If the multiverse wackiness of Loki wasn’t enough, Marvel is doubling (or tripling?) down on the idea of alternate takes on its iconic characters with a new animated series called What If? Based on the long-running anthology comic books also called “What If” these stories are focused on reimagining established Marvel heroes in totally different contexts. This leads to concepts like: What if Peggy Carter got Captain America’s powers? Or, what if Killmonger saved Tony Stark’s life? Or what if Black Panther became a Guardian of the Galaxy?
Among all these various twists and turns, at least one animated short will also feature the return of a Marvel character that almost no one has been clamoring to see again. That’s right, it’s your 7th favorite talking duck, Howard the Duck. For clarity, we’re assuming the ranking goes: Uncle Scrooge, Daffy Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Donald then Howard the Duck, right? (In the immortal words of Chloë Sevigny, we love Uncle Scrooge.)
Anyway, anthropomorphized duck-ranking asides, in one brief scene in the new Disney+ What If? trailer, we clearly see Howard the Duck, who yes, as you might have forgotten is not just a pervy talking duck who hung out with Lea Thompson in 1986. In fact, Howard the Duck is a bonafide Marvel character who first appeared in the comics in 1973. In the MCU films, Howard appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 , and, briefly, in a large battle scene in Endgame, where he was rocking a machine gun. In the MCU, he’s voiced by Seth Green, at least so far. The new trailer clearly doesn’t feature all the regular Marvel actors doing the voices of the characters, so we’ll just have to see what happens with poor Howard.
Will What IF? redeem Howard the Duck? Will the What If? installment simply be: What if Howard the Duck The Movie Was Never Made?
All joking aside, What If? looks pretty cool, but because of the fact that it’s inherently about things that didn’t happen in the other movies, it seems like the appeal here is pretty niche. If you’re a Marvel fanatic or your kid is, this is going to be great. If you’re a passing fan, it’s possible the question you’re asking is “What If…I didn’t watch this?” And the answer to that question would likely be, you’re fine.
What If? hits Disney+ on August 11, 2021.