What Are the Perfect MCU Stories for What If…? for Season 3?

When it comes to What If…?, fans expect mind-blowing stories. Season 1 offered just that, and thankfully, Season 2 from A.C. Bradley and Co. lives up to expectations. It doesn’t matter if viewers are fans of the alternate reality comics of the same name, or casual viewers who are just interested in seeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s established characters and stories subverted.



Season 2 episodes like “What If… Iron Man Crashed Into the Grandmaster?,” deliver in spades. Luckily, Marvel Studios has already teased What If…? Season 3 with a brand-new clip. Given the MCU is already 15 years old, there are more twisty routes this animated sereis can go to keep pushing the envelope.


10 What If… Iron Man Allied With Steve Rogers In Civil War?

Captain America and Iron Man in Captain America Civil War

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Captain America: Civil War

Anthony and Joe Russo

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

May 6, 2016

Captain America: Civil War had dire consequences in the MCU. Once Iron Man’s team fought Captain America’s, the planet was left vulnerable for Thanos to invade. Tony voiced his disdain for Steve’s obfuscation and disobedience in Avengers: Endgame, which led to the deaths of Iron Man and Black Widow.

What If…? can revisit this conflict and make the Avengers stronger. It could show Earth’s Mightiest Heroes unified, proactive, and working with Asgard, Wakanda and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Seeing them all in concert staving off Thanos’ forces and avoiding the Snap could feed into the ongoing Guardians of the Multiverse narrative. It can give all these heroes Iron Man armors and help make organizations like S.W.O.R.D. into cosmic watchers (like in the comics) in an idealistic yet motivating story about what happens when cooler heads prevail.

9 What If… Hawkeye Never Stopped Being Ronin?

Ronin cleans his sword in Avengers: Endgame

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Avengers: Endgame

Anthony and Joe Russo

Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

April 26, 2019

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After Hawkeye lost his family in the Snap, he had to walk back his murderous path as Ronin. This allowed him to refocus on the Avengers and the time-heist in Endgame. However, a What If…? can switch gears to show the Avengers being hopeless, clueless and unable to muster a plan to reverse the Blip. This creates a grounded episode with Hawkeye losing his identity and continuing to kill. It could focus on the Hand, the Yakuza, Madripoor and many other seedy regions.

Such a story can lead to Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff trying to bring Clint Barton back to the light. In the process, Ronin would become an enemy of the state, hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D., Interpol and other remnant Avengers. Such an approach could land Ronin in New York, running afoul of vigilantes such as Daredevil, or even Kate Bishop as the new Hawkeye. These heroes could knock sense into him and show the Young Avengers in motion.

8 What If… Isaiah Bradley Was Captain America?

Based On

Director

Head Writer

Release Date

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Kari Skogland

Malcolm Spellman

March 19, 2021 – April 23, 2021

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier confirmed Isaiah was secretly experimented on and deployed as a super-soldier, but then forgotten in a massive blemish on America’s record. Thankfully, Sam Wilson brought the Bradley legacy to light. A What If…? episode can improve on this by revisiting America’s history during World War II.

Isaiah could be unveiled as the Captain America of old, becoming the Sentinel of Liberty and face of the US. His Howling Commandos could have had Sam as a Falcon or Bucky variant, and Bill Foster as Goliath. This would have made them the first Black Avengers team, allowing the MCU to re-examine institutional racism from the early 20th century. Such an approach speaks to dynasties in a huge way, giving heroes of color a chance to shape their home in an era of rampant prejudice.

7 What If… Baron Mordo Mastered the Darkhold?

Mordo, Doctor Strange in the MCU's Multiverse of Madness

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Sam Raimi

Michael Waldron

May 6, 2022

Baron Mordo is Doctor Strange’s biggest enemy. He hates how the ex-Sorcerer Supreme incessantly breaks rules to save the day. A What If…? can explore Mordo using the Darkhold that Wanda found, leveling up to take mages out. Mordo could kill her, painting him as an intimidating figure. He can then use these spells to break Kamar-Taj, Wong and Strange himself.

Knowing the mystic arts are being abused elsewhere could have Mordo trying to revisit Scarlet Witch’s search for America Chavez. In Mordo’s case, he’d want to use America’s portals and Chaos Magic to cull insubordinate mages in other realities. Such a journey can introduce characters like Nico Minoru, Hellstrom and an older America Chavez, reminding viewers there are other supernatural talents in the MCU.

6 What If… Kahhori Became Captain Marvel?

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

“What If… Kahhori Reshaped the World?”

Bryan Andrews

Ryan Little

Dec. 27, 2023

Related

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What If…? doesn’t mind doing sequels, as seen with Captain Carter returning. What If…? Season 3 can regale fans with another tale of Kahhori, a young Mohawk woman imbued with Tesseract energy. Kahhori helped Peggy stop Strange Supreme, even fighting off other monstrous MCU variants of heroes and villains. A sequel could focus on her honing her powers, making her a better Captain Marvel.

Kahhori can fly, shoot energy blasts, as well as bend space and time to open portals. It would be intriguing to see what this walking, talking Space Stone would do in the past. Kahhori does want to use her power to reshape history, but seeing as her tribe has immense abilities too, she will have to teach them about responsibility. As a subverted Captain Marvel, Kahhori can be a part of the Guardians of the Multiverse story and even make her own team.

