With less than two weeks to go until its premiere, the first reactions to Marvel’s What If…? are rolling in, and critics are loving this unique multiversal spin on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The animated Disney+ takes classic moments from the films and spins them on their head by basically asking “what if” the iconic events took a dramatically different turn.
While not every hypothetical scenario is known, trailers and promotional materials have revealed a few of them. Marvel’s What If…? will explore Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter taking the super-soldier serum instead of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, Chadwick Boseman‘s T’Challa becoming Star-Lord instead of Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, Tony Stark getting saved by Killmonger in the opening minutes of the first Iron Man, Spider-Man becoming a Sorcerer Supreme, and some version of the Marvel Zombies. Also, there seems to be some sort of crazy action happening with Vision and the Infinity Stones, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s happening there.
Here’s what the critics are saying about the first three episodes:
Saw first 3 episodes of #whatif . Loved the comic so I’m obviously primed to enjoy the series and it delivers. 2nd episode is T’Challa as Star-Lord and it’s a great episode that features @chadwickboseman’s voice and cool surprises. 3rd episode is a better mystery than some movies pic.twitter.com/l0SX2xEY86
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) August 1, 2021
Marvel throws us head first into the MULTIVERSE with What If…? & it's INCREDIBLE! There's STUNNING animation & SHOCKING twists! One choice can change EVERYTHING & the possibilities are ENDLESS! If the first 3 episodes are any indication, this show is gonna be WILD! #WhatIf pic.twitter.com/5MX4MH46mN
— Tessa Smith – Mama's Geeky (@MamasGeeky) August 1, 2021
Got to watch the first 3 episodes of #WhatIf and it is incredible!
Each story for each episode is fantastic and bolstered by a strong voice cast and splendid animation.
I couldn’t be more happy with how this series has turned out, one of the best animated TV shows this year. pic.twitter.com/mIbdoK78lD
— Jacob (@JacobDFilm) August 1, 2021
I’ve watched the first three episodes of Marvel’s #WhatIf and I’m hooked. Each episode is better than the last w/ the third being my favorite. Love how they take a story we know by heart & twist it in all kinds of ways. It’s like the MCU’s Twilight Zone – weird, wild, good fun pic.twitter.com/PQ9deD1Yyl
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 1, 2021
While the consensus is in that the show is essentially Marvel’s version of The Twilight Zone and the animated series is a fun experiment, not every episode was for everybody:
First three episodes of #WhatIf are an interesting start.
First episode didn't grab me. Second is super entertaining & filled with heart. Third is dark, surprising, and hands down my favorite!
Got better as it went by a lot, each episode! Ambitious new style. Loads of MCU nods! pic.twitter.com/yWx8CdTR64
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) August 1, 2021
Seen the first three episodes of #WhatIf. The first episode is fun though a fairly basic “something you know with a swap” scenario. But episode two and three really grabbed me as they go into some very interesting and fun places and dive deep into MCU history in surprising ways.
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) August 1, 2021
Watched the first 3 eps of Marvel's #WhatIf. It gets better w/ each episode.
Premiere's ok. Ep 2 will tug at you. Ep 3 starts off SO unexpectedly dark & doesn't let up. Wasn't expecting Marvel to go there, but it's exactly what you want to see here. Intrigued to see more. pic.twitter.com/YL1WGbGhg3
— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) August 1, 2021
But overwhelmingly critics had a blast with What If…? even if every scenario wasn’t their cup of tea:
Marvel Studios’ #WhatIf is INCREDIBLE!
I watched the first 3 episodes and I enjoyed them all. So many callbacks and references to the previous films. There’s also surprise characters that appear that’ll leave you speechless.
I can’t wait to see more!👏🔥 pic.twitter.com/xChGAPGFZG
— Matt Ramos (@therealsupes) August 1, 2021
I've watched the first 3 episodes of #WhatIf and it is a stunning blend of the MCU and the Twilight Zone.
*chef's kiss* pic.twitter.com/8J47K3TXoP
— Kate Sánchez⁷ @ #FantasiaFest2021 (@OhMyMithrandir) August 1, 2021
Saw the first 3 episodes of #WhatIf and my goodness, it’s a blast.
Every episode feels familiar due to iconic quotes, shots and/or call-backs…Yet they are completely unique and the twists will leave fans completely speechless.
I love this show and can’t wait to see more! pic.twitter.com/7Ohq6eQ49b
— Brad R Lambert (@bradrlambert) August 1, 2021
Watched the first 3 episodes of #WhatIf & it does NOT disappoint. The storylines, voice talent, & visuals are incredible.
What If expands the MCU with a seemingly limitless sense of possibility & each episode just gets better & better.
The multiverse has never looked so good. pic.twitter.com/xwUsKUIWnn
— Ashley Saunders (@ThatAshleyErin) August 1, 2021
Here’s the official synopsis for Marvel’s What If…?:
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles.
Marvel’s What If…? starts streaming August 11 on Disney+.