Since time immemorial, the Watchers have kept a lonesome vigil, observing all that ever was or could be while maintaining a solemn oath to never once intervene, except during summer event comics and stuff like that.
First among equals is Uatu, the Watcher assigned to document the history of Earth and its solar system. For eons, he has quietly looked on, making note of every significant development on a planet inhabited by Avengers, Inhumans, Mutants, and Eternals.
Put simply, he’s the sort of guy you could crack a cold one with and jabberjaw for hours, with the down shot being that he normally only strikes up a conversation with folks right before a world-shattering cataclysm.
Thankfully, Marvel Studios is gearing up to offer fans a healthy compromise with their upcoming Disney+ animated series “What If…?” The show is a deep dive into the Marvel multiverse and its infinite possibilities, narrated by Uatu who, thanks to the ultimate meaninglessness of existence in a world where every possible outcome must occur, is allowed to be a real Chatty Cathy.
On July 8, 2021, Disney released a fresh look at “What If…?” in the form of a brand new trailer, and the weird, weird potential of the series has never been more clearly bonkers.
What If…? is bringing the weirdness to Disney+
The new trailer for “What If…?” starts, appropriately, in the same place as the MCU: With Tony Stark posing for MySpace photos in Afghanistan, seconds prior to being lightly exploded by one of his own company’s weapons. This time, however, instead of nabbing a chestful of shrapnel, he’s saved in the eleventh hour by Killmonger from “Black Panther,” and the two walk off into the middle distance like Rick Blaine and Captain Renault.
The promise of a theoretical MCU where Tony never became Iron Man or stopped selling weapons is only the tip of the iceberg. The teaser also gives fans a glimpse at an Avengers-adjacent swooping, low-angle shot of a team consisting of Star Lord, Thor, Black Panther, and Gamora wielding Thanos’s double-bladed sword.
We see a world where T’Challa was taken by Yondu and took Peter Quill’s place as a Guardian of the Galaxy, a Loki-led Asgardian invasion of Earth, the long-overdue return of Howard the Duck, and a reimagined timeline where Peggy Carter became World War II’s super soldier. In a surprising twist, Spider-Man also makes a brief appearance, sporting his “Homecoming” duds, but otherwise not giving curious fans much to go on. Also, Scott Lang shows up as a disembodied head in a bell jar. This show is going to be off the rails.
“What If…?” is scheduled to debut on Disney+ on August 11.