By constantly visiting new timelines, Marvel’s What If…? has disregarded the hard earned character and plot continuity that the MCU is best known for.
Warning: The Following Contains SPOILERS for What If…? episode 8.
Marvel’s What If…? has been a hard sell with audiences so far, and it could be because the show has consistently forgotten the element that has made the MCU so successful. Each episode of What If…? focuses on a different Sacred Timeline deviation. Fans looked forward to the endless possibilities for how the MCU could have been different, but, so far, the consensus seems to be that the show has fallen flat. One possible explanation for this lies in What If…?’s approach to characterization.
The premise of What If…? prepares audiences to see MCU characters and events in a different light, exemplifying the ways that a character is built by the circumstances of their environment. Episodes have shown many different versions of the same character in different timelines. For example, throughout the show thus far, Thanos has been a moderately friendly Ravager, a zombie, and defeated far too easily on more than one occasion. Other characters go through less noticeable alterations, making it tough to track from episode to episode.