'What If ...?' Reminds Us Of A Major Disney+ Failing
It’s already been a whopping several weeks since Loki wrapped up, so naturally, Marvel has released yet another streaming series on Disney+ lest we, the viewing public, venture into the outdoors or wipe the Cheeto dust from our sweatpants and reach out to loved ones. This time it’s What If …? based on the popular comic series that imagined alternate Marvel realities in which, say, Iron Man hung out with King Arthur. For the first episode, we got to see what would have happened if Peggy Carter had been injected with the Super Soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers.
In addition to a familiar line-up of supporting characters, including Bucky, Howard Stark, and Red Skull, we meet John Flynn, the misogynistic American officer who treats Captain Carter like absolute crap. He’s voiced by Bradley Whitford and looks like … a cartoon Bradley Whitford -- which is weird because Whitford never appeared in a single Marvel movie. He did however appear in 2013’s Agent Carter, which was part of the Marvel “One-Shots” series of short films that appeared on various DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
Not to be confused with the spin-off ABC series that followed it, also named Agent Carter.
Despite the fact that other One-Shots similarly featured beloved characters, such as Thor and Agent Coulson, these bite-sized MCU stories have seemingly fallen by the wayside. With physical media’s popularity waning in recent years (to society’s detriment), it’s understandable that no studio is pouring money into DVD bonus features anymore. But why not just throw all of the existing ones onto Disney+? Some of them are included as extras on Disney+ (including Agent Carter), but others are totally missing for some reason, including Item 47, in which Lizzy Caplan steals an alien gun following the events of The Avengers -- which, incidentally, is what led Disney to greenlight Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
And All Hail the King, which stars Sir Ben Kingsley and follows the further adventures of Trevor Slattery, AKA the faux-Mandarin. And importantly, this short was the first MCU property to reference the existence of a real Mandarin villain -- which may have been conceived as merely a last-ditch effort to satiate angry fans but has now come to fruition with his appearance in the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Maybe we’ll get a What If …? episode about an alternate reality in which Disney makes all of this content available.
Top Image: Disney