It was more than two years ago when Marvel unveiled the first 14 titles of Phase 4. Some of them stood out immediately, and I could not wait to see them. Others, not so much. Marvel then added even more titles to the Phase 4 roster while refraining from revealing any Avengers 5 sequel. Little did fans know what was about to happen to the world in late 2019. The pandemic would force Marvel to delay everything, and we ended up spending 2020 without any new MCU content. But 2021 fixed all that, bringing us three TV shows on Disney+ and the Black Widow premiere. Loki is easily the most exciting of the bunch. And now that we know what Loki brought to the table, the most exciting Marvel show after Loki is a title I completely dismissed when it was first announced two years ago.
“Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ What If…?, the first animated series in the MCU, with Jeffrey Wright as the voice of The Watcher and many actors from across the MCU reprising their roles as voice talent. Streaming exclusively on Disney+, Summer 2021,” Marvel tweeted at the time.
Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…?, the first animated series in the MCU, with Jeffrey Wright as the voice of The Watcher and many actors from across the MCU reprising their roles as voice talent. Streaming exclusively on Disney+, Summer 2021. pic.twitter.com/el6etc3xZH
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 21, 2019
The show’s concept seemed great, in theory. What If…? would bring us alternate stories featuring our beloved Avengers. It’s one easy way to see some of the dead heroes return to life, even if only for a moment. But I was never that interested in these stories, thinking they would not impact the grand scheme of things in the MCU.
Then the first teaser dropped, and I started to wonder. What if What If…? is actually going to be more exciting than I thought?
The Marvel show to watch after Loki
Right before Loki ended its run on Disney+, Marvel released the first full What If…? trailer. We were already up to the Loki finale by the time the clip dropped. That means we already knew many of the multiverse rules. And everything in that What If…? trailer focused on alternate timelines.
Now that we know exactly what happened in the Loki finale, What If…? is the Marvel show to watch. Without spoiling episode 6 too much in case you haven’t seen Loki, I’ll tell you that the ending brings the multiverse to the forefront. We’ve only just begun experiencing the multiverse, though. Movies like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will explore it further.
But what if the What If…? show is also a multiverse story? It’s the easiest route for Marvel to take to make us understand the multiverse. We’ll see familiar characters in different, unexpected settings. From zombie Avengers to Captain Britain, and from Gamora Thanos to Star-Lord T’Challa. These are all exciting scenarios in light of the multiverse.
Rather than theoretical “what if” stories, we might get a few glimpses at alternate universes that experienced events differently. Maybe some of the animated characters we see in the upcoming TV show will appear in multiverse stories down the road.
This might be wishful thinking, and I might be breaking the first rule of watching a Marvel TV show — avoid setting high expectations. But What If…? seems like the most exciting show to watch after Loki. What If…? premieres on August 11th. In the meantime, here’s that first trailer again: