Marvel Studios first foray into canonical animation will come to a conclusion tomorrow when the finale of Season 1 of What If…? goes live on Disney Plus. Production on Season 2 began before Season 1 aired, so fans have always known there’d be more animated adventures, something that was reiterated recently by Executive Producer Brad Winderbaum, and it’s also been made clear that Captain Carter will be returning for Season 2 and beyond. What’s been less clear is whether or not we should expect Season 1 to end on a cliffhanger or if the season’s recently revealed big bad, Infinite Ultron, will be defeated. In an interview with EW, the series’ creators, director Bryan Andrews and head writer AC Bradley, answered that question…sort of.
“It goes places you don’t expect. I know people are starting to get a sensation that things are building to something — and they are. And craziness ensues,” said Andrews of the finale. The director and longtime storyboard artist for the studio addes, “There’s a degree of resolution where it feels like all the stuff that’s been percolating across the episodes, the adventure that we bring you into for the ending, ends, to a certain degree.
Bradley, who also served as a consulting producer on Marvel Studios Ms. Marvel, reveals that part of that resolution will involve revisiting several characters met earlier in the season who will come together to take on Ultron whose newfound awareness makes him a threat to every reality.
We will pop into and re-meet some of our heroes from the previous episodes, including the lovely Captain Carter [Hayley Atwell], Strange Supreme, Party Thor [Chris Hemsworth], and even Killmonger [Michael B. Jordan]. Early on in the first season, like day one talking about it, there was this notion of we’re creating all these great heroes, but we only get to sit with them for 20 or 30 minutes. Wouldn’t it be great to see them again in the finale? And then once that decision was made, it liberated me to make the endings a little bit darker and bigger, knowing that we can give some sort of resolution in the finale.
As expected, the season finale will see the Watcher break his vow to never interfere and assemble a team that has been marketed as The Guardians of the Multiverse. We already saw the beginnings of this last week when Uatu visited with Doctor Strange Supreme and can expect it to be further explored in the opening moments of Episode 9.
And while we can expect a resolution to the Ultron situation, Andrews makes it clear that there are more stories to be told in each of the individual realities from which these disparate characters will be drawn:
All these universes, when we’re done with our episode, those universes continue. It’s an ongoing cinematic universe; there is stuff that happens yet to come that maybe we will see and maybe we will not see. But we don’t necessarily want to have it all tied up in a perfect bow. There is a level of buttoning up with a certain degree of things that we get into with a certain storyline.
That sounds like a pretty perfect way to give a satisfying end to the current arc while leaving enough room to allow the characters we’ve already seen be available for future stories whether those be further animated adventures or live-action appearances.
Episode 9 of What If…?, “What If…The Watcher Broke His Vow”, streams tomorrow on Disney Plus.