It had to happen at some point. The writing and stories told on Marvel Studios’ What If…? have all been satisfactory to amazing so far. In episode six, “What If…Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” we get the first real stinker. There are a couple things that add to this one that don’t put it anywhere near the class of the previous five episodes. One is the voice cast. It felt like this episode had the most actors not reprising their roles. Mick Wingert does a fine job impersonating Robert Downey Jr. but it just sounds like a cheap imitation instead of making the role his own.

The story for this episode also doesn’t really do the premise or concept of the show justice. Even if Captain Carter‘s episode was a retread of Captain America: The First Avenger, it gave us some of the cosmic and multiversal changes. This episode picks up where Iron Man starts, but Killmonger just shows up to save Tony. So there’s no Iron Man in this universe. Tony takes a backseat in the episode and it just goes into a re-do of Black Panther, but this time Killmonger succeeds.

The episode ends more abruptly than the last one, and we’re left with no closure on what happens. It’s quite jarring and I was left feeling like this was an incomplete story. If they’re saving this story to continue in Season Two, they could have done a better job on leaving it at a more natural break in the story.

More Michael B. Jordan Is A Good Thing Though

Most of the fun of What If…? is getting to hear characters and actors that have left the MCU. Michael B. Jordan‘s Killmonger was a fan-favorite character and a big part of why Black Panther was so awesome. We got to see him and T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) tussle in this episode again, and that was by far the best part of the episode. Jordan is such a magnetic and dynamic performer that he really saves this episode from being a complete failure. Outside of him, some of the performances here are really hit or miss.

Jordan brings the grade for this episode up, but he alone can’t fix the story issues or the performances of some of the fill-in voice actors for people who couldn’t or wouldn’t reprise their voice roles.

This episode felt like it could have been cut. The premise is interesting enough, but there’s not enough Tony Stark, and not enough to separate it from the actual stories that it’s spinning off from. Episode six would benefit from a tighter story that leaves off on a more natural point. Outside of that, this is likely ending up as the weakest episode of the series.

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