According to showrunner AC Bradley, What If…?’s tenth and delayed episode is “in the pure comedy vein,” like “What If…Thor Were an Only Child?”
According to showrunner AC Bradley, What If…?’s tenth and delayed episode is “in the pure comedy vein.” Based on the comics of the same name and embracing Phase 4’s multiversal concept, Marvel Studios’ first animated series on Disney+ explores its titular question by re-imagining key MCU events and characters. For example, its pilot remixes 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger by having Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) take the Super Solider Serum instead of Steve Rogers. Its latest episode, “What If…Thor Were an Only Child?,” re-imagines 2011’s Thor as if had Loki grown up in Jotenheim.
Marvel Studios was able to sign an impressive roster for the series, with Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Don Cheadle, Evangeline Lilly, Jeff Goldblum, Jeremy Renner, Kurt Russell, Mark Ruffalo, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Douglas, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, and many more all reprising their roles. In episode 7, Hemsworth lends his voice to the reckless “Party Thor,” who is far from the heroic warrior audiences have come to know in the MCU. As Thor and a plethora of other extraterrestrials party across the globe, leaving destruction in their wake, “What If…Thor Were an Only Child?” is reminiscent of a John Hughes movie right up to Thor cleaning the Earth before Frigga comes to check on him. While other episodes have utilized comedy, What If…?’ episode 7 leans into humor more than its predecessors.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting delays, What If…? season 1 was supposed to have 10 episodes. Its tenth episode ultimately got bumped to the show’s already-confirmed season 2. During a conversation on Deadline’s Hero Nation podcast, showrunner AC Bradley talked about the series’ tenth episode and set fans up for another comedic narrative. Bradley said that, like episode 7, it will be “more in the pure comedy vein… which is the one that has been pushed to season 2 due to COVID production issues.”
As is usually the case in the MCU, What If…? leans into comedy when the talent, characters, and story allows for it. That being said, the series best-reviewed episodes have been its darkest, not the least of which is episode 4 “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” In the case of episode 7’s preoccupation with humor, many have raised an issue with its inconsistencies concerning the larger MCU and established lore. For example, how is Party Thor worthy of Mjølnir? On top of that, the episode’s final scene sees an Infinity Stone-powered Ultron invade Earth before Tony Stark and Bruce Banner ever conceived him. Trailers have shown Party Thor fighting Ultron’s robot army alongside other characters like Killmonger and Captain Carter who will return down the line.
What If…? was thought to be merely an anthology series, but every episode has ended on a cliffhanger. Additionally, narrator Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), seems to be subtly more present each week. Promotional material has teased the Watcher will lead the Guardians of the Multiverse in season 1’s final two episodes. Aside from the comedic tenth episode, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said that season 2 will incorporate Phase 4 films, re-imagining the events of Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and more. It will interesting to see how the show’s writers tackle the reimagining of more recent MCU narratives, when the original characters and stories are still so fresh in fans’ minds.
Source: Deadline’s Hero Nation Podcast
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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