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‘What If…?’ put superheroics on pause to explore a more militaristic MCU


From the opening scene of Iron Man back in 2008, the military-industrial complex has been stitched into the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America, the Hulk, War Machine and Captain Marvel are all involved in it to some extent. But the portrayal has always tilted toward the positive due to Hollywood’s long-standing partnership with the US military. This week’s What If…? uses the freedom offered by animation to go a little dark on the subject and show us how easily the business of war could have overrun the narrative.

The point of divergence this time around is that Erik Killmonger is apparently assigned to an undercover mission with the Ten Rings and, in the process, ends up saving Tony Stark’s life. So Tony is never injured and forced to build the Iron Man suit, instead continuing his war profiteering ways — though now with a new ...


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