Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What If...?: Episode 2

2. What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord
Wakanda, 1988. In an alternate universe, Yondu Udonta relegates his mission of retrieving Ego’s son to his subordinates. They end up kidnapping the wrong boy. T’challa grows up as Star-Lord, a Ravager exploring the galaxy with a Robin Hood sort of raison d’être. His team includes Korath the Pursuer and a reformed Thanos who is still obsessed with his benevolent and efficient purpose. Star-Lord steals an orb from Morag and plans to sell it to the Collector. Nebula, who has a debt to settle, hatches a plan to get even through triple cross. She offers T’Challa to the Collector as payment, which just serves as a distraction so the rest of the group could steal the Embers of Genesis, a part of the Collector’s collection which can terraform entire worlds. The plan works and they manage to fight off the Black Order, who serve as the Collector’s bodyguards. In the end, T’challa pays Wakanda a visit and has a reunion with his family. Somewhere in the US, a clueless and grown-up Peter Quill working at DQ is ambushed by his Celestial father.

I’m not really that familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, I haven’t seen any of their two films. I just know that they exist and have way more punchlines than their other MCU counterparts. The backstory presented here, despite being a bit condensed, serves as a good enough introduction to Star-Lord. I must say that the crossover is kind of wacky given how the galactic stomping grounds of the Ravagers and Black Panther’s secluded Wakanda couldn’t be any more different from one another. In any case, the novelty must lie on the crossover of different characters. Seeing Thanos in Wakanda having a friendly chat with the Dora Milaje about his benevolent purpose instead of ripping off the mind stone from Vision’s forehead is just so otherworldly for me. And I guess that’s what makes this animated series so intriguing. It’s an elaborate Disney-sanctioned fan fiction extravaganza presenting the weirdest combinations you could think of and bringing them to life. For any MCU fanboy with a hyperactive imagination, this is pure bliss.

“What you call destiny is just an equation, a product of variables. Right place, right time, or in some instances, the wrong place at the wrong time.” –Uatu

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