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What If…? Ranking the Best 9 Episodes of the Season

Here are Marvel Studio’s episodes of What if…? ranked from 9 to 1.

The first season of What if…? concluded with a successful outing. Viewers were given alternate versions of their favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. Some of them were painted in a new and positive light. Others left us confused and ashamed of them. Either way, the creative team behind What if…? did a masterful job in their inaugural season. With that said, allow this writer to share his ranking of each episode.

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9. What If…? Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

The idea of Erik Killmonger working with Tony Stark was great. He didn’t just trick Stark. He also fooled the entire nation of Wakanda into thinking that his motives were altruistic. In reality, he was the same Killmonger from the Black Panther movie. Seeing Killmonger on a bigger stage was good, but this should have been better. It seemed rushed.

8. What If…? The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?

The best part of this episode was the reveal in the end. No one would have guessed that Hank Pym was the one who killed the Avengers. Seeing how he killed each of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes was done brilliantly. The creative team did a fantastic job showing Hank’s genius and how ruthless he could be. No one would have thought he could go this far.

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7. What If…? Zombies?!

This was the most anticipated episode of the series. Other than Captain America, we didn’t know which other Marvel characters would be zombies or how everyone was turned. The best part may have been Wanda being among the undead. This writer has one frustration. We didn’t get to see how the Hulk vs Wanda fight ended. We can assume she won considering what happened in the final episode of the season. 

6. What If…? Thor Were an Only Child?

This will be the episode this writer goes back to more than any of them. It was just fun. There was no dark and depressing ending or scenes that made viewers sad. It was a literal worldwide party. That ends like most of them do. With someone calling someone’s mother.

The idea that Loki being by his side kept Thor from becoming a frat boy is hilarious. The only thing that was missing was beer pong and a keg stand. Also, Thor’s fight with Captain Marvel was superb. Also, she’s totally a party pooper.

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5.  What If…? Ultron Won?

In Marvel Comics, Ultron is one of the Avengers’ fiercest enemies. We didn’t get much of that in Avengers: Age Ultron. There wasn’t enough time to thoroughly get into its personality. Plus, the comic book version of Ultron may not have translated well into a movie. 

In this episode, Ultron was more like the comic. He was calm, meticulous, and calculated. That’s how he defeated the Avengers and later sensed Uatu. Ultron was completely tuned into the stones and everything around him. For nothing else, this episode showed someone so dangerous that Uatu was forced to break his oath.

4. What If…? Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

What if…? debuted with one heck of a concept. What if Peggy Carter was the Super Soldier? The biggest takeaway was her approach to fights and people treating her as less than what she was. Viewers immediately saw that she was having none of that.

Steve Rogers went along with everything that he was told to do. For him, it was an honor just to be able to serve. Peggy wasn’t satisfied. Beyond the idea that she was a Super Soldier, she was a highly skilled military agent. She knew her worth and it showed. Marvel Studios should give fans a Captain Carter series.

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3. What If…? The Watcher Broke His Oath?

Fun fact, Uatu the Watcher breaks his oath often. This isn’t something new. However, when he does, it’s because there’s a threat that could destroy the universe. This particular Ultron isn’t just a universe-ending threat. He’s much bigger than that. He’s a multiverse extinction-level event. Ultron’s threat caused Uatu to create Guardians of the Multiverse. 

Season finales should end with a cliffhanger, a sense of completion, and memorable moments. All of this happened. Party Thor continued to prove his value as entertainment and skill. Captain Carter was a phenomenal leader.  And, let’s not overlook Demon Doctor Strange. He has something that could set his world straight. We’ll have to wait and see if the temptation is too much.

2. What If…? T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?

If this writer is being honest, the ranking here is because of emotion. Chadwick Boseman was one of the greats. Was it as good as the others? Maybe, maybe not. Nevertheless, we can’t discount what he brought to this episode of What if…? 

Removing the sentiment, this was still a great episode. Seeing T’Challa as the savior of the universe made everyone smile. It also gave viewers a sense of security. It reminded us that wherever T’Challa goes, people follow. He was so good that even Thanos gave up his need for world domination.

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1. What If…? Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

This is the moment that fans who are only the Marvel Cinematic Universe learned what Marvel Comics fans knew. What if…? isn’t all happiness and fun changes. Things can and will get dark. This particular episode is among the bleaker What if…? stories. 

First, we had to watch the death of the woman Stephen Strange loved (Christine Palmer) die over and over. As if that wasn’t bad enough, seeing Doctor Strange’s heart repeatedly broken made her deaths more emotional. Stephen couldn’t accept Christine’s death. This leads him on a dark path that leads to universal destruction.

Then, there was the ending. Doctor Strange gave up his soul to absorb monstrous beings. In the end, not only did he have to watch his reality be destroyed, he had to witness Christine die one more time and live with it being his fault.

What did you think? How would you rank the episodes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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