Every Way What If Just Insulted MCU Characters | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Thor’s “party prince” episode of Marvel’s What If…? is comedic, but it, unfortunately, treats many of the MCU’s iconic characters in insulting ways.
Warning: SPOILERS for Marvel’s What If…? episode 7.
The seventh installment of Marvel’s What If…? was the show’s most comedic episode yet, but also the most insulting to numerous MCU characters. In this alternate universe, Loki was returned to the Frost Giants as a baby instead of becoming Thor’s adopted brother, and both characters grow up to become hedonistic fools who endanger the Earth with their reckless partying. But Thor and Loki are hardly the only MCU characters that the episode disrespects.
What If…?, understandably, gave at least one episode a wholly comedic premise, likely as much-needed relief following episodes where Tony Stark, the rest of the Avengers, and, in one case, an entire Marvel universe are destroyed. Unfortunately, Party Thor’s episode of What If…? mischaracterizes key MCU characters for the sake of humor. The episode, unfortunately, takes after Thor: Ragnarok in this regard, disregarding established characterization and disingenuously depicting classic Marvel characters.
Related: The MCU Messed Up Its Thor What If Question Twice
It’s difficult to believe that any of the characters in Party Thor’s What If…? episode would act the way they do simply because Loki never grew up alongside Thor. Thor was reckless, arrogant, and immature in 2011’s Thor before he learned humility from being banished by Odin and his brief time on Earth as a mortal. What If…? takes these traits to an extreme and mischaracterizes nearly every MCU character who comes into contact with him, including some who didn’t even appear in the episode.
The all-seeing Heimdall is a powerful and wise Asgardian who repeatedly demonstrates that he’s loyal to Asgard and the principles of its people more than anything else. With his omniscient senses, Heimdall gazes upon all Nine Realms simultaneously, guarding the Bifrost rainbow bridge and helping transport Asgardians to and from their home. In What If…?, Heimdall is shown to be terrible at his job, failing to see Thor and his companions travel to Earth to wreak havoc with their idiocy, and not noticing beings from across all other realms flocking to Midgard for a destructive party. Thor believes that What If…?‘s Heimdall is too bored by Earth to notice anything amiss there, and this foolish assessment turns out to be correct.
Thor’s mother, Frigga, was a kind and inspirational character in the mainstream MCU timeline, raising her sons and loving them equally. Particularly close with Loki, Frigga taught him to hone his magic and illusions, though she still had plenty of heartwarming moments with Thor. In Avengers: Endgame, Frigga inspires Thor, proving that he’s still a hero and still worthy, regardless of his failure to stop Thanos. In What If…?, Frigga seems fully aware of her son’s catastrophically immature behavior, yet she chooses to leave Thor on his own when Odin enters the Odinsleep. She claims to be testing Thor’s ability to rule, but she seems rather apathetic to her buffoonish son until his antics become a danger to Earth, prompting her to reluctantly step in to scold him into proper behavior.
Although Thanos doesn’t appear in the episode, all evidence suggests that he’s given up on his obsessive quest to obtain the Infinity Stones and eradicate half of the universe’s population with them. His daughter, Nebula, is no longer one of his top operatives since she’s goofing off on Earth with the rest of Thor’s massive entourage (making a passing reference to him as she attempts to evade cleaning up Earth afterward). The episode ends with the sudden appearance of Ultron, now in possession of all six Infinity Stones, strongly implying that Thanos no longer cares about his mainstream MCU mission. It’s baffling to suggest that Loki and Thor no longer being siblings would somehow affect Thanos’ motivations.
Related: How Powerful Ice Giant Loki Would Be
At the core of the episode’s absurdity is Thor’s new personality. While the mainstream Thor had much to learn before his time as a mortal in the 2011 film, Thor was never stupid. However, What If…? suggests that being challenged by Loki in his formative years is the only thing that stopped Thor from becoming a complete idiot. Thor is, intrinsically, a good-natured Asgardian whose upbringing should have prevented him from becoming so dangerously stupid. Growing up without Loki might have resulted in a more arrogant version of Thor, but not to the exaggerated degree shown in What If…? The mainstream MCU’s Thor, as the future King of Asgard, would never have destroyed another realm’s ancient site like Stonehenge just because he could.
As the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a formidable spy, Nick Fury was prepared for almost every situation in the mainstream MCU. Fury’s seemingly limitless supply of backup plans saved his life when he was shot by a newly mind-controlled Hawkeye in The Avengers and ambushed by the Winter Soldier and Hydra enforcers in Captain America: Winter Soldier. What If…? makes a mockery of this by having the legendary super-spy unceremoniously pummeled into a coma by Korg during Thor’s shenanigans, putting him out of commission for the rest of the episode.
One of the most important supporting characters for Thor in the comics and films, Jane Foster is a renowned astrophysicist and astronomer, having predicted Thor’s visit to Earth in What If..?. Once Thor arrives and begins his destructive festivities, Jane realizes that, while potentially dangerous, Thor is simply an oaf, but her attempts to convince S.H.I.E.L.D. of this are dismissed. Despite being recruited for her talents, Foster is quickly cast aside before her advice or expertise can be properly put to use. This offhanded dismissal of such an important character was as insulting in What If…? as it was in Ragnarok.
Like Thor, Loki’s entire characterization is rewritten in this episode, though in his case, a completely different upbringing makes this more believable. Unfortunately, instead of becoming a confident and experienced Frost Giant prince who upholds unity between Jotunheim and Asgard, thanks to Odin’s actions, Loki ends up becoming another destructive oaf like Thor. Without an upbringing in Thor’s shadow and perpetually feeling like an outsider, Loki should have been far less conniving with a more assertive personality, considering that he’d have been raised by Laufey in Jotunheim. Instead, Loki is, like Thor, reduced to an immature clod for the sake of comedy.
Related: Ultron’s Return Sets Up The Guardians Of The Multiverse
The highly effective and high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill became acting director in the What If…? episode following Nick Fury’s incapacitation. Though she’s normally pragmatic, Hill went to illogically extreme lengths to rid the world of Party Thor before Captain Marvel could subdue him and without even bothering a more diplomatic approach. Hill nearly used nuclear weapons on the Asgardian nuisance, which would have been an extremely reckless action, considering that Carol Danvers likely would have beaten him.
The Ancient One didn’t appear in this episode of Marvel’s What If…?, but her absence, like Thanos’, indicates that she’s shirked her mission during Party Thor’s visit to Earth. The Ancient One protects Earth from mystical threats but was nowhere to be seen during Thor’s escapades. The Ancient One defended New York during the Chitauri invasion and perhaps could have stopped Thor from destroying the Earth in place of the Avengers, who wouldn’t exist in this reality due to the events of Thor never happening.
Next: Marvel Shows It Doesn’t Understand Thor’s MCU Arc
David Miller is a staff writer for Screen Rant, indie comic writer, and life-long lover of all things Star Wars, Marvel, and DC. He was born and raised in New York and has a degree in English from Rider University. He relates to Peter Parker maybe a little too much.


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