Marvel Director Explains Thanos’ Hilarious Death In What If…?

The first season of What If…? wrapped up yesterday, and it was one hell of a ride. Over its initial run, we got a ton of cool alternative takes on the MCU, with highlights being Hayley Atwell’s kickass Captain Carter, the final performance of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, and the dark and somber tale of the corrupted Strange Supreme. But there was a bunch of comedic moments too, with one of the best seeing Thanos getting unceremoniously killed.

This took place in the penultimate episode ‘What If… Ultron Won?’. After possessing Vision’s body and securing the Mind Stone, Ultron launched a global nuclear holocaust and wiped out most life on the planet. Thanos steps through a portal to find Earth in ruins. Ultron simply says “fascinating” and bisects him, slicing him from top to bottom in an instant.

What If…? director Bryan Andrews was asked about the scene in a recent interview, saying:

“Well, I think Thanos is pretty badass on his own. And I think it’s important for everyone to remember that it’s infinite possibilities. So yes, there are universes where Thanos maybe didn’t get his act together and isn’t quite as badass as we thought. Or he was on the verge and was defeated in a different way. I’m sure there’s a universe where Thor aimed for the head.”

He went on to say that this Thanos may have been a touch too over-confident:

“I’m sure there are probably hundreds of universes where Thanos steps out of that gate to see the Infinity Ultron and he just destroys that droid. That was one particular story that played out that one specific way to allow this certain thing to be achieved. And for that to happen, I think that particular Thanos just maybe was a little bit full of hubris. He didn’t check where he was going in advance and he was a little ill-prepared, but I don’t think that means that’s the only way that particular situation ever played out by a longshot.”

This won’t stop fans from debating whether the scene makes sense. One bone of contention is that it implies that Vision should have been able to easily defeat Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

The best counter-argument I’ve heard is that Ultron’s cold-hearted nature is the deciding factor: if he’d hesitated for even a second he’d have lost. Meanwhile, the altogether better-natured Vision wouldn’t have resorted to deadly violence the second a strange and beefy purple dude showed up.

What If…? is already confirmed to return for a second season. We know we’re due some fun Thanos action in those episodes, too, with a postponed season one episode showing a universe in which Gamora killed him and donned his armor. I’m hoping we get a follow-up on the zombie Thanos tease from the end of the ‘What If… Zombies?!’ episode too.

More on that as we hear it.