What you need to know about Marvel’s What If saga

The world of superheroes presents us with different events. However … what if they had been different?

The world of superheroes presents us with different events. However … what if they had been different?.

Still from the official footage of 'What If ...?'

The new Marvel series proposes different stories and parallel realities of the UCM superheroes. / Photo: Marvel Studios

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Qué implica la saga What If de Marvel?

Superheroes are hugely successful within the industry. Marvel knew how to take them well into the world of the big screen, making, for example, according to what the CNN website mentions, the "highest grossing movie in history" in Endgame. 

However … what if they were different? According to what the specialized website of Culture Leisure mentions, the recently deceased actor, Chadwick Boseman, made one last appearance for the studio before dying. This is the voice for the future Disney + animated series, known as What If. Let's see, then, what this story would be like and what is its origin and relevance within the world of comics.

What If and the infinite possibilities

The first thing we need to know is that these are different stories from the ones we already got to know on the big screen. Although Endgame was a change of era, everything we see from that moment on will imply, to a greater or lesser extent, the same line in terms of the characters.

However, what the What If series does is somewhat different. As mentioned by the La Nación website, Marvel imagines "alternative superheroes" for its expanding universe. In other words, it will be a cartoon series set in the Marvel Cinematic World, which will premiere in 2021 with 23 episodes to reinvent all the films of the franchise.

What happens is that, in reality, the world of Marvel is a multiverse. According to the specialized medium of Hobbyconsolas, this would imply that there are parallel realities, where the events can be very different from what we have seen. For example, at the end of Endgame Captain America "coexisted" both in the "present" of the film (where he was old), and in the "past" to which he returns to live with his beloved.

Even movies designed for the near future would explore a similar line. According to the IGN medium, the sequel to Doctor Strange, known as "The Multiverse of Madness", would demonstrate that there are alternate realities where everything can happen in a different way, something that was explored in depth in the comics.

According to what the Cine Premiere website says, there are different "alternative realities" for Marvel superheroes. Some of the most interesting stories are what would have happened if Iron Man died prior to Civil War, another where the facts of the death of Hulk before Wolverine are narrated and even what happened if Spider-Man never became a vigilante.

Also read: Everything we know about the Batman, starring Robert Pattinson

This implies, of course, altering the events that occurred in the movies, showing that in the world of comics there are spaces for alternative universes. The RPP website mentions that the first indication of these adventures occurred in 1977, when the mythical screenwriter Roy Thomas wondered what would happen if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four, giving rise to the first alternate version of the Marvel Universe.

The hypothetical questions were the central axis of all the stories, allowing, among other things, that the Hulk had the intelligence of Bruce Banner, that the Avengers had never gotten together or that even Janes Foster could carry Thor's hammer. The same, according to the specialized website Fotogramas, is what we could see in the fourth installment of the Nordic superhero, so there would be a relationship between both universes.

The comic book lover knew these stages of the franchise, which took place during 47 issues between 1977 and 1984; while in the second installment it had 114, between 1989 and 1998. Therefore, in the television series, according to the Cultura Geek website, we would have the original members of the cast, interpreting their animated counterpart, although through different stories. 

In other words, as commented by the Superhero Blog comics medium, the What If series will explore the first three phases of Marvel Studios, ending with the defeat of Thanos in Endgame. Therefore, we would have parallel realities to explore during this arc that will draw directly from the comics, making effective some of the hypotheses that we were able to raise when meeting these characters.


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