What If has offered viewers some unique MCU stories outside of the normal universe. Each one gave fans interesting hypothetical scenarios involving beloved characters. Season one delivered an overall mixed bag, with great episodes scattered throughout. Season two has given audiences darker stories while also introducing new heroes.
What If’s third season can help take the world in another fascinating direction. Besides the usual characters viewers have seen, season three has to mix things up. A new season can introduce more unfamiliar heroes along with classic MCU favorites, and even harken back to some of the classic tales from the comics. Meet possible Season 3 What Ifs the show might tackle.
1. What if… Balder the Brave Gets Banished to Earth?
Odin sent Thor to Earth, which let him evolve as a character and turn him into the beloved hero viewers now know. Talk of Balder appearing in the MCU (with a brief reference in Loki) has occurred for years, with no physical appearance yet. In this What If? Balder can go on a journey of getting humbled like Thor.
This sort of story could even allow him the chance to join his own Avengers-like team. Balder’s What If? appearance can give the god of light the chance to become a legend in the MCU.
2. What if… D-Man Joined the Defenders
Dennis Dunphy (Demolition Man Or D-Man) lived a normal life in Detroit, Michigan. Then, he crossed paths with the villainous Power Broker, who offered him a chance to become a hero—forging his previous athletic career. He became a Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation (UCWF) wrestler with his newfound abilities.
While commonly teaming up with heroes like Captain America, D-Man can join a different team. In this story, D-Man can uncover the villainy of the Power Broker through the Defenders. Introducing D-Man can also offer an obscure take on the Defenders, who consisted of strange heroes in past iterations. Among possible Season 3 What Ifs, this one could also address blowback to the maligned Defenders TV series.
3. What if… Clea Became the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth?
In the comics, Clea exists as a Sorceress from the dark dimension, serving as the Sorcerer Supreme. In this hypothetical, Clea could have herself banished to Earth. This would allow her to cross with other Sorcerers residing on the planet.
With Strange Supreme as an anti-hero/villain, this episode would deliver a unique perspective shift. It would also offer Charlize Theron (who appeared in a Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness post-credits scene) a chance to return finally. Such an appearance could also give the character more depth for her eventual live-action continuation.
4. What if… the White Wolf Became Wakanda’s Protector?
Hunter, or The White Wolf, existed as the adopted son of Wakanda. In the comics, Hunter served as a counterbalance to T’Challa's beliefs. Hunter had a nationalist mindset, while T’Challa kept a firm sense of compassion.
In this story, T’Challa does not exist within Wakanda. Hunter could drink the heart-shaped herb, making him the primary Panther and, in turn, making the country follow a nationalist belief. These beliefs could become villainous and attract the attention of this universe's heroes. This story could offer an entirely different take on the advanced nation in the MCU.
5. What if… Hit Monkey Fought the Winter Soldier?
Inspired by Hitman Agent 47, Hit Monkey lived amongst a clan of Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaques). When an unnamed assassin arrives, the clan accepts the mysterious stranger. Only one monkey remains weary while watching the assassin train. When the assassin's health fails, the monkey objects to the clan helping him. They eventually banish the monkey, who sees other human assassins heading to his village. When he returns home, the monkey finds his entire clan slaughtered, putting him on a path of revenge.
In this tale, the monkey could compete with The Winter Soldier to complete an assassination. Such a story would give a lesser-known character a chance in the spotlight. Simultaneously, these characters crossing could allow What If? to deliver animated action akin to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
6. What if… Devil-Slayer Hunted Werewolf by Night?
Eric Simon Payne came from a brutal upbringing. After working for the Mob, he left when he realized he had unknowingly killed innocent lives. This included eventually crossing paths with a cult who once again double-crossed him, leading Payne down a supernatural path.
He might already exist as an active monster hunter in the world of What If?, and Werewolf by Night could exist as the entity that Devil-Slayer needs to hunt. Payne could view him as a threat to humanity, not realizing the beast's true heroic nature. This realization could tease a bigger threat, possibly dealing with the bloodstone.
7. What If… Loki Never Redeemed Himself?
Loki has had one of the most rewarding redemption arcs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He journeyed from the role of an evil tyrant to protecting the multiverse. This story would eliminate Loki’s many fake MCU deaths and redemptions.
Following directly from the events of the first Thor, Loki could join his real family of Frost-Giants. This could bring him into conflict with Asgard in a fight for the throne. It could serve as an interesting variation on his relationship with Thor, making them more adversarial.
8. What if… Singularity Led the Eternals?
Singularity’s history in Marvel comics has remained mysterious. Such mystery makes her a perfect fit for a What If? story.
With her cosmic abilities, the character could stumble upon the ancient heroes. With the multiverse in constant disarray, The Eternals themselves could be fractured. Singularity could see the heroes as the only option to save the universe, bringing them together. It would allow for a Seven Samurai–style team-up, set to fight a new overarching villain of the series. They could team up to fight Strange Supreme or even Ultron, which would connect it to the previous through-lines of What If?
9. What if… Red Guardian Actually Fought Captain America?
The Red Guardian/Alexei Shostakov bragged about fighting Captain America in Black Widow. The film leads audiences to believe they never fought, and that Alexei wanted to impress his family.
This episode could make Alexei’s dreams a reality, giving him the chance to fight Captain America. It could follow his rise to stardom as a genuine hero in Russia, and earning respect. While it would make a more arrogant character, his rise might spur America to build a new team of Avengers. The results could create a more grounded and action-packed What If? episode.
10. What if… Cypher Stopped the Secret Invasion?
Douglas Ramsey/Cypher resides as a lesser-known mutant in the MCU. His abilities give him the power to understand any language he encounters.
