WHAT IF….? Episode 5 Review

Marvel’s latest phase four project What If….? has been taking the fans by surprise with each new episode. The series will answer some of the craziest questions regarding multiverses and the existence of different timelines. There will be many alternate realities that are going to be explored, and it is certain that each one will be a different take on some of the famous storylines in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel Comics. It was released on Disney+hotstar and is available for streaming. 

WHAT IF….? Episode 5 Review

The fifth and most recent episode showed us what it would be if Earth’s heroes turned into zombies. Read on for a review of the episode.

MARVEL’S WHAT IF….? EPISODE 5 REVIEW

To give a short summary, the episode is the the adaptation of Marvel Zombies, a limited comic series consisting of five issues, written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman with art by Sean Phillips and cover art by Arthur Suydam. The comic series saw an alternate universe that depicted a virus infecting superheroes.

WHAT IF….? Episode 5 Review

The episode starts off with a familiar scene from Avengers: Infinity War, where Hulk/Bruce Banner is transported to Earth by Heimdall through the Bifrost. It would turn out, however, that this is a different Earth. As Banner emerges alone from the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York, he finds the city to be desolate and empty, a stark contrast to Infinity War. He is soon joined by Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, similar to the MCU movie. This would be the only similarity between the movie, as what happens next forms the basis of this episode’s story. Banner watches the two fight what appear to be the figures of Iron Man and Dr. Strange. As the dust settles Banner finds out that the two Avengers were not themselves, rather, they were flesh eating zombies. Stark, Dr. Strange and Wong are shown to have turned into monsters, and they caused the Maw and Obsidian to do the same.

WHAT IF….? Episode 5 Review

As the group attempts to prey on Banner, he is saved by Hope Van Dyn and Spider-Man who had miraculously survived the zombie apocalypse. It turned out that they weren’t the only ones, as the group is joined by Bucky, Happy Hogan, Sharon Carter, Okoye and Kurt, a S.H.I.E.LD agent. It is revealed that the cause of the zombie apocalypse was none other than Janet Van Dyne, Hope’s long lost mother, who had been infected with a quantum Virus. She infected Hank Pym with it, who in turn gave it to Scott Lang. Within days, the entire continent was infected, and it was all over for humanity when the Earth’s mightiest heroes; The Avengers were caught in it too. 

The episode gave us another dark reality of what would happen if the Earth’s last line of defence failed, as was evident in Infinity War. But it was good to see Spider-Man step up to the task, trying to cope with the loss of his loved ones as one friend died after the other, yet still manage to stay optimistic. The episode was not short of humour as well, with Spider-Man and the gang managing to drop a few quips of laughter here and there, despite the grim circumstances. We saw our favorite heroes sacrifice their lives for humanity’s victory, when they attempt to go to New Jersey in the hope of finding the cure.

Once there, they meet Vision, who had managed to keep the zombies at bay with the power of the Mind Stone. The Mind stone apparently had the power to cure people from the Virus; and Vision shows them Scott Lang, or rather whatever remained of him. Lang adds a great deal to the humour of the episode, with his nonsensical jokes and observations. However, it turns out that Vision was actually using the human survivors to feed Wanda, who, no surprises, was also infected with the virus. This would turn out to be a twist to the episode, as the group then deals with Vision and an awakened Wanda. We then get a shot of Wanda fighting off the Hulk, who somehow had managed to be awakened by Banner.

Towards the end, we see the remaining survivors; Spider-Man, T’Challa and Lang with Mind Stone heading towards Wakanda to use its technology to develop the cure. However, the episode ends with quite possibly the biggest cliffhanger. Zombie Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet and 5 of the Infinity Stones in it, only needing, guess what. The Mind Stone. This was easily the best episode so far in the series. It managed to give us moments that signified the pain faced by our heroes, and the important choices they have to make. We also get to see Spider-Man mature as a hero, evident during his conversations with Hope and Banner. The relationship between Vision and Wanda was handled in a good way as well, with the android coming full circle and sacrificing the Mind Stone to atone for his wrongs. If the events in the episode indeed are canon as reported, it is no doubt going to be an interesting season for Marvel’s What If….?

This article is contributed by Pranav.

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