Captain Carter and the Howling Commandos charge in on What If...? (2021)

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While the theatrical branch of Marvel Studios has been somewhat stalled due to our current public health situation, the studio has kept fans fully enthralled for the past several months with its host of Disney+ shows. Some have been feeling a bit of withdrawal since the latest show, Loki, concluded a few weeks ago. Luckily, they can now look forward to What If...?, which hits the streamer in less than two weeks. Ahead of the release, some media pundits have feasted their eyes on a few episodes, and they’re now taking to social media to share their reactions.

What If…? marks a significant milestone for Marvel Studios, as it’s the first animated project to ever be produced by the studio. The show is also poised to show the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a new light, as it reimagines key moments from the franchise and ponders what would happen if things had played out differently. Judging by the footage we’ve seen so far, the show seems to be unabashedly weird. However, Fandango’s Erik Davis enjoyed that aspect of the series:

One of the most impressive aspects of What If…? is how cinematic it appears to be. The cel-shaded animation seems to seamlessly capture the spectacle fans expect to see in the MCU. Internet pundit Grace Randolph was impressed by this very thing, and she also seemed to have fun with some key characters:

Captain Carter and Ravager T’Challa are just a few of the new characters (or variants) that will be born from the show’s alternate realities. The idea of utilizing multiple timelines can be tricky, as we’ve seen in Marvel’s Loki. But Variety’s Simon Thompson believes the series deftly employs this storytelling method:

Another interesting thing to consider about What If…? is that it appears to be an anthology series. So what does this mean for viewing order? Well, Herb Scribner of Deseret News, who enjoyed the first three episodes, shared some thoughts on this in his reaction:

Interestingly, Herb Scribner also mentioned that the show seems to be pretty self-contained, at the moment. Following the multiverse-shattering events of Loki, fans have begun to wonder if the show will feel shockwaves from Tom Hiddlston’s solo series or if the animated series itself will affect the MCU moving forward. This remains to be seen, but Rotten Tomatoes’ Tessa Smith suggests the show still fully embodies the true spirit of the multiverse:

These early reactions to Marvel’s What If…? are definitely encouraging and are sure to get fans fired up for what’s to come. There’s no telling where this wild and trippy road will lead but, with Jeffrey Wright’s The Watcher leading the way and a slew of MCU veterans tagging along, it’s sure to be an interesting ride.

Marvel’s What If…? premieres Wednesday, August 11th on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link.

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