Marvel’s What If: 5 Big Things Set Up For Season 2 After The Season 1 Finale

The Watcher vs. Ultron in What If
(Image credit: Disney)

Following in the wake of WandaVision, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, and Loki, the latest Marvel Disney+ show has come to the end of its debut season. Since early August, What If has been spinning all kinds of alternative tales that exist parallel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe stories we know, and tonight its first arc concluded in grand fashion with an explosive, action-packed finale. What’s interesting, though, is that while there was a lot wrapped up in the episode, there is also plenty that has us thinking about what is to come in Season 2.

Very little has actually been confirmed about the next set of animated adventures, but there are five things in particular about the What If Season 1 finale that have us thinking about the future, and we’ve gone into detail about all of them below.

The Watcher breaks his oath on What If

(Image credit: Disney)

The Watcher Has Broken His Oath

There is a reason why The Watcher is called “The Watcher” and not “The Interferer.” Powerful as he may be, his responsibility is not to get involved with events as they play out across the multiverse, but instead merely observe and record them. Unfortunately, Ultron kind of forces his hand in the last two episodes of What If, making him take action to protect all of reality. This is ultimately a good thing, but it still feels like we can probably expect that there will be some kind of consequence for the animated series’ principal character to face in a second season.

As seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Watcher from What If isn’t the only one of his kind, and his colleagues may have something to say about the way in which he acted to save the multiverse. And while admittedly pursuing such a story would force an alteration in the structure of the show that’s arguably already happened with the Season 1 finale – so bring on the new in the future!

What if Pocket Dimension killmonger vs. ultron

(Image credit: Disney)

Erik Killmonger And Ultron Are Locked In Eternal Battle

Over the course of Season 1, What If filmmakers clearly had fun telling stories where they could kill off members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes willy-nilly, but they also did a great job advancing the powers of villains who were already quite scary as they originally existed. Namely, Erik Killmonger and Ultron both become the very best versions of themselves: the former orchestrating global domination, and the latter successfully achieving god-like status. One could make a strong argument that they are characters who are now too powerful – which is why it’s a good thing that they are now trapped together in a pocket dimension.

At the end of What If Season 1, it is eventually understood that Ultron cannot be defeated, only contained, and Killmonger’s quest for power only becomes more disturbing when he tries to gain control of the Infinity Stones. Thankfully, the two characters are now frozen just out of reach of the magical elements. That being said, the fact that they haven’t been eliminated means that they will forever continue to exist as a threat to all of reality, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that said threat will come back with a vengeance in Season 2.

The Watcher and Doctor Strange on What If

(Image credit: Disney)

Doctor Strange Holds The Fate Of The Multiverse In His Hands

So what is it that is now holding the two ultra-powerful villains back? The answer is the dark Doctor Strange who managed to destroy his own universe while trying to resurrect the love of his life. The pocket dimension in which Killmonger and Ultron are trapped is now being kept in the collapsed reality where this version of the Master of the Mystic Arts resides, and the sorcerer is being trusted to keep them contained for all of time.

But will Doctor Strange be able to forever control that ball of evil? That’s a fair question that only future episodes of What If can answer. It’s certainly a delicate circumstance, and Murphy’s Law has a strong history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There certainly is an expectation that we will get to see the ascent of another great power in Season 2 of the animated Disney+ show, and it will be interesting to see if perhaps Killmonger and Ultron will wind up making a comeback as well.

Thanos-Killer Gamora and Sakaar Iron Man in What If

(Image credit: Disney)

Who Is Thanos Killer Gamora?

One of the more bizarre aspects of What If’s Season 1 finale is that not every character featured as part of the Guardians of the Multiverse roster got their own episode prior to the capstone chapter. While most of the heroes, from Captain Carter to Thor: Party Prince, were established through their own adventure, the one exception is Gamora. See is recruited while she is hanging out with Tony Stark, and there is a suggestion that she has spent a fair amount of time on the garbage planet Sakaar, but we don’t get to learn too much about her beyond that through the course of the episode.

Could this be a kind of reverse set up for an adventure in Season 2? We’re definitely not ruling out the possibility. Based on The Watcher’s description of her as she is summoned, this Gamora’s big claim to fame is the fact that she successfully killed Thanos (hence her using the Mad Titan’s sword), and that most definitely sounds like the makings of a premise for a whole episode. It admittedly also seems very possible that the show will just move on and maintain the character as a special inclusion for the What If Season 1 finale, but at the same time we find ourselves wanting to know more about her.

Loki at the end of What If Season 1 finale

(Image credit: Disney)

There Are Still 15+ MCU Movies To Riff On

Beyond borrowing some notable pieces from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers, the What If Season 1 finale breaks away from the format of the show a bit in that it’s not specifically rooted in a specific Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster. That has been the key hook for the previous eight episodes, but “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” is a chapter that goes its own path. That being said, we fully expect the series to go back to that core concept in Season 2, and if you’re paying attention, there are still 15+ movies for the show to mess around with.

Going back to Episode 1, we’ve seen What If episodes riff on Captain America: The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man & The Wasp, Iron Man, and more – but because Marvel Studios has been stupendously busy over the last 13 years, there is still plenty of material that has gone untouched. Will Season 2 feature a 90s-set Captain Marvel story? Could we get a more Spider-Man centric plot playing on either Homecoming, Far From Home, or No Way Home? Is it too early to expect a special deviation from Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings? We’ll have to wait and find out when the show returns to Disney+.

Unfortunately, as of right now we don’t actually know when we will be getting What If Season 2, but hopefully news about its development won’t be far off. For now, you can keep up to date with everything that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has cooking for the small screen by scoping out our Upcoming Marvel Television guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.