Watcher. Comics fans will remember Uatu, a member of the race of Watchers, immortal beings of great power whose duty is to observe events, but never intervenes. In this episode, however, The Watcher not only observes events but finds himself participating when Ultron threatens the existence of every universe. The Watcher becomes a character rather than simply a narrator, and must decide whether or not to violate his Prime Directive.
"What If..." has not shied away from the darkest alternate possibilities in the MCU. We have watched Killmonger murder both T'Challa and Tony Stark. We witnessed Stephen Strange bring about the end of an entire universe. Even in the mostly lighthearted episode about T'Challa becoming Star Lord, it implied that Ego would end up victorious in that reality. But this week we took a little break from all of that negativity to ask: "What if Thor was a frat bro?"
usually mean is that a lot of MCU villains are poorly developed, flat, and not very sympathetic. Malekith is probably the most egregious example, but you could include Kaecilius or Whiplash. But sometimes the MCU absolutely nails a villain. That is definitely the case in Black Panther. Killmonger is deeply troubled and carries a traumatized past. His plan was terrifying, but sympathetic too. So it only makes sense that they would bring one of the MCU's most fascinating villains back for a trip through the multiverse.
There are a few classic horror monsters that have been around so long that it can sometimes be hard to do in a new an interesting way. Sure, I guess you can make your vampires pretty and sparkly, or make Michael J. Fox your werewolf, but zombies have been around in film so long that it's hard to make them new. Even "The Walking Dead" got boring by Season Five and anyone who tells you otherwise is deluding themselves. But wait a second, this is the MCU, and we're experimenting with alternate timelines. That means our zombies could use weapons, like the Iron Man suit, or magic and superpowers. Holy crap, that means this week we are asking: "What if... zombies!?"
In 2008 audiences watched Tony Stark escape from a terrorist organization calling itself the Ten Rings. Most audience members (including yours truly) did not know the full canonical history of that name. Then I learned that in the comics the rings belonged to an Iron Man villain named... The Mandarin. Not exactly the most progressive title. But after the Iron Man trilogy ended, it seemed like both the Mandarin and the Ten Rings would be shelved in the MCU, until actor Simu Liu discovered that you should be careful what you tweet: