The 2nd episode of Marvel Studios’ What If explores a reality where T’Challa becomes Star-Lord and not Peter Quill, a well-portrayed possibility.
The 2nd episode of Marvel Studios’ What If was able to deliver on the fans’ expectations. While T’Challa was shown as Star-Lord, the episode portrayed a true alternate reality with multiple characters, both good and bad, in new arcs.
Watch: Marvel’s WHAT IF…? (2021) EPISODE 3 PROMO TRAILER | Disney+
A Tribute to Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman voiced T’Challa for Marvel Studios’ What If. This was his final adieu to the MCU fans and the world. It was certainly overwhelming to hear the actor and undoubtedly it was a lot of fun. Keeping in mind how he immortalized the kingdom of Wakanda, it does give chills to hear the native Wakandan tune. One that reminds us of Ludwig Goransson’s original score for Black Panther. All in all, it was refreshing to see T’Challa. And also to hear his unique English accent, done perfectly by the great Chadwick Boseman. Rest in power, Legend.
A New What If Storyline
T’Challa, as a kid, is mistakenly captured from Wakanda by Yondu and his Ravagers in place of Peter Quill. However, his thirst for exploration makes Yondu accept him. Years later, a grown-up T’Challa meets Thanos’ daughter Nebula who tells him about the Embers of Genesis, nutrient-rich cosmic dust that can transform ecosystems to support life. A single ounce of it can heal a whole planet in a matter of minutes. The Collector has it and Nebula needs T’Challa’s help to steal it. T’Challa and his friends infiltrate The Collector’s base of operations, face him and the Black Order, successfully capture him and escape. We are also introduced to Cosmo the Spacedog who is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. We have seen in the MCU movies too. T’Challa returns to his family in Wakanda and a family reunion follows.
The Villains of MCU
The second episode brought back many villains that we have already come across in the MCU. These include Thanos and his children Cull Obsidian, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, and Ebony Maw. All are members of the Black Order. We saw them all in Avengers: Infinity War.
However, Thanos is shown in a new light. He has been successfully persuaded by T’Challa from “decimating half of the universe.” He is a cool guy here drinking with T’Challa AKA Star-Lord, Yondu, and their friends. And T’Challa was able to keep Thanos as a friend too. This seems to say how much more intelligent and persuasive T’Challa is than Peter Quill. Quill is basically the reason why the other superheroes could not take off Thanos’ gauntlet in time in Avengers: Infinity War. Many of us still hate him for that. Period.
During the fight between T’Challa and the Collector, we saw a lot of easter eggs in the form of The Collector’s weapons. We saw him wear Korg’s (Thor: Ragnarok) arm (“a terribly chatty Kronan”), Malekith’s (Thor: The Dark World) dagger (“ruler of the Dark Elves”), and Hela’s (Thor: Ragnarok) Necrosword. We also saw Captain America’s shield as well as Thor’s Mjolnir in his weaponry. This might mean that The Collector has captured or killed both of them in this reality!
All in all, the second episode of Marvel Studios’ What If does succeed in giving us a true alteration of the MCU timeline. While the first episode failed to do so, this episode brings us multiple characters playing a different version of their arc, especially Thanos.
We also get a teaser of a different reality here Ego finds Peter Quill as he is cleaning at a restaurant. Is it a sign of a new What If episode or will it continue in Season 2 of Marvel Studios’ What If? We’ll have to wait to find out.