In the 5th episode of Marvel Studios What If, the Avengers face a zombie apocalypse. It is up to the remaining few to save the planet.
The latest episode of Marvel Studios What If shows a plague that has turned the humans and superheroes of the planet into zombies. It has affected most of the Avengers too and the remaining ones must do the needful to find the cure and reverse zombie plague.
Watch: Marvel’s WHAT IF…? (2021) EPISODE 6 PROMO TRAILER | Disney+
Zombies in the MCU
Clearly, the inspiration for the 5th episode of Marvel Studios What If is the renowned five-issue limited series of Marvel Comics, Marvel Zombies. In the comic storyline, the superheroes retain their superpowers but at the same time are driven by a constant hunger for human flesh. The same is the case with the zombies of What If. Keeping in mind that the show is MCU canon, we can hope to see a live-action version of this someday in the distant future. That would be so cool, right?!
As the Watcher points out, in this universe, most of the core Avengers including Captain America, Iron-Man, Black Widow, and Hawkeye along with Falcon, Doctor Strange, Wong, all turn into zombies. And it is up to a handful of other superheroes, including Bruce Banner, Spider-Man, Hope Pym, and Scott Lang, to do what it takes to cure the entire human population of the Earth of this quantum-virus plague.
Ultimately, the cure is found to be in the sub-frequency emissions of the Mind Stone which was in Vision’s forehead. In the ultimate sacrifice, Vision pulled the stone out of his forehead and handed it over to Bruce Banner. And the heroes rode the train into the distant sunset i.e. Wakanda.
However, this episode has an open ending for real. One can only imagine the consequences when a zombie Thanos gets hold of the Infinity gauntlet. And this is what we are left at. What could the possibilities be? What If he decides to turn the entire Earth’s human population to dust? And What If the zombie Avengers joined him in this “quest”? What If?
The Spider-Man We Wanted
Of all the other superheroes in the 5th episode of Marvel Studios What If, Spider-Man won our hearts. For the first time in the MCU, we heard the mention of Uncle Ben from Peter. Moreover, we get to the Spidey who never gives up hope and always adds humor to any situation no matter how adverse it may be. This is the Spider-Man we always knew and not the sidekick that Tom Holland is made to portray. Hopefully, this will change after Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The fact that Marvel Studios What If should pave way for Marvel to give us a Spider-Man who is able to fight without being under any other superhero. We’ve had a lot of this, first from Tony Stark and now it will be Doctor Strange. In any case, Spider-Man: Far From Home will have Peter under the guidance of Strange due to obvious reasons. But let’s hope that Peter will have learned everything he has to by the end of the film and will be able to take on his enemies by himself.
What If or What Happened?
Just as it was in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd episode, this episode too doesn’t show us how things got better or the result of actions. In the first episode, we got to see Agent Carter become Captain Carter. The second one showed T’Challa become Star-Lord. And in the third one, we saw the death of the Avengers. In all these cases, we only saw what happened and not what if as such. The What If episode 5th, too, follows the same path.
It shows us that the superheroes become zombies but nothing more. If only we got to see how the remaining heroes eradicated the virus from Earth, it would have been better. This only happened in the 4th episode where we not only saw Strange lose his love-interest, Christine Palmer, but also its repercussions (evil Strange) along with the result (destruction of the universe).
If Marvel could only show the repercussions and the outcome, Marvel Studios What If would have made more sense of its title. However, the What If episode 5th does show what it aimed to show. And one way or the other, we did get something new and refreshing i.e. a zombie version of superheroes. And especially a “worthy” Spider-Man. Hopefully, we will get to see more of him from now on.
The next episode of Marvel Studios What If arrives on September 15, 2021.