This review contains spoilers for WHAT IF…? episode 2.
I was seriously surprised at some of the responses the first episode got. I totally understood the reasoning, but some people were acting as if they wanted brand new MCU movies in every thirty-minute episode. With that being said, we are back this week with the second episode of “What If…?” “What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?”. This episode was written by Matthew Chauncey and directed by Bryan Andrews. This episode had an insane voice cast such as Chadwick Boseman, Michael Yonker, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Seth Green, Chris Sullivan, John Kani, and even Kurt Russell! Episode two was 32 minutes which I think is the perfect time. I loved every minute of it. I’m very interested to check out the consensus on this one.
The required viewing for episode two is Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and Vol 2, and Avengers: Infinity War. You don’t NEED to have watched those, but it adds to the gravity of these new relationships.
What If…? Episode two, “What If…T’Challa Became a Star-Lord?” really ramps things up from the first episode. Where the Captain Carter episode was a soft introduction into the “What If” landscape giving us minimal changes from a simple moment, this episode gave us wild world changes! Even though T’Challa is at the fore front, Quill being left on earth will have some interesting ripples.
Just like in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Yondu is tasked with retrieving Peter and bringing him back to Ego. Only this time he outsourced it to Kraglin and Taserface. Instead of grabbing Quill they abduct a wandering young Prince T’Challa. He joins them and grows up to become Star Lord. I love how we get to see T’Challa’s personality without the weight of the kingdom on his shoulders. It’s also interesting to see how he affected the people he encountered. Peter Quill adopted the ideologies of Yondu and the Ravagers, but Yondu and the Ravagers adopted the ideologies of T’Challa. Also freaking Thanos!? Can we talk about how awesome that was!? Totally out of left field.
An untortured Nebula approaches the Ravagers, proposing to steal the Embers of Genesis from the Collector. It was crazy to see Nebula without all the modifications! It’s also great to see her relationship with Thanos as well as T’Challa.
While episode one was a war time story, this is a heist story, and I am here for it! While searching for the embers, T'Challa finds a Wakandan spacecraft sent to find him, revealing that Wakanda was not destroyed as Yondu had told him when he was younger. Nebula betrays the Ravagers, BUT it’s actually a triple cross on the Collector to snag the Embers. We get some great fight moments between the Ravagers and The Black Order. Thanos and Nebula bond as she saves him from a Black Order Beat Down. As well as the big fight between T’Challa and Yondu versus the Collector.
The Collector had some insane weapons in his collection. He had Hela’s Necrosword and Korg’s arm. But mainly…. WHY DID HE HAVE CAP’S SHIELD AND Mjölnir!? Everyone makes it out safely. Afterward, the Ravagers travel to Wakanda, where T'Challa reunites with his two families.
The episode ends with Ego having traveled to Earth on his own to find Peter Quill, who is still dancing only this time it’s while mopping the floor of a Dairy Queen. Definitely a tease for something down the line.
As I mentioned above, I loved this episode. “What If…?” is still not giving us much in terms of how these shows connect to each other or the grand scheme of the MCU multiverse but I totally understand that it’s only episode two. I still think the time length is perfect. I can’t finish this review without mentioning Chadwick Boseman. He killed it. It is crazy to think about the impact he had in the real world and the MCU. The tribute at the end was perfect. I’m ready for this show to continue to explore the crazy situations we are all looking for!
Marvel’s What If…? is now streaming weekly on Disney+ every Wednesday.