Marvel's What If...? Mid-Season Trailer Breakdown: The Multiverse Offers Up More Mystery And Remixes

This week brings the sixth episode of Marvel's "What If...?" animated series, and with only nine episodes in the show's first season, that means we're past the midpoint of this dive into multiverse. Marvel Studios has released a mid-season trailer to tease what's to come in the remaining four episodes of the series. Though it's mostly footage from the episodes that we've already seen, there are some glimpses of new episodes that offer some perplexing and enticing sneak peeks at the next round of Marvel Cinematic Universe remixes. Let's give the new footage one of our deep dive trailer breakdowns and see what's going on.

Wakanda, Maybe Not Forever

Here's a shot of Black Panther in what appears to be the palace of Wakanda. I think this might be the Erik Killmonger version of Black Panther that we haven't seen in the show yet, but is likely debuting in this week's episode (based on the poster that was released yesterday). Things don't look so great for Wakanda, since the windows of the palace have been shattered and there appears to be military helicopters flying around outside. Perhaps the friendship between Killmonger and Tony Stark that was teased in the full trailer for "What If...?" awhile back takes a nasty turn.

Black Widow Dropping In

Black Widow makes quite an entrance as she drops in on what appear to be a couple of Ultron drones, using a motorcycle to wipe them both out. This appears to be from an episode where Natasha Romanoff finds herself in some kind of post-apocalyptic world. It also appears to be the same episode teased in the previously released trailer that revealed Black Widow throwing a vibranium shield that had a red star on it, which made us think it had something to do with her becoming The Winter Soldier instead of Bucky. But more on that later.

Tony Stark Lives?

It looks like "Avengers: Endgame" will get some kind of multiverse remix, because here's a shot of Tony Stark sacrificing himself to use the Infinity Stones to wipe out Thanos and his army. There haven't been any other hints at how the events of Endgame could be changed in "What If...?," so this one has us scratching our heads quite a bit.

The New Avengers Team Expands

The full trailer for Marvel's "What If...?" included a shot of what appeared to be a new assembly of Avengers that included Erik Millmonger's Black Panther, Captain Carter, T'Challa as Star-Lord, Gamora, and Thor. It appears that Black Widow is also part of this new team. However, we don't see Black Panther among the group in this shot. It might just be because of the angle of the shot, but we'll have to wait and see. This shot also gives us a sense that the environment is entirely in disarray. Could all these heroes be coming together because of a clash of several different timelines?

Evil Doctor Strange and Thor

Even though the evil (or maybe misguided) Doctor Strange appeared to be wiped out of existence along with his own universe, it would seem that he somehow survived. The alternate, gaunt version of the Sorcerer Supreme is seen here standing alongside Thor. They appear to be somewhere in space. Could they be seeking out the Watcher? Strange had a direct encounter with the all-seeing being, and if Strange survived his brush with the end of his universe, maybe he wants answers from the Watcher. But what is Thor doing there, and why is he talking about the zombies when he wasn't part of that episode at all? Maybe we'll pick up where that story left off somehow.

Higher, Further, Faster, Baby

Captain Marvel makes two brief appearances in this trailer, and neither of them are from her cameo at the end of the episode where almost all the Avengers were killed one-by-one by Hank Pym in retaliation for his daughter Hope Van Dyne dying during a SHIELD mission in the Ukraine. In the first shot, she's winking and saluting like a cool superhero would do. Then later in the trailer, we see this shot:

The cosmic superhero is charged up and flying towards something or someone, but we have no idea who or what it could be. That's mostly because we haven't seen any other teases of episodes involving Captain Marvel, so we don't know what kind of alternate universe story the character will be involved in.

Like Father, Like Daughter

A new shot of Gamora finds the daughter of Thanos leaping through the air with a familiar-looking double bladed weapon. It's the same one that Thanos wielded when fighting the Avengers, and even her armor looks like a variation on what the Mad Titan wore in battle. However, since we've seen Gamora in the line-up of New Avengers, it's clear she hasn't taken a villainous turn like Thanos. But what's her place in "What If...?," and when will we see her story unfold?

