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!?"
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely", or so the saying goes. Our favorite nerdy fictions are full of examples of truly good characters who wielded power far beyond anyone else in their world, but refused to use that power selfishly. I'm thinking of Charles Xavier's reluctance to read minds without permission, Gandalf's refusal to touch the one Ring, and Dumbledore's decision to avoid politics and settle into a quiet career in school administration, since everyone knows that schools are never, ever political.
Much like the first episode of "What If...", this week we are revisiting the greatest hits of Phase 1. In 2008 Marvel launched an incredibly ambitious project. In the post-credits scene of "Iron Man", Nick Fury teases the existence of the "Avengers", ultimately culminating in the film of the same name. The timeline in the MCU is always a bit fuzzy, but the comic tie-in "Fury's Big Week" reminds us that the events of "Iron Man 2", "Thor" and Hulk's initial return to the United States all happen within a few days of each other. This episode asks: "What if that week went horribly wrong?"
I definitely felt a lot of things during the second episode of "What If...". There's plenty going on in the episode itself, but most importantly this show was Chadwick Boseman's last performance. He contributed his voice on several episodes, but it seems likely that this will be the one that will centralize T'Challa the most. I wrote about how much I admire Boseman in a tribute to him and in my Black Panther recap, but needless to say his work speaks for itself. Obviously I will get into it more as we go, but Boseman's work in "What If..." is equally as exceptional.