[Movies] MCU: Phase 4: Variant Madness

Heard some interesting rumors on the vine.
Of course, take this with a grain of salt, but there are a lot of rumors that the stuff happening in "What If" is going to heavily set up many of the future movies. We know now through trailers that at some point, The Watcher is going to intervene and form an "Avengers" team made up of most of the main characters from many of the episodes. So far we saw Captain Carter, T'Challa Star-Lord, Supreme Strange, and Zombieland Spider-Man in this team group, but also upcoming heroes like Kilmonger Black Panther and Thanos Gamora will become part of it. I have said before how I don't think the Doctor Strange in No Way Home is the regular Doctor Strange, and further analysis has been really hinting to this Doctor Strange being Supreme Strange from What If. Why? Benedict has always played Doctor Strange having a shaky tic to his movements, due to his damaged hands. However, in the trailer for No Way Home, the Doctor Strange we see has been doing clean, précises movements during all but one of his scenes (which could be the tic, or could be just struggling with the spell.) which leads many people to believe it's actually Supreme Strange.

To make a long story short, with the death of Chadwick and the retirement of the T'Challa character, they don't have a good Black Panther replacement right now. Many people expected Shuri to take the role, but after many scandals with Letitia last year, it seemed those rumors evaporated. Then the rumors lead to them just not having a Black Panther, and focusing instead on Wakanda, but now we know that is actually happening in a tv show. So who can they get to take the role? Well, Michael B. Jordan has been rumored to be on the set of Black Panther 2, and considering he was such a popular character, even as a villain, and he is getting redeemed as a hero in the next episode of "What If", it could be they are pulling a huge multiverse play and will have Michael from the alternate universe somehow come to the main MCU, taking on the mantle. Do I believe this? Honestly, skeptical, because it just seems like such a crazy idea, but once long ago I considered all the Sony Spider-Man villains appearing in an MCU property to be impossible, so I am going to keep my mind a little open.
 
Heard some interesting rumors on the vine.
Of course, take this with a grain of salt, but there are a lot of rumors that the stuff happening in "What If" is going to heavily set up many of the future movies. We know now through trailers that at some point, The Watcher is going to intervene and form an "Avengers" team made up of most of the main characters from many of the episodes. So far we saw Captain Carter, T'Challa Star-Lord, Supreme Strange, and Zombieland Spider-Man in this team group, but also upcoming heroes like Kilmonger Black Panther and Thanos Gamora will become part of it. I have said before how I don't think the Doctor Strange in No Way Home is the regular Doctor Strange, and further analysis has been really hinting to this Doctor Strange being Supreme Strange from What If. Why? Benedict has always played Doctor Strange having a shaky tic to his movements, due to his damaged hands. However, in the trailer for No Way Home, the Doctor Strange we see has been doing clean, précises movements during all but one of his scenes (which could be the tic, or could be just struggling with the spell.) which leads many people to believe it's actually Supreme Strange.

To make a long story short, with the death of Chadwick and the retirement of the T'Challa character, they don't have a good Black Panther replacement right now. Many people expected Shuri to take the role, but after many scandals with Letitia last year, it seemed those rumors evaporated. Then the rumors lead to them just not having a Black Panther, and focusing instead on Wakanda, but now we know that is actually happening in a tv show. So who can they get to take the role? Well, Michael B. Jordan has been rumored to be on the set of Black Panther 2, and considering he was such a popular character, even as a villain, and he is getting redeemed as a hero in the next episode of "What If", it could be they are pulling a huge multiverse play and will have Michael from the alternate universe somehow come to the main MCU, taking on the mantle. Do I believe this? Honestly, skeptical, because it just seems like such a crazy idea, but once long ago I considered all the Sony Spider-Man villains appearing in an MCU property to be impossible, so I am going to keep my mind a little open.
Not sure Kilmonger Black Panther is the type of guy that The Watcher wants on his team after seeing that episode.
 
Latest What If...? was pretty good. Not "the whole universe is fucked by the end of the episode" like others, but still pretty solid.

Not that every episode needs to end in doom or that doing so makes it a better episode. It's more an observation on the overall series.
 
Not sure Kilmonger Black Panther is the type of guy that The Watcher wants on his team after seeing that episode.
Yes I just saw. On the one hand, refreshing to see them stay true to the character. On the other hand, kind of throws a wrench in a lot of the theories right now. It has me intrigued.
 
Yes I just saw. On the one hand, refreshing to see them stay true to the character. On the other hand, kind of throws a wrench in a lot of the theories right now. It has me intrigued.
Kilmonger's past changed way too late for him to be redeemable as a good guy. Now I just want to see Shuri and Pepper take him down.
 
