What If…? – Season 1, Episode 5 – “What if Zombies?!” – Survival and Hope

“What if Zombies?!” is one of my favorite episodes of the “What If…?” series so far. This episode has a great threat in infected heroes and villains and a compelling narrative in what drives our survivors forward. This is a good example of how to do the zombie cliches right and I want to read the comic this is based on now. I highly recommend this episode.

The episode was directed by Bryan Andrews and written by Matthew Chauncey.

What if the Marvel Cinematic Universe was infected with a zombie outbreak?

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros:

The Action – The action is great as you get slowed down infected Avengers as well as zombie hordes. The undead heroes can remember their abilities so t makes the action high at all times and leaves our survivors racing against time.

The Beginning – Hope wanted to find her mom and Hank wanted to find his wife but she was infected. We get this story laid out to us when Banner returns as this is the beginning of “Infinity War.” The Obsidian Order folks quickly fall to the infected avengers who Hope (Wasp) saves Banner. Hulk is still refusing to come out too.

The Survivors – We have Hope, Kurt, Happy, Spiderman, Okoye, Cloke, Bucky, Sharon Carter and Banner and after Spiderman gives them fun intros on their zombie apocalypse specialties we have them traveling to a Secret Lab where there might be a cure. On the way there we lose Sharon to Zombie Cap, Happy to Zombie Hawkeye Hope who carries the remaining survivors to the base after she’s infected by Sharon. Every action scene has loss and the heroes have great chemistry with each other and once we reach the base we lose more while gaining new survivors in Scott Lang and T’Challa.

Wanda and Vision – Wanda is infected and Vision is feeding her survivors as he wasn’t able to cure her with the mindstone as he could Scott. When the survivors figure it out they are able to convince him to help though and he sacrifices himself, giving them the mindstone to find a cure. Wanda is easily the most deadly of all the infected and even Banner going Hulk is fighting an uphill battle in his sacrifice.

The Sacrifices – All but T’Challa, Spiderman and Scott are dead or implied to be dead but it is from those who protected them. It is powerful and each survivor has a moment to shine before facing the horde or dying. They are powerfully done.

The Haunting End – We got infected Thanos outside Wakanda (where the cure is to be made) and he has 4 stones. There is hope but Thanos and his army being cured with most Avengers dead is an out of the frying pan into the fire situation.

The Cons:

Scott Lang – He makes nothing but quips and bad jokes about being a head. I wish another character had been saved. He’s really annoying.

Cliffhanger Ending – Thanos waiting in the wings and the 3 survivors with Cloak arrive in Wakanda. The story feels incomplete with that level of a clifffhanger so I hope we get follow-up.

If you like zombie films and shows and the MCU films you will probably enjoy this episode as much as I did. It is well worth checking out and is one of the best of the “What If…?” episodes so far. This was a favorite for me and I’m curious if the story will be completed in the show. I can’t wait to read Marvel Zombies as this episode sold me on the concept.

Final Score: 9 / 10

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