Killmonger and Stark Technology

We know this week's episode will feature Erik Killmonger, and presumably it's the episode that finds him becoming an ally of Tony Stark. But where that story goes from there, we're not sure. This shot offers up a somewhat ominous prospect as we see Killmonger marching with an army of Stark Industries robots that look like modern versions of the Hydra Stomper that Howard Stark created for Steve Rogers in the first episode of "What If...?" with Captain Carter. Could Killmonger teaming up with Tony Stark result in some kind of villainous duo? Maybe there's an unseen threat for them to face that we're not yet privy to. After all, there's also this shot in the trailer:

That's Pepper Potts, and she's armed with a massive gun as she runs alongside T'Challa's sister Shuri (who looks rather young, perhaps because this story unfolds in the time of the original "Iron Man") and members of the Dora Milaje. That would seem to indicate that Killmonger and Stark are facing a villain together. This is certainly one of the more intriguing alternate storylines that has been teased so far.

DJ Grandmaster and Korg Kickin' It

There have been rumblings about "What If...?" featuring an episode with "Party Thor." This version of Thor would be one who didn't redeem himself and prove his worthiness after he was banished from Asgard and stripped of his powers. Instead, Thor just goes on a bender and creates a massive party on Earth. Could this scene be from that episode? Maybe The Grandmaster hears about this epic bash and comes to Earth to throw down some sick beats. It certainly looks like Korg is enjoying it:

However, this party looks like it's happening on Sakaar rather than Earth, so maybe this is an entirely different episode altogether. All we know is things are always going to get a bit weird when The Grandmaster shows up.

Hawkeye Leaps into Civil War

Here's a curious shot from the mid-season trailer for "What If...?" That's Hawkeye leaping and drawing his bow and arrow. It appears that environment is the base from the climax of "Captain America: Civil War" where Captain America, Iron Man and the Winter Soldier had their epic showdown. Since we've seen what appears to be Black Widow in place of the Winter Soldier, could there be some kind of confrontation between her and Hawkeye? Having their relationship turned into a rivalry would be rather interesting, especially if it's a fight that has them coming to blows in a much more brutal way, unlike their battle in "Civil War" and "Endgame," where the two were still allies who were merely forced to fight.

Father and Son

The end of the "What If...?" episode that saw T'Challa become Star-Lord also teased another tale in the same alternate universe. The final scene found Ego the Living Planet coming back to Earth to find his son Peter Quill all grown up and working at Dairy Queen. The scene ended with an ominous tease of what's to come of that, and it would appear that we'll see that story unfold sometime in the second half of this season.

Another Age of Ultron?

Here's a swarm of robots that look like a bunch of Ultron drones. When the full trailer for "What If...?" debuted awhile back, there were shots of Thor fighting these robots in what appeared to be Las Vegas. This mid-season trailer shows part of that scene as well, but we're still unsure what kind of spin will be put on the Ultron story. This mid-season trailer really raises a lot more questions than answers.

Taking Aim

In one of the final snippets of new footage, we see Black Widow wielding a bow and arrow. Based on her looking a little scuffed up and the muted colors in the background, this looks like another shot from the episode that finds her in a desolate, apocalyptic landscape. Perhaps she's been forced to survive on her own and she's taken up some of Hawkeye's skills. Part of me wonders if this episode finds her living in some kind of robot apocalypse where the Avengers failed to stop Ultron and his army. After all, one of the early shots sees her taking down two robots with her motorcycle. 

There are so many lingering questions from this tease. We're still waiting to see how these episodes will crossover into each other, especially since there's clearly some kind of connective tissue that brings several of these alternate universe versions of Marvel characters together. But beyond that, we're also curious about what the Watcher's continued place in this story will be, especially after his role in the Doctor Strange episode. Hopefully more hints are coming sooner than later.

New episodes of Marvel's "What If...?" arrive on Disney+ each Wednesday.