What If: 9 MCU Character Who Were Better On The Show – Screen Rant

Marvel’s What If…? had a lot of fun exploring some new realities with several MCU characters and even improved certain characters from the movies.
The MCU’s first animated series, What If…?, introduced some exciting new stories from within the Marvel multiverse. Along with introducing The Watcher, the show explored new realities for many MCU characters. And while the likes of Tony Stark proved less heroic than the version fans know, some characters were given a significant improvement.
RELATED: 10 What If..? Characters Most Likely To Appear In The MCU
The show was able to take characters who were not entirely memorable in the movies and give them an exciting new angle. In other cases, some characters who were already quite impressive were made even better through these new stories. These reimaginings gave fans a fun way to re-examine certain MCU characters.
When Captain Marvel was introduced in her first solo movie, she quickly established herself as one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU. However, one frequent criticism of the character is that she seems too powerful and thus nothing feels like a threat.
Captain Marvel’s appearance in What If…? continued to show her incredible power but also gave her a worthy adversary. Captain Marvel was called to Earth to end Thor’s reckless partying and the two engage in an epic battle. The show manages to make her more interesting through vulnerability without taking away from her strength as a hero.
Fans can be forgiven for not immediately remembering Korath as he briefly appears in Guardians of the Galaxy as Ronan’s henchman. Without much personality, Korath fails to really stand out. But when he returns in What If…? he is given an unexpected comedic revision.
Korath confront Star-Lord just as he did in Guardians of the Galaxy, but upon learning it is T’Challa, he geeks out. Korath is apparently T’Challa’s biggest fan and spends the whole episode following him around like a puppy dog in a hilarious and endearing way. It turns him from a dull secondary villain into a fun buddy character.
Though the relationship between Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers is certainly charming, it was always clear that Peggy was more than just a love interest. However, she was never given much to do in the MCU outside of Captain America: The First Avenger. But this show allows her to prove herself as every bit the hero Steve was.
The show rewrites history to make Peggy the one who receives the super-soldier serum and becomes Captain Carter. Along with battling Hydra during World War II, Peggy becomes the leader of the Guardians of the Multiverse in the thrilling final episode.
Though he was set up to be collecting the Infinity Stones for his own nefarious plans, The Collector ended up being a fairly unimportant character in the MCU. He was just there to deliver some exposition and apparently die at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From Marvel’s What If?
However, What If…? introduces a reality in which Thanos abandons his evil ways, leaving space for The Collector to become the ruling crime boss of the cosmos. With his eccentric attitude and collection of powerful weapons, The Collector is made to be a far more formidable and entertaining villain than he ever was in the movies.
With his appearance in Black Panther, Killmonger had already cemented himself as one of the best MCU villains. And while that movie went deeper into Killmonger’s motivations and backstory, What If…? proves he was capable of dominating the Marvel universe.
The episode explores a new reality in which Killmonger saves Tony Stark from the Ten Rings. He then uses his new position as Tony’s right-hand man to rise to power and take the throne of Wakanda. This movie really cements Killmonger as a genius and brilliant strategist who was always one step ahead of the heroes.
Ultron was a very popular villain from the comics who faced off with the Avengers multiple times. However, fans were disappointed with how the evil robot was used in Avengers: Age of Ultron, making him more jokey and less threatening.
What If…? does a fairly simple approach to improving Ultron by imagining if he had won in his destruction of Earth. From there, he goes on to kill Thanos, takes the Infinity Stones for himself, and conquers the entire universe. Once that is done, Ultron even becomes aware of The Watcher and invades the multiverse. Despite his lackluster appearance in the movies, he is made to be the show’s biggest villain.
It is nice to see that the show is not beholden to the movie version of these characters and is even willing to make certain heroes darker. Such is the case with Hank Pym, who was always pretty grumpy in the movies, but is turned into a cold-blooded murderer in his What If…? episode.
RELATED: 10 Strongest MCU Zombies In What If…?, Ranked
In this reality, Hank’s daughter Hope was a SHIELD operative who died on a mission and Hank blames them for it. As revenge, he seeks out all of Nick Fury’s recruits for the Avengers Initiative and kills them one by one. For Hank to be able to kill several Avengers single-handedly proves he was very underestimated before.
It has been said that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will have certain horror elements. Interestingly, Doctor Strange’s episode in What If…? delivered one of the most horror-centric stories in the MCU.
The reimagining of his origin story sees Strange losing Christine Palmer rather than his hands in the accident and becomes obsessed with bringing her back. Strange’s dark journey to become Sorcerer Supreme is a compelling and heartbreaking thing to watch. It also shows the potential power of the character and the danger that could happen if he loses control.
T’Challa aka Black Panther was also not a character who needed any improvement, but fans saw his inclusion in the show as bittersweet as it gave one final performance by Chadwick Boseman in the role. But it also showed that T’Challa might have been the greatest MCU hero of all time.
The episode finds T’Challa getting abducted by Yondu and the Ravagers rather than Peter Quill. However, he takes to his space adventures quite well and seems to solve all of the galaxy’s problems on his own. From uniting the Ravagers to saving Drax’s family to reforming Thanos, it seemed like there was nothing that T’Challa couldn’t do.
NEXT: 5 Ways T’Challa Is Best As Star-Lord In What If…? (& 5 As Black Panther)
Colin McCormick is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been a proud member of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Colin is also a writer of News, Feature and Review pieces at Game Rant. Colin has had a long passion and obsession with movies going back to the first time he saw The Lion King in theaters. Along with movies, Colin stays up-to-date on the latest must-see TV shows. While he loves to find interesting projects in any kind of genre, he has a special movie of crime stories that are infused with a little dark humor much like the work of his favorite author, Elmore Leonard.


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