay to just straight-up bad. The Captain Carter episode, for instance, is basically just copy-and-paste; the one thing you’d think the series would shy away from. But the absolute worst of the bunch comes in the form of the Thor episode. It’s really disappointing to think that a potentially half-decent episode was set aside in favor of an episode where Thor throws a party on Earth and has to cover it all up before his mom gets there. While a lot of other episodes are mediocre, this one in particular is just bad.

What if…? isn’t great, by any means, but it’s not terrible either. Some of Marvel’s best and worst content is included in the series.

Overall rating: 6/10

Published by Jeremy Bader

Aspiring writer, film and music lover, drummer.

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