As you know, the MCU doesn’t take itself too seriously. But did those responsible actually overdo it this time with a wink?
– Warning: This is followed by spoilers for season 1, episode 2 of “Marvel’s What If …?” And season 1, episode 1 of “Loki”! –
Even after the first “Loki” episode there was excitement about the legacy of “Avengers: Endgame”. It pissed off some fans from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that the Infinity Stones in the Marvel series were suddenly useless. The recently most powerful artifacts in the universe, degraded to paperweights. “Loki” thus made clear the new balance of power, of course, but at the expense of what had previously been established.
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Episode 2 of the new series “Marvel’s What If …?” but could top this discussion again. The anthology series is dedicated to a different event from the MCU in each episode, changes it decisively and, based on this, plays through the new situation. In the second episode, instead of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) actually becomes Star-Lord and the Prince of Wakanda turns the universe upside down.
This also has a direct impact on the MCU’s biggest villain to date: Thanos (Josh Brolin). The Titan presents itself significantly changed in the “What If …?” Episode. According to his own statement, T’Challa convinced him that his plan to wipe out half of the living things in the universe is actually foolish. The MCU takes up the criticism of fans with a wink, of course, who rightly noted that Thanos’ plan does not make sense.
However, that was the point somewhere: Thanos is the crazy titan who is not really interested in saving the universe, but who wants to assert himself with all means in order to be right. The fact that he can now simply be convinced by a single person somehow does not fit the Thanos that we have met. He actually discarded his plan in “Endgame”, but only to resort to an even more radical solution: after he was shown the weak point of his old project, he wanted to destroy the entire universe and rebuild it instead.
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T’Challa convinced Thanos as a child?
Especially since the timing seems strange. Since Nebula (Karen Gillan) was almost never replaced by technical spare parts, she probably didn’t have to fight with her adoptive sister Gamora. In the normal MCU, Nebula revealed that Thanos had forced the two to duel repeatedly and the loser also lost a piece of herself that was replaced by technology. The “What If …?” – Thanos must have renounced this practice. The episode certainly suggests that this is due to the influence of T’Challa, after all, he is the only change compared to the previously seen course.
If we assume that T’Challa, Nebula and Gamora are all of a similar age, that would mean that the young T’Challa already impressed Thanos so much that he underwent a significant change in character. After all, the duels between Gamora and Nebula began in their childhood. Everyone has to clarify for themselves whether such a change by Thanos due to a child is realistic.
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Thanos looks much weaker
In addition to the changed personality, Thanos doesn’t seem like himself in the fights either. In contrast to the last two Avengers films, the Black Order in “What If …?” Is not subordinate to Thanos, but works for the Collector (Benicio del Toro) . The Black Order consists of four very strong warriors, who were nevertheless defeated by individual members of the Avengers.
However, in the Marvel series, Thanos now has visible problems with them. In the first encounter he is easily eliminated with electric shocks, in the second fight he needs the support of Nebula to assert himself against the Black Order. When we remember how Thanos defeated Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) even without the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Endgame, it seems strange. Has Thanos let his training run like that after his character change?
Thano’s funny appearance in “Marvel’s What If …?” Comes at a price, because his image as the most terrible and dangerous MCU villain could have suffered from this new impression. In any case, we can be curious to see whether further episodes of the series show a different Thanos and thus ensure a correction. It continues with episode 3 of “Marvel’s What If …?”, Which starts on August 25, 2021 at Disney + and turns the making of the Avengers on its head.
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