When Marvel Studios’ What If…? first dropped on Disney+, it was something of a curiosity: an animated anthology series where each episode posits an alternate scenario to the timeline of events fans have experienced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It came out of the gate strong with a reimagined version of Captain America in which Peggy Carter became a supersoldier instead of Steve Rogers, and each subsequent episode has functioned similarly to a comic book one-shot, albeit with some fourth-wall-breaking serialisation courtesy of The Watcher.
Season 2 of What If…? is proving just as popular with Marvel fans, offering up stories which mash up MCU mythology like “What if Nebula joined the Nova Corps?” and “What if Hela discovered the Ten Rings?” along with a timeline-jumbling “What if the Avengers assembled in 1602?” which will appeal to fans of alternate history comics like Gotham by Gaslight and particularly X-Men 1602.
Fan-favorite characters like Captain Carter also return, as does The Watcher—but this season also introduces a brand new superhero in the form of Kahhori, a Native American woman who is unique to the MCU and has never before been seen in the comics. As the What If…? Season 2 finale continues to push the limits of what an animated franchise spinoff can do, viewers are bound to wonder what might be next for the show.
Will What If…? return for a third season?
Great news for fans, Marvel Studios have already confirmed that Season 3 of What If…? is actively in development, and have even dropped a sneak peek at one of the upcoming episodes featuring Red Guardian and the Winter Soldier which looks like it will be remixing the history of the Black Widow and Captain America movie canon.
What will Season 3 be about?
As with previous seasons, future episodes will be a mix of standalone stories with some overarching plot involving The Watcher, who functions as a stand-in for the viewer.
“The fact that we have What If…? going into a third season, it means that we can go a little bit deeper with these characters, especially the Watcher,” said Marvel Studios’ Brad Winderbaum. “It’s a Multiverse story, they’re standalone stories, but there is a serialized aspect to it because there’s this narrator who loves the subjects of these stories, he’s the ultimate fanboy. He’s watching, like we all watch. And he loves these characters like we do. So we can dig in a little deeper into what makes him tick in the second season, and then into the third season, we kind of get to know his humanity a lot more.”
When will Season 3 be released?
The only news we have so far is that the third season will be “streaming soon,” but given that Marvel started promoting Season 3 ahead of the Season 2 finale, we might not have to wait long. The production timeline on animated projects isn’t a short one, but with Marvel’s intention to make What If…? an “annual release”, a streaming date of 2024 is likely. Then again, Season 2 came out more than two years after Season 1, so maybe only The Watcher knows for sure.
Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.