Marvel’s ‘What If…?’ finale introduces a brand new team of Avengers

If it’s Wednesday, it means new Marvel MCU content might be dropping from Disney Plus in the form of a new TV show episode. It so happens that this Wednesday delivers to the highly-anticipated What If…? finale. The first animated TV show that Marvel included in the MCU is finally done, and we know what it’s all about. Marvel needed quite a few episodes to build up the story. We only learned in episode 8 that everything we saw in the previous episodes is connected. The TV series had a bigger storyline than we thought, with Marvel recently teasing an unusual Avengers team-up.

The What If…? finale is now out, revealing the name and purpose of this alternate Avengers team. We also got the series first and only post-credits scene. The ending leaves us with plenty of questions about the near future of the MCU. After all, What If…? is part of the MCU and everything is canon. Everything we saw in the finale happened in the same multiverse where our beloved Avengers exist. But before we can go any further, we’ll remind you that spoilers follow below.

The new Avengers team

The early stages of the MCU Phase 4 are all about discovering new stories and enriching the arcs of Avengers team members who didn’t have as much time to shine before. Marvel is introducing new superheroes and villains while slowly advancing another storyline that might culminate with another Avengers: Endgame-like ending.

Part of the journey is the creation or introduction of new teams. The Avengers might get sub-teams like the Young Avengers and West Coast Avengers. Separately, the Thunderbolts are rising, and the Eternals will come out of the shadows. Then there’s the X-Men and Fantastic Four that are coming down the road. There’s also talk of the Illuminati, a version of which will reportedly show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

But until we get to see any of that in action, What If…? brings us a brilliant group of powerful individuals. The Watcher (Jefferey Wright) is putting this band together, acting as a Nick Fury of the multiverse. And the way he snatches Party Thor (Chris Hemsworth) from his universe is absolutely glorious.

The Watcher briefing the new Avengers team in What If…? finale. Image source: Marvel Studios

Meet the Guardians of the Multiverse

The Watcher also has a new name for the team, and it’s not an “Avengers” variation. They’ll be known as the Guardians of the Multiverse, a title that carries a lot of weight. The implication here is that we might see these Guardians drop in other places that need saving in the multiverse in the future. After all, the Watcher has just broken his oath not to intervene.

This alternate Avengers team consists of Strange Supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Thor, Star-Lord T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Gamora (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams), and Black Widow (Lake Bell).

As seen above, not all the actors who played the live-action variants of the characters came back for What If…?. Also, as seen above, there’s one Avenger choice that makes little sense. It’s Killmonger, of course. But the finale explains perfectly why the Watcher wanted this particular hero/villain in the team.

The What If…? post-credits scene

We knew ever since that mid-season trailer that Avengers from different realities would somehow join the same team. We had no idea what would make that happen until episode 8. That’s when we learned how big of a threat Ultron could become in those realities where he beats the Avengers. Ultron would grow to harness the power of all Infinity Stones and use them to wipe out all life in his universe. The AI would also realize that a multiverse exists and that the Watcher is observing everything.

Episode 8 set up the finale perfectly, connecting all the seemingly loose stories from the previous What If…? installments.

That’s how we get a massive Guardians of the Multiverse vs. Ultron battle in the finale. And how we realize that some of these alternate Avengers might have a place in the bigger scheme of things.

Strange Supreme is already rumored to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Also important is the Natasha Romanoff of this story, whom the Watcher injects into a reality that lacks the original Black Widow. That’s a clever way for Marvel to tell us that the original Nat might always come back to the MCU despite her Endgame death.

What If...? Avengers team
The Guardians of the Multiverse in What If…? finale. Image source: Marvel Studios

What If…? continues the Carter-Rogers love story

But it’s really Captain Carter whose return to the MCU seems assured. And it’s thanks to the What If…? post-credits scene, the first of the season. After defeating Ultron, we see Carter getting back to her timeline, only to discover that her Steve Rogers might be alive. That’s to say the Carter-Rogers love story might continue in the multiverse. And that’s a story we’ll want to see.

Rumors say that Captain Carter will appear in live-action MCU adventures. But it’s unclear how and if she’ll join the main Avengers. Interestingly, she might be part of the Illuminati team in Doctor Strange 2, but that might be a different Captain Carter variation.

Then again, no matter what MCU rumors say, we’ll have to remember that Marvel will continue to tell What If…? stories. And season 2 might very well feature some of the Avengers above

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