What if...T'Challa became Starlord. What effect would a pure and decent soul have on the universe?
Spoiler Level: Medium
How many times have we asked What If? In our lives. What if I didn’t take this job? What if I studied harder? What if I ate this whole container of ice cream? The unknown histories of alternate choices and Marvel has been exploiting these variations of their current characters for years, but now, we can watch them (so does that make us a “Watcher”). Using stylized animation and pulling in as many of the original actors to do the voices, Marvel has worked its magic once again in a triumph of storytelling.
The second episode is a testament to kind and generous spirit that is T’Challa. In 1988, a young prince of Wakanda wants to see the outside world. While retrieving a spear he was playing with from outside the protective boundary, T’Challa is taken by the Ravagers in a case of mistaken identity. Yondu sees an explorer’s spirit in the boy and agrees to take him instead of Peter Quill. The result is legendary. T’Challa becomes Starlord, who models himself after Robin Hood and only steals from the powerful and gives it to the powerless. And because his heart is so pure, the universe is vastly improved. The Ravagers reform. Even Thanos sees that there are other ways to fix the universe and joins T’Challa on his adventures. Taneleer Tivan, the collector, is now the galactic kingpin and the villain of the episode. The plot is a galactic heist to steal from the Collector to help pay back a debt owed by Nebula.
The episode pays homage to Chadwick Boseman who lent his vocal talents to the episode, reprising his role as T’Challa before passing away last year from cancer (Almost exactly a year ago). This was his final performance and was a wonderful tribute to the actor. Karen Gillan once again playing Nebula, but this time as a mainly intact person, with beautiful blonde hair and a sexy playfulness with T’Challa who she refers to as “Cha Cha”. Josh Brolin also returning as Thanos, adds some humor to the Mad Titan. Most of the characters were reprised by their original actors, exception is a brief appearance of Drax who was voiced by Fred Tatasciore replacing Dave Bautista. The only problem I really had with an otherwise wonderful episode was Benicio del Toro’s performance as the Collector. Having played the part in the movies, his character in this episode lacked the subtlety and unique vocal patterns that we have come to expect. It really didn’t sound like Benicio at all and I was shocked that it was him. In addition, he was drawn as an overly muscled thug. The over all effect of looks and performance lacked, especially when compared to the rest of the cast.
Overall, What If? Has been phenomenal! Both episodes have been well written, with great storylines and superb vocal talents, usually reprised by the original actors from the live action films. I am glad we got to hear Chadwick Boseman one last time as T’Challa. He was the perfect Black Panther, and this episode is a true tribute to the actor! Rest In Power!
What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? And the Universe Rejoiced!
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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