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What If Episode 5

“The world he found was not one he recognized.”

The episode starts with a one-punch-liner that will question us again… “What if...?” Along with the other four episodes, What if… Zombies!?, creates a thinking moment while enjoying the 30-minute episode. It offers the excitement of bringing back your younger self to where it wanted to be— sitting on the couch and watching Marvel animations for an unknown number of times.

It is another remarkable scenario for Hank Pym aside from discovering Pym particles that made Ant-Man possible. Expect to see the Earth’s mightiest heroes: Incredible Hulk, Spider-man, Black Panther, Steve Rogers’ Captain America, Wasp, and Ant-Man. The episode is set during the time period of "Avengers: Infinity War" while the episode revisits a pivotal moment in “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

From there, the What If? question begins to bother the curiosity that might change the remembrance of our minds and the emotions that we have invested while watching in our younger years. This episode is recommended if you binge-watch the Ant-Man movies and have a background about the Black Panther and MCU Spider-Man films. Some facts came from the films mentioned above connected to another route that the story might turn and change the ending of the history of what we know.

The episode's first persona is Bruce Banner, who got in danger but found out that Dr. Strange, Wong, and Iron Man are zombies and eyeing to beat him. The half-hour animation begins when the protagonists search for the cure and find out that it is in Vison's territory at Camp Lehigh in New Jersey, where Wanda is hidden and taken care of. The other details between these hints are for you to find out. So, if you tried enough to think outside the box to figure out what this episode is all about, it is your task to watch.

The Animation

Marvel Comic Book fans will never be disappointed with this episode and with the entire What If? series. It is a dream for them to see the illustrations moving on their own and flashed on their TV screens. The pages that you used to flip are now transformed into animated motion pictures where you can enjoy Marvel's crafts in your most convenient position. The superb animation is already provided by the technology nowadays, but their effort to make the structures, faces, and effects like the movies deserve a compliment. In this way, watching episode five makes the viewers feel like they are seeing another Avengers movie.

The Voice-casting

Since there is a gap between the movies and the animation, voices can still make the episode very related and duplicate the original scenes. Mark Ruffalo voice-acted Bruce Banner, Paul Bettany as Vision, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes. Moreover, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw, Hudson Thames as Peter Parker, and Josh Keaton as Steve Rogers. This episode is one of Chadwick Boseman’s remaining performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The element of the original voices placed the viewers in the position where they wish that the ending "Avengers: Endgame" to be different. After all, the end of the Avengers may be different if there are zombies. Despite having other actors for Peter Parker and Steve Rogers, both Hudson and Josh didn’t disappoint.

The Concept

With the pandemic situation today, zombie figures are being linked to our current conditions. If you are a fan of zombie-themed movies, this is a must-watch. The conventionally good superheroes turned into zombies who aimed to bite ordinary people and spread the virus. The episode is also loosely based on the Marvel Zombies comic series. The Avengers ride a train to pave their destination of finding the cure. Their battles inside the train with the zombies and their chasing game with them give a "Train to Busan" vibe. The fun part is that the Avengers still have their abilities even though they are transformed into zombies. Steve Rogers has his control over his shield, Wasp can still make herself bigger, and Iron Man can fight with the help of his armor. This twist in the setting gives the viewers time to imagine how difficult it is to escape in the troupe of zombies if they have powers.

The root of this zombie semi-apocalypse is the desperation of a family member to bring his loved one back to life. To give you an idea, it is within the walls of Quantum Realm, and the first infected was Ant-Man. This revelation is displayed in the rising action part of the story. This technique of revelations makes the audience keep their focus and stay on their seats. However, there are hints to us about the source of the virus because it is ordinary to say that zombie disease starts from some experiments inside the laboratory, just like other movie scenes.

Vision and Wanda's relationship and portrayal can be with the same concept as to how a husband kept his wife inside their apartment in the Korean film, #Alive." It also parallels the love story of both Wanda and Vision in the main MCU timeline, which was tackled in-depth in the series, WandaVision. The idea of sacrifices and love in this movie gives the viewers the element of empathy and sadness. Well, all Marvel stories have these spices that make the number of enthusiasts grow unexpectedly. The last part, where the appearance of a zombie Thanos snapping his fingers with the famous infinity stone, is a great way to conclude the What if? Episode.

Overall, the creativity gives the viewers another perspective of the possibilities that can make the story run differently. Significantly, this episode's scenario did not happen in the actual Avenger narration because it will change the story's focus. It will become overcoming the zombies instead of saving humanity and defeating Thanos. However, this idea can generate another storyline that has different characters, problems, and resolutions. Episode five is not the episode that you can find the reason to stop watching the series. Instead, it is one of your appetizers to ready your appetite for the next episodes of the omniscient Watcher's narration of more unknown worlds.

Rating: 9/10

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