5 What If… The Eternals Let Earth Die?

Actor Don Lee in his Eternals costume stands infront of a poster for the film.

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Eternals

Chloé Zhao

Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, Kaz Firpo

Nov. 5, 2021

Eternals dealt with Ikaris setting up his friends, and watching them die as he tried to get the Celestial seed to feed on Earth. Ikaris somewhat atoned, however, opting to fly into the sun, leaving Sersi and a few others surviving. A What If…? Season 3 can switch things up by making the Eternals villains on the whole and hating what Earth became.

After leaving Earth to die, this series could have the Guardians of the Galaxy — especially Peter Quill — wanting to hunt them down. Seeing as the Eternals are such a terrifying unit, Star Lord can seek out the Nova Corps and Ravagers for the pursuit. He would be eager to ensure no other world gets culled like his old home, while allowing these other crews to show their mettle in a very terrifying war.

4 What If… The Skrulls’ Secret Invasion Succeeded?

Based On

Director

Head Writer

Release Date

Secret Invasion

Ali Selim

Kyle Bradstreet

June 21, 2023 – July 26, 2023

Secret Invasion didn’t pan out the way fans expected. What further compounded fans’ concerns was how it didn’t tie into The Marvels. A What If…? can repair this by having Gravik’s invasion actually succeed. This can result in Captain Marvel coming to Earth to find out what happened, only for Gravik — as the Super-Skrull — to kill her.

With more Super-Skrulls in tow, this shape-shifting legion could then move across the cosmos, infiltrating and attacking other planets. Such an approach might bring Attilan and the Inhumans into play, like the comics did. This would fit the Skrulls’ narrative of seeking a new home, showing gravitas, ramifications, high-stakes and a large scope.

3 What If… Maria Hill Became a Black Widow?

Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill on Secret Invasion and Captain America The Winter Soldier

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Black Widow

Cate Shortland

Eric Pearson

July 9, 2021

Related

What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas? Biggest Pop Culture References

As the dynamic second season unfolds, Marvel Studios’ “What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?” makes a few iconic pop culture references.

Maria Hill didn’t get her due in the MCU. She never led S.H.I.E.L.D. and was often relegated to the role of just being Fury’s second in command. Maria Hill was also killed off quickly by Gravik. A What If…? Season 3 episode can remedy her trajectory, having her be abducted and trained by the Red Room. She could end up planted in S.H.I.E.L.D., working for Dreykov to expose Fury’s secrets.

Seeing as the archetypal Black Widow narrative is all about double agents, a big twist would be having Hill be a spy S.H.I.E.L.D. allowed to enter the Red Room. This would craft an unpredictable espionage tale, inverting how groups like Red Room and HYDRA operated with their undercover agents. Using assets like this would give S.H.I.E.L.D. more credence, making Hill cerebral against elite femme fatales like Melina, Natasha and Yelena, all as she goes inside the belly of the beast.

2 What If… Loki Was Worthy of Mjolnir?

Split image of Tom Hiddleston as the titular character in posters for Loki Season 2.

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Thor

Kenneth Branagh

Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne

May 6, 2011

Season 2 of Loki confirmed he wasn’t an opulent God of Mischief anymore. It transformed Loki into the World Tree, holding the Sacred Timeline together. Clearly, there is heroic DNA in Loki. A What If…? Season 3 episode can expand on this concept, whether it’s Loki finding Mjölnir as a Frost Giant or Loki being worthy of wielding the hammer inside Odin’s royal court.

The MCU can use this proactive Loki to protect the Nine Realms against familiar villains in this series, like Thanos, Ultron and Killmonger. This could create a regal civil war, with an arrogant, petty Thor becoming jealous and wanting revenge. The Odinson did show a dark edge in “What If… the Avengers Assembled in 1602?” — setting Loki up to redeem his step-brother. Such an arc about second chances would certainly resonate with the observing Time God variant.

1 What If… The Avengers’ Time Heist Failed?

Iron Man from the MCU with his Endgame death in the background

Based On

Director

Screenwriter

Release Date

Avengers: Endgame

Anthony and Joe Russo

Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

April 26, 2019

The Snap was a major crisis, but luckily, the heroes overcame this Nexus Event. However, a What If…? Season 3 episode can focus on the Thanos variant attaining the technological version of the Infinity Gauntlet, while snapping away old faces again, as well as the new rebels. While the time heist coming to naught is an unsavory thought, it would plunge the MCU into even more darkness and create new possibilities.

Such a bleak world is the perfect spot for Uatu the Watcher to drop off Captain Carter after What If…?’s Season 2 finale. She wants to inspire people to become beacons of hope, making this the ideal reality to repair. It would prove not all disasters can be reversed, but that people can soldier on after a brutal fight. Peggy can help a new breed of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against villains like Kang the Conqueror, the Black Order, and new ones who would want to claim dominion in this power vacuum.

What If...?

What If…?

Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.

Release Date
August 11, 2021

Creator
A. C. Bradley

Cast
Jeffrey Wright , Sebastian Stan , Stanley Tucci , Chadwick Boseman , Josh Brolin , Kurt Russell , Samuel L. Jackson , Jeremy Renner , Tom Hiddleston

Seasons
1

Number of Episodes
9

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