Can we please have the producer’s nephew’s sister’s best friend stop writing for Marvel? It’s just not working out…
Marvel Studios has premiered What If…? Season 2 on the Disney+ streaming service with the first episode, “What If… Nebula Joined The Nova Corps?”
The episode is a “what if” take on the Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel movies. In this reality, instead of Yondu finding Star-Lord, he finds Nebula after Ronan defeats Thanos and Gamora (and Nebula). Nebula then joins the Nova Corps thanks to Nova Prime (Glenn Close’s character voiced by someone else). It’s learned that after defeating Thanos, Ronan sets his sights on Xandar, the home of the Nova Corps. So instead of getting defeated by Ronan, Nova Prime orders a planetary shield to be activated, but the kicker is, once activated the shield lasts for 50 years and can’t be deactivated.
Okay, a bit of a stretch (why would you create something like that without an off switch??) but so far not bad.
The episode continues and starts with the death of Yondu who has been murdered. The Nova Corps responds, they don’t care because Yondu is a scum bag, but of course, Nebula continues to investigate. She finds Yondu’s arrow which contains some sort of schematics. She takes the schematics to someone who might know what it is, it’s Howard the Duck. He owns a casino, etc., doesn’t know what the schematics are, but luckily the bartender does — it’s Korg, as in the goofy ass Taika Waititi Korg. Hey, it’s the MCU we are talking about so what are you going to do? I’ll let it slide. The casino also shows Groot and Drax.
So Korg tells Nebula the schematics is actually a source code for the shield generator which will enable it to be taken down. So there is an off switch and it doesn’t have to stay up for 50 years? Okay.
So Nebula needs to bust into some database to get the source code and needs the help of a thief. She previously arrested someone who can do it — it’s Yon-Rogg (Jude Law from the Captain Marvel movie). They break into the database, Nebula hooks up to the computer or whatever, and while looking all Brainiac-like, downloads the source code into herself and deletes it in the database so nobody else can use it. Yon-Rogg double-crosses her, plugs a USB flash driver into her head, and steals the source code data.
Still not bad…
However, it turns out, this is all part of Ronan’s plan. Five years later. Yeah, it has been five years since the shield was erected and everyone is miserable as fk due to being in quarantine (sound familiar?).
All downhill from here…
So Nebula escapes the database room which was filling up with water and explodes. She manages to survive and falls from some giant waterfall/pipe/sewer.
Out steps Nova Prime. Turns out, Nova Prime is in cahoots with Ronan who makes a deal with Nova Prime to leave her in charge. Huh? Yeah, Nova Prime who saves everyone by turning on the shield has now changed her mind five years later because, again, everyone is miserable as fk.
Even though there is an impenetrable shield up, somehow Ronan has been concocting this whole plan. Somehow Ronan has been communicating with everyone on the planet. Somehow, sometime within the past five years, Nova Prime changed her mind and somehow got into contact with Ronan. Somehow, Nova Prime needed Ronan to come up with the plan to do it. Oh, yeah, the database could only be accessed by a cybernetic organism. Luckily, there is only one on the entire planet! And that’s why they set up Yondu to find the plans and kill him, so they could use Nebula to unlock them. Whew!
From there, the Nova Corps are told to kill Nebula and they beat the crap out of her. She escapes by falling down another giant f’n waterfall, this one even gianter. The Nova Corps watch her fall and feel it’s enough to go on that she’s dead. Yeah, they’re dumb as fk.
Well, guess what? She ain’t fn dead. She goes to Howard the Duck. Howard and company rebuild her. She puts on Yondu’s fin. They all form a team and go and kill all the bad guys. The end.
Oh, wait. So Nova Prime used the source code and deactivated the shield. The shield starts to open so Ronan can start his invasion. His entire fn fleet is going to invade Xandar! Nope. It’s one fn ship. Only his ship. And it’s slow as fk. Turns out, Nebula knew all along that not only was Yon-Rogg going to double-cross her, but Nebula also knew Nova Prime was a double-crosser! So Nebula closes the shield! It closes on Ronan’s slow-ass ship, destroys it, and kills Ronan!
Yeah, this is as shitty as it sounds!
That’s not all. So after Nebula closes the shield, it starts to open, the sun shines, it’s xandau! However, Howard tells her something like thanks to you all is good etc. but he says Nebula blew up the shield! She never did! They didn’t even show that! WTF! LOL! Details matter!
Maybe they should have titled this episode, “What If…? Marvel had better writers.”
Worth noting is while the tone of the episode is done well – all Blade Runner-esque – again, the writing is just so bad it ruins everything. The animation I felt was so-so and at times reminded me of AI art. The episode should have been much better.
And for fucks sake, can Kevin Feige get some quality producers and writers at Marvel Studios? There’s been nothing but garbage since the end of Avengers: Endgame!!!
Update #2: Happy Hogan is a great episode, too.