Kilmonger's past changed way too late for him to be redeemable as a good guy. Now I just want to see Shuri and Pepper take him down.
There is still the question of why he appears in the "team-up" Either it's Marvel trying to pull a trailer trick, which of course is totally possible (Hulk in Infinity War, anyone?), or something else is going to happen. My theory is that since Shuri obviously has proof of all the things that Kilmonger did, she and Pepper are going to expose Kilmonger to the entire world, thus turning him into a pariah hunted by both the US and Wakanda. He will still escape with the suit and the powers of the Black Panther, but he will be on the run constantly and unable to ever rest (The Dora Milaje ain't gonna give him that for killing T'Challa and deceiving them). This will lead to him having a similar thing as with Supreme Strange, where he likely joins the "team" simply to escape whatever existence he is forced to live by that point.

One thing I like each episode is how the Watcher keeps getting less and less mysterious. When it started he is just a shadow barely visible, then each episode he keeps looming closer and closer in the background. He finally showed himself in E4, and now he is appearing more and more physical and involved. The newest little thing I noticed during this episode was that right after the big battle versus the drones, Kilmonger is looking out from a mountain and the Watcher appears transparent over the sky, but you can see his eyes and brow kind of twitching, like all this stuff happening is leaving him distressed and he wants to do something but is trying so hard to stay out of it.
 
Heard some interesting rumors on the vine.
Of course, take this with a grain of salt, but there are a lot of rumors that the stuff happening in "What If" is going to heavily set up many of the future movies. We know now through trailers that at some point, The Watcher is going to intervene and form an "Avengers" team made up of most of the main characters from many of the episodes. So far we saw Captain Carter, T'Challa Star-Lord, Supreme Strange, and Zombieland Spider-Man in this team group, but also upcoming heroes like Kilmonger Black Panther and Thanos Gamora will become part of it. I have said before how I don't think the Doctor Strange in No Way Home is the regular Doctor Strange, and further analysis has been really hinting to this Doctor Strange being Supreme Strange from What If. Why? Benedict has always played Doctor Strange having a shaky tic to his movements, due to his damaged hands. However, in the trailer for No Way Home, the Doctor Strange we see has been doing clean, précises movements during all but one of his scenes (which could be the tic, or could be just struggling with the spell.) which leads many people to believe it's actually Supreme Strange.

To make a long story short, with the death of Chadwick and the retirement of the T'Challa character, they don't have a good Black Panther replacement right now. Many people expected Shuri to take the role, but after many scandals with Letitia last year, it seemed those rumors evaporated. Then the rumors lead to them just not having a Black Panther, and focusing instead on Wakanda, but now we know that is actually happening in a tv show. So who can they get to take the role? Well, Michael B. Jordan has been rumored to be on the set of Black Panther 2, and considering he was such a popular character, even as a villain, and he is getting redeemed as a hero in the next episode of "What If", it could be they are pulling a huge multiverse play and will have Michael from the alternate universe somehow come to the main MCU, taking on the mantle. Do I believe this? Honestly, skeptical, because it just seems like such a crazy idea, but once long ago I considered all the Sony Spider-Man villains appearing in an MCU property to be impossible, so I am going to keep my mind a little open.
I would take this rumor with a huge grain of salt, and here's why:
A number of the people mentioned above are currently finishing off their Marvel contracts/commitment. I remember Zoe Saldana saying Guardians 3 is her last. Hayley Atwell is a huge maybe at the point. I don't remember where Cumberbatch is with his DS commitments. Getting voice-acting from the cast is a lot easier nowadays because they can record from wherever they are, but a big part of the Disney+ and big screen projects is setting up the "new generation" of heroes, and retiring those who didn't die in Endgame, but are getting older/moving on. To my knowledge, What If...? is, at the moment, basically wish fulfillment/fan fic/etc. But that could change at any time, if Disney sees that's the way the money is blowing.
 
You know, after 2 weeks of very sad What If's...?, I can totally dig that they went completely silly with this episode. It helps that a lot of the characters used are good at comedy.
 
It was a good episode. Was a perfect one to also setup the "Big Bad" of the series.
Back when WandaVision was happening there were rumors that James Spader was at Marvel Studios, leading to lots of rumors about him voicing White Vision. That ended up not happening, but after todays episode it makes sense that he was likely there to record lines for this show instead. The Ultron/Vision we saw at the end seems to be one that succeeded in transferring his consciousness into the Vision body and destroyed humanity, went out and claimed all the Infinity Stones in his universe and now is moving into other universes to destroy them there too. Having Paul voice a fully ultronized vision wouldn't work, so they would have to either bring back Spader or get someone that sounds similar, like they did for the other actors that didn't return for it.
 
