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Marvel’s What If…? Episode 5 Breakdown & Easter Eggs

The fifth episode of Marvel’s What If…? is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia. I’ll be discussing heavy spoilers so if you haven’t seen it or want to avoid spoilers, now’s your chance to stop reading.

Marvel’s What If…? features fan-favourite characters, including Peggy Carter, T’Challa, Doctor Strange, Killmonger, Thor and more. The new series, directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer and Brad Winderbaum as an executive producer, explores hypothetical stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It focuses on non-canonical stories like what happens if Peggy Carter became Captain Britain and if T’Challa/Black Panther was abducted by the Ravagers instead of Peter Quill/Star-Lord.

You can check out my previous breakdown of Marvel’s What If…? Episode 1 here, Episode 2 here, Episode 3 here. and Episode 4 here.

If you haven’t, you can check out my previous breakdown and easter egg articles for WandaVision Episode 1 and 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8 and Episode 9.

For The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, you can check out my previous breakdowns for Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5 and Episode 6.

For previous breakdowns of Loki episodes, check out Episode 1 here, Episode 2 here, Episode 3 here, Episode 4 here, Episode 5 here and Episode 6 here.

Courtesy of Disney+ Hotstar Malaysia, we were recently lucky enough to participate in a roundtable interview with Marvel’s What If…? Executive Producer Brad Winderbaum, Head Writer AC Bradley, and Director Bryan Andrews. You can check out that interview by heading over here.

Recently, we also interviewed Marvel’s What If…? Editors Graham Fisher and Joel Fisher, Animation Supervisor Stephan Franck, and Head of Visual Development and Character Design Ryan Meinerding. You can check out that interview by heading over here.

It Takes Place At The Beginning Of Avengers Infinity War

Remember when the Heimdall sent the Bruce Banner AKA the Hulk through the Bifrost back to Earth and he crash-landed in the Sanctum Sanctorum?

In this universe, that happened too, but the Earth he finds himself on is different…

Marvel Zombies!

The first zombie that Bruce Banner encounters is a zombie Tony Stark / Iron Man, as well as a zombie Doctor Strange and Wong.

In the rest of the episode, we learn that most of the Avengers did get infected, except for a select few…

The Surviving Heroes Include…

Hope Van Dyne AKA The Wasp and Spider-Man.

What Created The Marvel Zombies?

In this universe, it turns out that Janet Van Dyne contracted a Quantum Realm virus which made her a zombie. When Hank Pym went to save her, she brought the virus back to Earth.

Other Surviving Heroes Include…

Bucky Barnes AKA the Winter Soldier.

Sharon Carter AKA Agent 13.

Okoye of the Dora Milaje.

Oh, and Happy Hogan is still alive too.

However, not all of these characters survive until the end of the episode.

In Case You Don’t Remember Who Kurt Is

In this universe, one of the surviving guys in the group is a Slavic dude named Kurt. He’s not just some random dude. If he looks familiar, he’s actually from 2015’s Ant-Man and 2018’s Ant-Man And The Wasp. He was portrayed by David Dastmalchian, who reprises his role by voicing the character in this episode.

This Episode Proves Why Spider-Man Is Such A Great Hero

This isn’t an easter egg, but it’s interesting when Hope asks Peter how he manages to be so “upbeat” despite the zombie apocalypse. Well, this is actually a core character trait of any version of Spider-Man across all mediums. The reason why Spider-Man is so positive and always make witty jokes even while fighting usually isn’t for himself, but to inspire hope in everyone else; hope that things can and will get better no matter how bad things get.

A quote from Peter in this episode perfectly encapsulates this:

“But my Aunt May says; used to say, that if we don’t keep smiling when they can’t, then we might as well just be gone too.”

It’s also worth pointing out that this is the first time that Peter actually says Uncle Ben’s name aloud in the MCU (sort of, since this actually takes place outside the MCU, but you know what I mean).

Vision Is Alive And Scott Is Now Just A Head

The Late Chadwick Boseman As Black Panther

The Scarlet Witch Is A Zombie And She’s Resistant To The Cure

The World Is Doomed Anyway

At the end of this episode, it turns out that a zombie Thanos already possesses all the Infinity Stones, which means that the world is already doomed despite what Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Black Panther will do. That’s a dark ending to the darkest episode yet, though at least this one didn’t end with the absolute death of a universe… yet.

That’s all for this week, folks. Until next week, Excelsior, true believers!

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