What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? take an Avengers: Endgame internet meme and gives it a twist
WHAT IF…THE WORLD LOST ITS MIGHTIEST HEROES? is the first episode of the series so far to take its central question and wrap it not around a speculative exploration but around a central mystery instead. It’s a mystery that I managed to solve well ahead of its narrative reveal, though, because I suddenly remembered the long-running joke about how Thanos could have been defeated in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
Kicking off during the events of IRON MAN 2, the sudden and unexpected death of Tony Stark at the apparent hands of Black Widow sends Nick Fury’s Avengers Initiative spiralling out of control. When Hawkeye inexplicably assassinated Thor, Fury faces a problem on two fronts: the continuing hero cull and an angry Asgardian Army led by Loki demanding justice for Thor.
Less funny and tending more towards the absurd than WHAT IF…T’CHALLA BECAME A STAR-LORD?, it’s nevertheless a fun trip down MCU Phase 1 memory lane if memory lane was lined with funhouse mirrors. It’s more hit and miss with its voice cast too, although it’s still starrier than most other half-hour cartoons can dream of.
Once again, it feels like WHAT IF…THE WORLD LOST ITS MIGHTIEST HEROES? tells its story but leaves a promise of more to be said. You could easily connect the dots bringing these first three episodes together but the question then becomes for what purpose? There was speculation before the series began that it would be used as a stalking horse to test audience reaction, a potential proving ground for new ideas or twists to be transferred over to the live-action multiverse but it seems – so far – to fall short of that. If it’s not building towards some big AVENGERS-style cross-over team-up event of its own, I guess that’s fine. As it stands, WHAT IF…? is in danger of becoming an intriguing and entertaining but ultimately disposable side street of the MCU.