The episode was okay. I found myself a little bored and checking how much longer it had to go. Had some good laughs.
But there is one plot hole here.
Mjollnir only received the "Worthy" spell in the MCU when Odin added it when casting Thor from Asgard. It seems that the circumstances here are very different than if Loki were around.
Now perhaps Odin still inscribed the spell, but if he did how the hell is Thor carrying it? Surely this irresponsible party throwing Thor couldn't wield it in his current state of mind?
And before anyone questions: yes I believe the spell is still in place. The inscription is on the hammer in the episode (though I couldn't read it. So maybe it's different) and he keeps Captain Marvel down by placing it on her chest.
 
The hammer always had a spell that prevented others from wielding it, other then Thor and Odin (and Hela). Odin altered the spell by adding the worthy component as punishment for Thor, but also intentionally or unintentionally opening it up to others that fit the worthy component. So ya, it's not really a plot hole.
 
MCU: plots a decade's worth of movies.

IATSE: nice plan you've got there. Would be a shame if anything happened to it.

:popcorn:
Gotta take care of those working on the movies too. Companies like Netflix and Apple are still trying to claim they don't have to pay their workers standard rates or give them lunch breaks because the streaming industry is so "unstable" and "experimental".
 
We've clearly left behind all the happy-go-lucky of last week's What If...?

Somewhat annoyed Disney didn't pony-up to get Spader. Say what you will, but his voice IS Ultron, and you just can't imitate that. On the other hand, minute 6:28 made me say aloud, "OHHHHHHH SHIT!!!", so they really wanted us at ease from last week.
 
New episode was fun.
Agree on Spader. I already told my contact that told me Spader voiced some lines awhile back that he is full of shit. If they were not going to use him in What If, there isn't anything else we will hear him in. I think the dude tried his best though to mimic Spader in this episode, just didn't have the gravity of it though.

This episode had a lot of, um, weird inconsistencies though.

How the hell did Thanos get nearly all the stones in this universe? They have him appear on Earth exactly like he did in Infinity War, which makes me feel they were trying to play a parallel to Infinity War, but that makes no sense. The Time Stone is still on Earth somewhere, which I guess we could argue he just went to Doctor Strange's irradiated corpse and took it, but then how did he get the Soul Stone? We see Gamora literally two scenes later fighting Ultron's drones as they destroy Sovereign, and since Gamora was literally the only thing he actually loved, how did he get the Soul Stone? How did he even FIND the Soul Stone when Gamora was the only person that knew where it was?

How "out of sync" the narrative felt after the stinger in the Party Thor episode. We have the Watcher being all like "Oh, then they lived happily. Wait what?" and we see Ultron appear, so we know he saw and was confused by Ultron being there. Then this episode starts and he is now watching Ultron get his body and destroy the universe, all the while getting confused when Ultron suddenly notices him and breaks out. Like, bitch, you literally saw him traversing space and time in an earlier moment in a completely different universe, why is this suddenly so surprising to you?

Anyways, one thing people seem to be upset about was how easy Ultron killed Thanos, but people kind of lose focus on the fact that Vision really could kill anyone he wanted in a blink if he desired it, but he was a good android, and never wanted to do harm unless it was necessary. Ultron does not have that quelm, and so of course he would just slice Thanos in half with the Mind Stone the minute he wanted something from him.

Anyways, this gives us the Black Widow with the Red Guardian Shield, so that means the only members of the "Multiverse Avengers" we have yet to see is Mad Titan Gamora.
 
Yup, they said one episode didn't get finished, and after they announced the last episode was the penultimate episode, I figured it was going to be that one.
Do find it kind of hilarious that the one universe Tony Stark seems to have a big role that does NOT involve dying, would be the one cut. I know he technically never died in the Peggy, Star-Lord (maybe), and Party Thor universes, but he has zero role in those, so they don't really count.

I was waiting for that Kilmonger betrayal. After his setup in his episode I knew they were going to keep him on that path and have him do something, and when I noticed he was missing from the second half of the big final fight I knew it was coming. Though I admit even I was not expecting him to literally use a severed Ultron-Bot head to learn how to control Ultron's nano particles. It was good to see the Zola virus also come to fruition, though Zola's AI being more powerful then Ultron is a bit weird to me, and has been since last episode. It was nice to see Supreme Strange do something good to make up for his mistake.

