Slashfilm.com reports that Disney Studios is planning a TV show based on Marvel’s What If? comic books. Since 1977, Marvel has published a series of comic books asking the primary question of science fiction: “what if?”
What if Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four? What if Captain America hadn’t been found and thawed out until modern times? What if J. Jonah Jameson was a nice guy instead of a pain in the neck? (Naw, that’s too weird even for Marvel.) Usually the comic books focused on what if someone who died in canon survived, or if someone who survived in canon died instead? Or if someone else was bitten by a radioactive spider or became sorcerer supreme of our space-time continuity, etc.
The What If comic books were generally narrated, by Uatu, the Watcher (The late Stan Lee met up with the Watchers in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2).
There’s even a fan theory that within the MCU, Stan the Man may himself be a Watcher.
According to slashfilm.com, this show will be animated, using the voices of the original actors from the MCU. Kevin Feige will produce. The show would be on Disney+, their own streaming service, rather than cable TV’s Disney Channel, or Disney XD.
A major question would be whether this show would be of interest to casual fans or only to serious hardcore comic book fans? Would it be too obtuse for casual viewers?
Another major question is who would be writing the scripts? Would they aonly adapt back issues of What If? or would they ask new questions? What if Captain America spoke up against Japanese relocation camps in WWII? What if Black Panther had been in New York during the Chitauri invasion? Would Disney hire Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and other comic book writers, or will they hire Hollywood scriptwriters?
As the title of the series implies, we currently have more questions than answers.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.