This week, we’re looking at an interesting TV show that features a zombie apocalypse through the lens of a “What If?” scenario. On this show, “what if?” doesn’t seem to be a question, it’s more of a command due to the rules of the show. The following review will discuss the final episode of the first season of “What if… Zombies?” with the intent of giving you the show’s overall experience.

If you want to be a game designer, then you should read this review. What If Zombies…? is one of the best game series I’ve ever reviewed. Each episode has a different theme, but the focus is still on fighting bad guys. And it’s hilarious. The writers are witty, and the artwork is amazing. (I should know, I’ve seen every episode.)

A lot of great TV shows are coming to an end this year, including The X-Files, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and even Supernatural. For me I am sad to see the end of the final season of the Netflix show Sense8, but its creator Lana Wachowski (who also wrote The Matrix) is already making plans for the next season.

“What If… Zombies?” is the fifth episode of the first season of What If…?

“Please don’t eat me!”

Reviews of television shows

The one we were expecting was “What If… Zombies?” I’m not sure whether it’s “the one we’ve all been waiting for” – I don’t believe What If…? received much anticipation in general, despite being better than at least the previous two Disney+ Marvel programs. But an MCU zombie apocalypse was building, and it’s really excellent, which confirms my suspicions that this show hasn’t yet hit its stride. I don’t think it’s as good as the previous two episodes, but it’s a step up from the pilot and a lot better than “What If… Space Jesus?”

When Bruce Banner returns to Earth at the start of Infinity War, he discovers a barren wasteland in place of the usually bustling New York City. When Ebony Maw and Kull Obsidian emerge through a portal, however, his pals appear… as zombies. In exchange for one extinction-level danger, Bruce must band together with a motley crew of survivors to guarantee that there is even a planet to rescue from Thanos.

I’ll put my cards on the table and say I’m not a fan of zombies. As monsters or villains, they’ve never appealed to me. They boring me since they lack individuality, and the slow-moving corpses aren’t very frightening to me. I understand why some find the idea creepy: they’re more of a force of nature than a single individual, and they can represent anything from consumerism to communism to anything else you want them to represent. Okay, that’s OK; it simply doesn’t work for me. In fact, when I like a zombie tale, like iZombie, it’s generally because it deviates from the norm. So “What If… Zombies?” was not something I was looking forward to. Surprisingly, though, I enjoyed this one.

“What If… Zombies?!?” has a number of zombie movie clichés, which is one of the most intriguing parts of the film. When Banner arrives to the Sanctum Santorum, we anticipate the same scenario we’ve seen a million times in recent years: he meets Doctor Strange and Wong, is reunited with his scientific bro Tony Stark, and explains the Thanos danger. But this time he’s on his own. There’s no exciting beginning to the tale, no consolation from long-lost friends; Banner just explores an unknown building before walking through the desolate streets of Greenwich Village with no one in sight. It’s unsettling, and it creates the tone for the loneliness one would feel if faced with a land of the dead, much like a post-apocalyptic zombie film. (I’m not a fan, but I recognize the titles.)

*SPOILERS*

When Banner eventually sees his pals, the realization that they’re zombies comes slowly – as slowly as a 22-minute TV show can – with their movements seeming slightly odd until they start ripping Maw and Obsidian to pieces with fangs and claws. From there, “What If… Zombies?!?” introduces the other expected scenes and characters: the source of the zombie outbreak, the motley crew of yet-to-be-infected survivors, the desperate escapes just to stay alive, the potential hope, the corrupted survivor who can’t bring himself to kill a reanimated loved one, and probably some I missed. In essence, you’re watching a zombie movie with Marvel characters, and it’s entertaining, even if zombies aren’t your thing.

