Today brought the second episode of Marvel’s What If…?, and it was certainly a massive deviation from the norm. While the first installment was a relatively straightforward rehashing of Captain America: The First Avenger with Peggy Carter subbed in for Steve Rogers, the sophomore outing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first foray into canonical animation tore up the rule book.
Ingeniously riffing on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Djimon Honsou’s Korath the Pursuer was reinvented as a giddy and excitable fanboy, Karen Gillan’s Nebula was reintroduced as a devious femme fatale, and Benicio del Toro achieved more via his vocal performance as the impossibly buff Collector than he ever did in live-action.
However, the decision to have Josh Brolin’s Thanos as a good guy who loves to joke about universal genocide has proven to be a little more divisive. Don’t get us wrong, a lot of fans were thrilled to see the Mad Titan showcase his softer side as both a person and a father, but as you can see from the reactions below, not everyone shared the sentiment.
It’s all a matter of personal preference, but it definitely fit the tone of the entire episode. Chadwick Boseman made for a much different Star-Lord than Chris Pratt, and it was fun to see him riff on the character’s established personality to give him a much warmer and less sarcastic angle. As for Thanos, as strange as it was to see the guy who killed half of everything bonding with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ravagers, it only served to reiterate that anything is possible in Marvel’s What If…?, even for the big bad of the entire Infinity Saga.