This episode could update such skills, allowing him to understand coded messages along with the Skrull language. Nick Fury could see him as an alley in the Skrull war and requires his help. This would include helping Fury find the hidden Skrulls on Earth. Adding in a mutant would offer a different wrinkle to the espionage story, which received poor reviews in its live-action form. Simultaneously, it would give this relatively new mutant a chance to shine.
11. What If.. Miracleman Defended the MCU?
Miracleman existed as one of the most powerful characters in Marvel Comics. His popularity remained small until the 1980s, when he got revived by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. The character exists outside Earth-616 (and general Marvel continuity), making him a perfect candidate for What If? treatment.
As a universal protector, Miracleman can cross paths with other cosmic entities. He could fight a popular intergalactic villain, Galactus, to make something that will thrill die-hard fans.
12. What if… Bucky Barnes Becomes Captain America?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier asked audiences, “Who deserves to pick up the shield?” Did Sam Wilson want the responsibility? Eventually, he realized that he could honor Steve Rogers' legacy. That decision even involved the question of if Steve's first friend, Bucky Barnes, should take the mantle.
This story would follow Bucky wrestling with that same question. While delivering action with the shield, this episode could offer even more emotional depth for Bucky, especially with his Russian assassin past. It would also add a sense of political intrigue, with the US government's hesitation in trusting him. The episode could thrive as a character study and an even darker political thriller.
13. What if… Shang-Chi Joined Forces With Xu Wenwu/the Mandarin?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings pitted Shang-Chi against his father, the terrorist known as The Mandarin. That occurred after Wenwu tried to convince his son to join his forces.
This episode could show the pair joining forces, making them a threat to Earth. Their unmatched power would also serve as a chance to introduce another hero. Iron Fist, another mythical kung-fu user, could serve as the opposition that takes them down. The combination of these characters would help to create a respectful homage to classic king-fu cinema…a possibility Season 3 What Ifs should not pass up.
14. What if… Sleepwalker Redeemed Strange Supreme?
The Sleepwalkers existed as a type of MCU dream police. A new hero arose when one Sleepwalker bonded with New York college student Rick Sheridan. After a rocky start, he bestowed Rick the ability to navigate the dreamscape, making him a magical hero. Pairing him with Strange Supreme would make Sleepwalker’s debut feel organic.
What If? made the beloved Doctor Strange a more villainous version of himself. Strange Supreme went out of control with hate, having no one around to stop him. Sleepwalker can enter the cerebral dreamscape, hoping to redeem Strange Supreme. While not making him too similar to Doctor Strange, Sleepwalker can show him the good of heroism. This episode could exist as a redemption arch while introducing an entirely new character.
15. What If… Scarlet Witch got to keep her family?
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch’s MCU arch gave her a tragic path. The ending of Wandavision made her lose her family, while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made her implode with grief. If S.W.O.R.D had left Wanda alone in WandaVision, she could have the life she deserved. That does not mean she should have kept the town of Westview under her control.
Instead, Wanda could end up making a deal with S.W.O.R.D that lets her live in a peaceful exile. This deal could let her keep her family with no extraneous casualties. Giving Wanda her happy ending would leave this version the chance to return in future What If? seasons.
16. What If… Wakanda and Atlantis joined forces?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever pitted the Atlanteans against the Wakandans. Wakanda remained unwilling to go against the surface world, while Atlanteans wanted revenge. This episode could technically qualify as a continuation of “What If… The White Wolf became Wakanda’s Protector?” Namor teaming up with The White Wolf could cause serious damage to the animated MCU. On a grounded scale, such a pairing could deliver a story equivalent to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. It would also allow for other heroes from the series to make appearances.
17. What if… the Inhumans Lived as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
The Inhumans have had a rocky live-action history in any form. Their short-lived, poorly reviewed ABC show made the characters disappear for years. Then, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Blackbolt (the leader of The Inhumans) served in the Illuminati. This episode can still make Blackbolt an Illuminati member but keep his royal family as Earth’s main heroes. While the group protects the entire galaxy, the Inhumans would exist as the protectors of Earth.
18. What if… Machine Man and Scarlet Witch Fell in Love?
Machine Man existed as a military fugitive that escaped his government handlers. After hiding, he fought alongside other heroes like Iron Man. His entire purpose served to prove himself in the eyes of the public. His outsider mentality exists as a similar motivation to the Scarlet Witch’s quest for a normal life.
This episode could take place after Avengers: Endgame and before WandaVision, with Wanda still reeling from the death of Vision. S.W.O.R.D could have activated Machine Man with the goal of keeping Wanda in check. This can give What If? its very own love story. Their deep affection might get tested against S.W.O.R.D, who still wants the Scarlet Witch destroyed. What follows can serve as a genuine love story, giving the Scarlet Witch a chance for redemption.
19. What If… The Watcher met The Illuminati?
This episode could prove Marvel’s most meta content to date. The Watcher’s goal of simply watching over the multiverse could catch the Illumanti’s attention. The Illuminati could view The Watcher as not doing his part in the need for multiversal protection.
Similar to the “What If… Ultron Won?” episode from season one, this story could throw The Watcher into the action. It would also help to establish The Illuminati as another group of heroes in this world. Such an episode would even allow the show to get philosophically deeper. It would force these self-proclaimed universal protectors to ask, “What does it mean to keep order and oversee the world's chaos?”
20. What if… Captain Britain Had His Own Avengers?
Dr. Brian Braddock/Captain Britain became endowed with mystical powers by the sorcerer Merlyn. While a member of the spy group MI-13 in the comics, he could have his own Captain America: The Winter Soldier-like episode, realizing his organization's corruption.
This could make the loyal hero accept that he needs his own team. Building his own team would allow other lesser-known British-based Marvel heroes (Spitfire, Union Jack, Black Knight) to take center stage. The results would deliver another team that could eventually appear in live-action form.