Much of this is due to the fact that “What If… Zombies?!!” is primarily concerned with the characters. Spider-Man, the Wasp, Bucky, Happy Hogan, Sharon Carter, Okoye, and Kurt (one of Scott Lang’s thief friends; you’ll recognize him when you hear him) are among the survivors; later, we learn that Ant-Man, Vision, and Black Panther are still alive. Kurt and Happy are mostly there for laughs, Sharon doesn’t do much, and Okoye and Black Panther are only there to serve as a link to Wakanda, but the rest of the characters grapple with what losing everyone they care about means for them and their character development at that point in their stories. For example, Banner is surrounded by an army of zombies (really, I’m not above them) who are ready to murder or turn him; this would be an ideal moment for the Hulk to appear and crush some pathetic zombies. However, Hulk refuses to let go in the actual timeline, so Banner is forced to flee or rely on individuals who should be far weaker than himself to defend him. Bucky, who was on his path to finding his humanity, now has to revert to his old ways as a merciless assassin, even when confronted by his former pals. The zombie sickness is cured, but Ant-Man is reduced to a disembodied head, the loss of his body representing the loss of everyone he’s ever loved.

Spider-Man, Wasp, and Vision, on the other hand, are the major names. Playing with the idea once again, the what-if scenario in “What If… Zombies?!?” involves Ant-Man and the Wasp rather than events from Infinity War. Janet Van Dyne took up an inter-dimensional zombie virus when imprisoned in the Quantum Zone and carried it to Earth after her rescue, spreading the illness via Hank Pym and Scott Lang. Hope is now trapped in a world that is dying as a result of her refusal to let go of her mother, attempting to rescue the few people she hasn’t murdered. Vision is in a similar situation, having discovered a potential treatment for the infection but unable to act on it because he refuses to leave a zombified Wanda. So obsessed with sorrow and loss is the allegedly cool, calculating machine, that he even feeds her some brains. They are, however, saved by their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Peter, like Optimism and Vision, has lost everyone, yet he refuses to give up hope that they can put things right. Hope’s faith is restored via Peter, even as she is confronted with becoming a part of the horror she has created, making apologies as best she can with what she has left. And Vision, tired of sacrificing others for his selfish dreams, decides to kill himself in order to deliver the Mind Gem, the secret to humanity’s cure, to the others. It’s unclear if there’s any chance, or whether even a win would leave Earth helpless against Thanos, but it’s an interesting issue to ponder.

While the majority of the episode is enjoyable, there are a few flaws. Now that I’ve piqued your interest, I’ll tell you that the animation is still terrible. The motions become less apparent as the action builds, but “What If… Zombies?!?” features among of the worst-rendered characters I’ve seen on the program thus far. A number of them don’t look anything like the actors that play the characters, which is surprising given how many of them repeat their roles. Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as Banner, although the actor’s visage is so unremarkable that it might be anybody. Happy Hogan has no resemblance to Jon Favreau, and Scott Lang may bear even less resemblance to Paul Rudd. Vision and Kurt, on the other hand, resemble Paul Bettany and David Dastmalchian. It’s difficult to comprehend how and why this program is animated the way it is. There’s also some misdirected comedy; Scott’s quips never land, and he’s always kidding, so his scenes become clock-watchers. Some of Peter’s, on the other hand, I liked, and Bucky had one that some may consider ill-timed, but it made me chuckle. While I enjoyed watching Banner transform into the Hulk and start wreaking havoc on the zombie hordes, I would have wanted to see more of his battle with Zombie Scarlet Witch. And, although it may be a nitpick, I was irritated that Spider-Man generally kept his mask off; I get that in live-action, there’s probably some contractual need to keep the actors’ faces hidden, but this is a cartoon. Regardless, What If? may celebrate another another victory.

“What If… Zombies?!?” is a lighthearted, character-driven episode that looks at how people who provide optimism to the world deal with a dismal scenario. The animation is still a stumbling block, some of the comedy isn’t quite up to par, and there are a few lost chances, but this is another solid episode in a series that’s gaining traction.

Plot – 8
Acting – 8 points
7 Progression
Design for Production – 5
9 characters

7.4

Okay

“What If… Zombies?!?” is a lighthearted, character-driven episode that looks at how people who provide optimism to the world deal with a dismal scenario. The animation is still a stumbling block, some of the comedy isn’t quite up to par, and there are a few lost chances, but this is another solid episode in a series that’s gaining traction.

If you answered yes, then you came to the right place. What If…? is a web series that explores deep questions that everyone has thought about at least once, including the world would be like if black people were white, what if there were no heat or cold, and what if there were no physical laws of the universe.. Read more about marvel zombies and let us know what you think.

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