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SYFY WIRE Marvel's What If?

Marvel's What If…? doc reveals sweet origin of Starlord T'Challa's nickname, major Season 2 tease

The Watcher is making new friends. 

By Vanessa Armstrong
What If...?

The first season of Marvel’s What If…? is over, and like other MCU projects before it, it now has its own Marvel Studios: Assembled episode on Disney+  that delves into the making of the series. 

Most of the new 40-minute episode focuses on the history of the What If…? comics and the core creative team who brought Season 1’s nine episodes to life. There were, however, some insights into the making of Season 1 and what we may see in Season 2 that will be of interest to MCU fans. 

Whiplash might have had a bigger What If…? role in earlier iterations 

Iron Man 2’s villain, Whiplash, is only seen in passing in the first season of What If…? Based on a quick image of a whiteboard, however, it looks like the creative team might have pondered giving the character a bigger part. In the lefthand corner under the title “IM2” (a reference to Iron Man 2, most likely) we see the words “Whiplash vs. ?” The prominence of the phrase suggests that it might have once been a larger part of an episode, though that is just speculation. 

Karen Gillan is the one who gave T’Challa his nickname

The episode rightfully spent some time on Chadwick Boseman’s contribution to voicing Starlord T’Challa, his last performance in the MCU before passing away. While describing how Starlord’s T’Challa is different from Peter Quill’s Starlord, What If…? executive producer Brad Winderbaum mentioned that Karen Gillan, who voices Nebula on the show, had her character call Starlord T’Challa  “Cha Cha.” “It was something Karen Gillan came up with on the day of recording,” he shared. 

It was head writer A. C. Bradley’s idea to make Thor a “douche bag”

One of the ideas that Marvel Studios had in mind from the beginning was to explore the question, “What if Thor was never banished?” The studio shared with the creative team that they thought Thor would become evil. Head writer A. C. Bradley, however, had a different idea of who Thor would be. “My response was, ‘I don’t think he looks evil — I think he looks like a douche bag,” she recalled. Those who've seen the Party Thor episode would most likely agree that that version of Thor had some definite "douche bag" energy.

Captain Carter and the Watcher’s relationship evolves in “grand fashion” in Season 2

We already knew from the season finale’s mid-credit scene that Captain Carter would show up in Season 2. We didn’t know details, however, though we now have an inkling of what one of her major relationships will be, and its not Steve Rogers.

“We were searching for that essential thread that could make it feel like essential viewing for the MCU,” Winderbaum said about what they focused in on when developing Season 2. “And what emerged was the relationship between Captain Carter and the Watcher, which is something that evolves in a grand fashion in the second season of the show.”

The Avengers: Assembled: What If…? episode is now streaming on Disney+ along with the first season’s nine episodes.