It was basically a foregone conclusion that Marvel’s animated What If…? series would return to Disney Plus with even more stories from far far corners of Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe. But the show’s new season 2 trailer also makes it seem like its next chapter is going to jack directly into the big multiverse moment that most of the studio’s recent live-action films and series have become entangled in, which suggests some interesting things about the future.
Though tinkering with people’s lives in season 1 damn near led to reality falling apart, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) is up to his old tricks in the new season 2 trailer. And he’s once again keeping a close eye on unique variants of characters from films like Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Doctor Strange.
Season 1 put a lot of focus on individuals’ origin stories, but the new trailer features teams of characters you don’t normally see working together, like Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), a T’Challa variant (whose voice actor has yet to be announced), and a woman in a green Kree / Captain Marvel uniform who sounds a lot like Annette Bening. As curious as that team-up is, even more interesting is the way they seem to be searching for a younger version of Peter Quill (also unannounced) who has powers that his live-action counterpart from the Guardians movies has never displayed.
Putting more focus on T’Challa, Pym, and Quill were hallmarks of the first season of What If…?, and it stands to reason that season 2 will pick up some already-established threads with those variants. What’s most promising, though, are the trailer’s brief flashes of old (but new here) faces like Hela (Cate Blanchett) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) who both died unceremoniously at the end of their most recent films.
With it finally starting to feel like Marvel’s actually getting to the meat of its multiverse era, What If…? putting the spotlight on characters who previously seemed to be permanently gone could be a sign of some momentous franchise twists on the horizon. If that turns out to be the case, it’ll probably make the show’s second season something of a headache for casual viewers when it hits Disney Plus on December 22nd. But for folks eagerly waiting to see if Marvel can pull this whole thing off, What If…? might be a sign of great things to come.