Episode of five Marvel Studios’ latest anthology series, What If…?, released earlier today on Disney+. You can check out my initial thoughts on episode 5 below. Be warned – spoilers after the break!
Finally, the much anticipated zombified episode of What If…? has arrived! After watching all the various trailers prior to the release of What If…?, this is undoubtedly the episode which I’ve been looking forward to most. Episode five of Marvel’s What If…? explores what would happen if Earth, along with some of its mightiest heroes, became victim to a zombie infestation.
Episode five may just be the ambitious episode of What If…? to date, with a completely unique storyline and narrative, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before within the MCU. Set right at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, episode five follows a group of superhero survivors as they battle their way through a zombie apocalypse. I found the narrative super exciting and completely immersive, plus whole story as to where virus originated felt completely plausible (at least within the MCU!).
I’ve mentioned previously how the What If…? series seems to be adopting somewhat of a darker theme than the usual Marvel content and episode five only reinforces that point! From the horrifying designs to each of the zombies within the episode (special mention to the brilliant animation there), to the dark and eerie subplot of Vision feeding humans to a monstrous Wanda Maximoff, episode five certainly felt aimed at a mature audience. There was also a constant theme of zombie beheadings in the episode, something we’ve only once before seen in the MCU when Thor decapitated Thanos at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame.
Whilst episode five may be one the darkest MCU iterations to date, it was also one of the funniest! From the tongue in cheek ‘how to survive a zombie apocalypse’ video Peter Parker shows Bruce Banner, to Happy Hogan making “blam” noises when shooting Iron Man’s blaster at zombies, episode five has such a fun feel to it. We’ve talked about some of the gruesome beheadings, but on the other side of the spectrum the talking head of Scott Lang was undoubtedly the best thing to come out of the series so far! In typical Scott Lang fashion, even being beheaded didn’t stop him from making constant dad jokes and gags throughout the episode.
As much as I loved all the different elements of the episode, I was a little disappointed with the ending! Right at the end of the episode, we saw Wakanda besieged by another zombified horde led by a zombified Thanos, just before the episode cuts to the credits. Now maybe I’m just being greedy, but I was dying to see what happened next! I appreciate there was a LOT packed into this weeks’ episode but nevertheless, I hated that the episode ended on a cliff-hanger! Fingers crossed some of these storylines are explored in more depth in season two of What If…? as I am dying to see what a zombified Thanos in possession of the infinity gauntlet is like!
Hilarious, intriguing and gruesome, episode five of What If…? is some of Marvel’s best work to date. Fingers crossed future episodes can follow suit!
What If…? is available to stream on Disney+, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday.