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Marvel's What If...?: 6 MCU Phase Four-Related Storylines We Want To See In Season 2

Spiderman, Bruce Banner, Okoye, Bucky Barnes, Hope Pym in What If,
(Image credit: Marvel)

There are plenty of upcoming Marvel TV shows fans can look forward to in 2022, and What If…? Season 2 is one of them. Marvel Studios’ first animated production managed to be a hit with viewers, thanks to its entertaining Season 1 episodes. The show truly managed to provide some interesting retellings of some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest moments from Phases One through Three. So with Phase Four now in full swing, there’s a chance the upcoming batch of stories could incorporate those new plot points. And there are a few specific ones I’d like to see The Watcher take a crack at. 

In just one year, Phase Four has already delivered four films and five television series, ranging from WandaVision and Black Widow to Eternals and Hawkeye. Each introduced new characters and concepts that would serve as prime storytelling fodder for What If…? So it wouldn’t be surprising if showrunner A.C. Bradley and her team have been sitting on ideas for quite some time. Now, let’s journey into the unknown and ponder the storylines that could be featured this time around:

Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn on WandaVision

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What If… Wanda Maximoff Joined Forces With Agatha Harkness?

On WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff gave into her darker urges, but she ultimately conquered them to become the Scarlet Witch and defeat the conniving Agatha Harkness, who’d learned of Wanda’s powers. But one has to wonder how things would play out if Maximoff instead chose to join Harkness. Off the top of my head, I’d say that the centuries-old sorceress would teach the Avenger how to control her chaos magic – and use it for the wrong reasons. The result could be an all-powerful Wanda, who may or may not still be holding the town of Westview, New Jersey hostage. Such an episode could be both interesting and tragic, not unlike Season 1’s evil Strange Supreme episode. Personally, I’d love to see another cautionary tale of that magnitude.

Sebastian Stan on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What If… The Government Chose Bucky Barnes To Be Captain America Instead Of John Walker?

Season 1 put Peggy Carter into the shoes of Chris Evans’ iconic character, so why not try the same with Bucky Barnes? It’s true that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier established that Bucky Barnes didn’t want the shield, but a variant could feel differently. Such a development could be polarizing within the MCU itself and even create a rift between Barnes and frenemy Sam Wilson. Of course, there’s also the matter of how things would play out differently for John Walker if he hadn’t been named the new Cap. There’s so much potential for this story, and there are a number of ways things can play out. Though one would think (and hope) Bucky’s tenure as the Sentinel of Liberty wouldn’t be as deadly as Walker’s.

Rachel Weisz, Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What If… Natasha Romanoff And Her Family Never Returned To Russia?

Natasha Romanoff got plenty of time to shine in the first batch of episodes, but a story more directly tied to her solo film would be great. The show could explore how the founding Avenger’s life would’ve turned out if she, Yelena Belova, Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov had not returned to Russia after their undercover mission in Ohio ended. Sure, they would’ve been on the run for a while, but they are all trained spies and may have been able to disappear and form new lives. Maybe they would’ve formed a true (and lethal) family unit. And would Nat have found her way to S.H.I.E.L.D.? It’s fun to think about, and the end result could be a family-centric episode that’s sweet, funny and heartfelt.

Tony Leung and Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

What If… Shang-Chi Never Left The Ten Rings?

Earlier this year, audiences watched as Shang-Chi rejected his father’s legacy and went up against the Ten Rings organization. But what would’ve happened if the hero had returned from his assassination mission as a teenager and remained with his father, Wenwu, and sister, Xialing? This is a question the show could absolutely answer, and there are plenty of possibilities. On the one hand, he could’ve ended up reforming his father’s group and turning them into a force for good. But honestly, it would be more interesting to see him give in to his father’s ways and become the ruthless wielder of the ancient rings. This story almost seems like a no-brainer for the show. Not only would it be interesting, but it would also give us more of the villainous organization ahead of the upcoming Shang-Chi sequel.

eternals cast

(Image credit: Disney)

What If… The Eternals Intervened In Earthly Events From The Beginning?

There are plenty of developments in the MCU that have caused even the most devoted fans to roll their eyes. And last year, after fans learned why the Eternals stayed out of human-oriented events, many couldn’t help but make jokes. With this, What If…? can consider what would’ve happened if the group had chosen to openly influence events. What’s so interesting about this story idea is that it could have far-reaching effects greater than past installments. Sure, the cosmic beings could’ve intervened in superhero-related incidents, but they also might’ve shaped the planet in a number of other ways. All in all, this could be a truly thought-provoking episode.

Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye.

(Image credit: Disney+)

What If… Kate Bishop Idolized Iron Man Instead Of Hawkeye?

Fans know that during the Battle of New York, a young Kate Bishop was inadvertently saved by Clint Barton and that from that moment on, she aspired to be Hawkeye. But how might things have shaken out for her if she’d seen Tony Stark instead? This is a question I’d love for the animated series to answer. The episode could be one of the funnier installments and see Bishop learning robotics in order to construct her own suit. And knowing Kate, the results would be delightfully destructive. A true Iron Man successor will arrive in Marvel’s Ironheart series, though it surely wouldn’t hurt to see a Kate variant try her hand at it first.

I’d say that any of these stories could be worthy additions to the show and could maybe stand alongside some of the best What If…? Season 1 episodes. The chances of them happening are admittedly slim, but a fan can dream, right? And let’s be honest, based on the first season, it’s clear the creatives certainly know how to take advantage of the superhero sandbox they’re playing and can create exciting stories.

Be sure to stream every episode of What If…? Season 1 on Disney+, and be sure to read up on the big things that the finale set up for Season 2. And of course, you can watch the Marvel movies in order on the streamer as well.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.