“Heroes are not born. They’re forged in darkness.” So says The Watcher, aka: Uatu (Jeffrey Wright). But you already knew his name, didn’t you, true believer? What is Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)? Is he hero? Is he villain? That depends on what multiverse you’re in. Or maybe it doesn’t.
In this episode of Marvel’s What If …?, there is precious little darkness. Yes. Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) is once again in the Fun-Vee, leaving Colonel James Rhodes, aka: Rhodey (Don Cheadle), to ride in the Humvee. But right as Tony is going to be rendered into Stark Raving Hazelnuts all over the terrain of Afghanistan, a figure reaches out from nowhere, grabs the Stark Industry bomb and hurls it a country mile away.
Stark survives and walks away with a new guy pal to hang out with with – Killmonger.
You know him as the bad guy from the Black Panther film, one of the potential inheritors of the kingdom of Wakanda. His birth name is N’Jadaka. In this corner of the multiverse, however, he remains a Navy lieutenant and graduate of MIT. He joins Stark Industries and begins to move around the place like he owns it. Instead of a terribly wounded Tony Stark inventing the Iron Man suit, Killmonger plants it in Tony’s head to to build the metal drone suit that he always wanted and partially designed in college. All this, you know, as a return favor for saving Tony’s life.
THAT’S-A-ONE SPICEY MEAT-A-BALL
This episode of Marvel’s What If …? takes the biggest spoon yet to mix up the broadest ragout, maybe ever. There are bits and pieces from so many Marvel films that include, well … everyone. Mayby not Ant Man, though he might be super small and going unnoticeable in one of the shots. Who knows. A short list includes:
Happy Hogan turns into “Unhappy” Hogan because Killmonger takes the promotion he thought would be his.
Pepper Potts is pretty peppery all the way through this thing because she sees behind Killmonger’s veneer of loveliness and professionalism, but can do nothing – well, nothing right away.
Colonel Rhodes keeps the use of his legs, but meets a much more unforgiving end.
T’Challa – well, we get to enjoy one more (possibly last?) animated visit by the late Chadwick Boseman. ‘Nuff said.
Even Ulysses S. Klaue (Andy Serkis) gets to revel in all the nastiness, until he meets his own bad end – no spoilers here!
The list goes on and on (and on).
LEAVE IT TO KILLMONGER
The episode truly belongs to Killmonger. His is the straw that stirs all the drinks – all the ones above and a few held back from disclosure. If there were a way to possibly insert him into Lincoln’s trip to the theater, QAnon, bigfoot, and Area 51, it would make all the sense in the world. In Killmonger’s case, we’re expected to believe that he knew enough about Tony Stark’s plans to be in the area the day of the ambush; that he knew enough to finger Obediah Stane with Stark’s near-murder, and happened to have designed drone robots that look alarmingly like the robots designed by Justin Hammer and perfected by Ivan Antonovich Vanko in Iron Man 2. That’s a lot of coincidence. His plan rolled out like so much clockwork.
But, hey, this streaming show is the poster child for suspension of disbelief. Just go along for the ride!
Every week this reviewer strives to say something like, “It’s amazing how much plot and action the writer(s) of this show can pack into a 30-minute episode.” Well, I’m at it again. It’s a good thing that word processors were invented because if not there would be an office somewhere in the Marvel Studios’ corner of Hollywood with mountain of wadded up script pages. There must be no end to the amount of editing that goes into a show like this. The show might be called, What If … The Writers of What If …? Got A Case Of Terminal Writer’s Cramp? That’s a little long for a title, but you get the picture.
ARE YOU HEARING VOICES?
Voiceovers for this segment are a little like a sine wave – the ups are really up and the downs are really low. For instance, I know that
Mick Wingert has the chops to voice Tony Stark, he’s done it on many occasions, but there are times that his voice lacks Tony’s signature sarcastic tone. Is it too late to get Robert Downey Jr.’s Life Model Decoy to intone into the microphone? You’d only have to pay the LMD scale! The best of this week’s cast is Andy Serkis. He must just live for acting out as Ulysses S. Klaue; he does it so well! If there were a way to have bonus extras, perhaps we could ask Serkis to simply read the phone book and make up a line for each name. He’s up for the challenge. Get him on the phone!
THE FINAL FINAL (FOR THIS WEEK)
Marvel’s What If …? is doing a really doing a fine job bringing the concept of a nearly limitless multiverse into focus. The past few episodes have turned decidedly dark, for a reason, it seems? Could Party Thor be right around the corner? How about one where Howard The Duck runs for President? Wait! That already happened. You’ve seen the H.T.D. For President buttons on Ebay, I’m sure. “Get Down America!,” they say.
Whatever Kevin Feige and the gang have in mind, make sure to bee there. This is a wild ride and there are only three episodes to go. Who knows what will happen?
There is a rumor floating around that even The Watcher doesn’t really know. Go figure!
New episodes of Marvel’s What If …? debut every Wednesday.
Source: *YouTube – Marvel What IF…? Episode 6 Killmonger kills Tony Stark
Source: ** YouTube – Marvel What IF…? Tony Stark’s Press Conference
Source: *** YouTube – Marvel WHAT IF Episode 6 Breakdown & Ending Explained Spoiler Review | MCU Easter Eggs And Details