In Ray Bradbury’s short story A Sound of Thunder, a seemingly insignificant change in ancient history creates a ripple effect, completely transforming the future. Marvel Studios will explore this “butterfly effect” with the release of What If…?, a new Disney+ animated series that shows how the Marvel universe would become unrecognizable if some of its formative events happened just a little bit differently.
Debuting August 22nd, What If…? is the fourth Marvel series to launch on Disney+ this year. It sports an animation style that’s reminiscent of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead or the 2016 Berserk adaptation, and will fill in the weekly Wednesday release slot currently held by Loki (the season finale of Loki comes mid-July).
While details on What If…? are slim, its trailer reveals some of the hypothetical scenarios that Marvel wants to explore. Notably, one scene in the trailer shows Erik Killmonger saving Tony Stark from a Stark Enterprises weapon—the one that’s supposed to send him on his path to become Iron Man.
Several actors from the Marvel film franchise reprise their roles for What If…?, including Chris Hemsworth, Michael B. Jordan, and surprisingly, the late Chadwick Boseman. This is Boseman’s second posthumous appearance after the excellent Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which you can watch on Netflix.