I kind of guffawed when they brought up the whole "each infinity stone is also different" to explain how Gamora's Infinity Crusher couldn't destroy them, because it also can be used as an excuse why Ultron or Kilmonger didn't just snap their fingers and win. That was something bothering me since Ultron got the stones, since he had the power to literally rewrite the universe and instead made a big army and manually flew around destroying planets, and then kept using the stones to fight the heroes rather then literally erasing them. For a time I figured they would just use the ignorance angle ("he didn't know he could do that since he never learned it from anyone.") and that they would explain away the fact all the stones together were not ripping Ultron apart because he was synthetic. Now after that throw away line and Kilmonger holding all the stones without any feedback harming him, it seems the stones from that universe are physically stronger but generally weaker then the ones from the sacred timeline, and don't have that extreme power.
 
Yup, they said one episode didn't get finished, and after they announced the last episode was the penultimate episode, I figured it was going to be that one.
Do find it kind of hilarious that the one universe Tony Stark seems to have a big role that does NOT involve dying, would be the one cut. I know he technically never died in the Peggy, Star-Lord (maybe), and Party Thor universes, but he has zero role in those, so they don't really count.

I was waiting for that Kilmonger betrayal. After his setup in his episode I knew they were going to keep him on that path and have him do something, and when I noticed he was missing from the second half of the big final fight I knew it was coming. Though I admit even I was not expecting him to literally use a severed Ultron-Bot head to learn how to control Ultron's nano particles. It was good to see the Zola virus also come to fruition, though Zola's AI being more powerful then Ultron is a bit weird to me, and has been since last episode. It was nice to see Supreme Strange do something good to make up for his mistake.

I kind of guffawed when they brought up the whole "each infinity stone is also different" to explain how Gamora's Infinity Crusher couldn't destroy them, because it also can be used as an excuse why Ultron or Kilmonger didn't just snap their fingers and win. That was something bothering me since Ultron got the stones, since he had the power to literally rewrite the universe and instead made a big army and manually flew around destroying planets, and then kept using the stones to fight the heroes rather then literally erasing them. For a time I figured they would just use the ignorance angle ("he didn't know he could do that since he never learned it from anyone.") and that they would explain away the fact all the stones together were not ripping Ultron apart because he was synthetic. Now after that throw away line and Kilmonger holding all the stones without any feedback harming him, it seems the stones from that universe are physically stronger but generally weaker then the ones from the sacred timeline, and don't have that extreme power.
Given how he handled Thanos, I don't think Ultron needs the stones do cut things in half.

Thanos looked perfectly balanced. As all thing should be.
 
You know I just realized...
Kilmonger actually never had all the stones. The Mind Stone was still inside Ultron / Zola. They were fighting over the other 5 stones. Not sure how I didn't notice that before. Might explain why Kilmonger never experienced some sort of feedback like Thanos / Hulk / Tony since it only seems to happen at 6 stones together.
 
What could have been:

According to Andrews, even before “What If... T’Challa Became a Star-Lord” became one of the first season’s strongest episodes, plans were coming into shape for a full-on animated spin-off about the variant. “I don’t know if [Boseman] knew this, but there was planning to have Star Lord T’Challa spin-off into his own show with that universe and crew,” (executive producer Bryan) Andrews said. “We were all very excited. We know he would have loved it, too. And then, you know, he passed, and so all that’s in limbo. So, who knows? Maybe one day.” (io9)

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For the record, I agree with the two fairly common criticisms of this episode -- how they handled Korath, and the reason Thanos was in the episode. However, I thought virtually everything else about the episode was fantastic.
 
What could have been:

According to Andrews, even before “What If... T’Challa Became a Star-Lord” became one of the first season’s strongest episodes, plans were coming into shape for a full-on animated spin-off about the variant. “I don’t know if [Boseman] knew this, but there was planning to have Star Lord T’Challa spin-off into his own show with that universe and crew,” (executive producer Bryan) Andrews said. “We were all very excited. We know he would have loved it, too. And then, you know, he passed, and so all that’s in limbo. So, who knows? Maybe one day.” (io9)

------------------

For the record, I agree with the two fairly common criticisms of this episode -- how they handled Korath, and the reason Thanos was in the episode. However, I thought virtually everything else about the episode was fantastic.
It would have given them an excuse to use the "Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda" stuff they have going on in the comics too.
 
This reminds me of something I read the other day:

An episode pitch involving the Guardians of the Galaxy was suggested for the first season, but it had to be scrapped after A.C Bradley was told that she had inadvertently written half the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
O rly??
 
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