“What if Killmonger saved Tony Stark?” is an interesting premise that I wish we’d seen more of the global scale of the fallout of what happens. The core story and driver of Killmonger (One of the MCU’s best villains) voiced by Michael B. Jordan is great but the episode size keeps it from being greater as it could have developed more of the plot. Still, this is another strong entry in the “What If…” series and is worth checking out.
The episode was directed by Bryan Andrews and written by Bryan Chauncey.
What if Killmonger saved Tony Stark?
Obadiah Stane Revealed – One of the early reveals is that Stane is an agent of the Ten Rings, which Killmonger reveals after he saves Tony in Afghanistan. This in turn leads to him becoming Tony’s number 1 and co-owner of Stark Industries.
The Death of T’Challa and Rhodey – The next major reveal is Killmonger is following his plan of liberation and revenge from “Black Panther” as he kills T’Challa and Rhodey and frames Wakanda for Rhodey’s death. He calls out Rhodey for being in the U.S. military too as he sees him as tool of the system. T’Challa’s spirit later confronts Killmonger, once again voiced by the amazing Chadwick Boseman. R.I.P.
Tony Stark vs. Killmonger – Tony figures out the betrayal and sets of the one the drones Killmonger was building with Tony on him. Killmonger wins and kills Tony. It is a great fight and you see how different their perspectives were. Tony saw orphans in the two of them while Killmonger saw the oppressive system Tony held up and supported.
Leading Wakanda to War – The final manipulation is him becoming Black Panther as Thunderbolt Ross puts Killmonger in charge of invading Wakanda with the drones which leads to Killmonger killing Klaue getting in good with the Wakandan royal family and leading them to war. It is a great arc of Killmonger’s rise to power.
Pepper Pots and Shuri Team-up – Pepper Pots always doubted Killmonger and Shuri figures out Tony and T’Challa were killed by Killmonger leading to them teaming up as Wakanda and the United States go to war.
Echoes of Similarity to the Film – Death of Klaeu, defeat of T’Challa and manipulating the Wakandan royal family were just like in the film so thatis the one thing bringing it down. I’d hope we would at least see more differences in the plan of Killmonger, his rise in both “Black Panther” and this “What If…?” are still both great though. The similarities wre still a little annoying.
Cliffhanger Ending – We have a war about to start and Killmonger known by Pots and T’Challa. The fading away left the story feeling unfinished which keeps me from rating it higher.
Killmonger is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s best villains and seeing his rise to power along a different path was compelling, even with the similarities to the film. I also wanted to see what the end game was. Killmonger believes in liberation so are he and Wakanda fighting the war alone? Still an amazing episode and a favorite.
Final Score: 9.4 / 10 A favorite “What If…?” episode.