In view of the many (as many as three) new animated TV shows coming out in 2024 – X-Men ’97, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man and Eyes of Wakanda – the Multiverse Saga closes this difficult 2024 with the season 2 of Marvel What If, delightful TV series that through the ever-watchful eye of the Watcher guides viewers through the infinite parallel realities of the vast Multiverse.
available Dec. 22 on Disney+ with nine unreleased episodes, which will be released one at a time daily for nine consecutive days until the end of the year, What If 2 picks up the storytelling model in pills from the first season, with (often but not always) self-contained, self-contained stories that reread the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and imagine alternative versions of its main events.
In addition to the debut of Kahhori, the first original superheroine created by the MCU (i.e. it was not born in comic books: we interviewed one of its creators in this episode of Freaking News Podcast)) green light for Christmas atmosphere as well, because in the Multiverse there is room for everyone, even a Santa Claus…”Happyer” than ever.
What If 2: An Animated Multiverse
True triumph of toon shading (for friends cel shading) that continues the self-reflexive work of the most prestigious and successful Hollywood production company of the last decade (in the way it analyzes itself and takes cues from some pivotal moments in its own feature films to imagine parallel realities – or Variants – in which an event unfolded differently from how fans remember it), What If 2 goes directly back to Marvel’s origins, namely the comic books.
In that sense, like it was a Marvel Comics weekly, What If…? is a key step in the diversification project conceived by Kevin Feige with the Multiverse Saga, and proudly returns his superheroes to their comic-book-ness. And the narrative trick of the Observer, a cosmic entity who sees everything without being able to intervene, reflects in no uncertain terms the experience of the extradiegetic observer, the viewer, a most faithful witness to the development of events.
With an impressive fluidity of movement and expressiveness of faces and sharpness of backgrounds light years away from other more or less contemporary animated series, What If…? is a great experiment, fun and lighthearted but also tremendously successful on a technical level and tasty to discover on a narrative level: a showdown that opens up literally endless possibilities, and the imminent opening of a small subsidiary animation studio of Marvel Studios, which from now on will deal exclusively with animated projects for the MCU, already appears as an unequivocal statement of intent.