What if…? Episode 6 "What If ... Killmonger Saved Tony Stark?"
Let's face it, the vast majority of Marvel Studios movies have a problem with the villain as they are completely forgettable and / or eat the dust by the end of the story. For every exception like Loki, there is always Whiplash or Yellowjacket. And the less we talk about the Dark Elf Malekith, the better. However, towards the start of Phase 3, a shift occurred when the villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually became developed and compelling as characters. Probably the best is embodied by N'Jadaka / Erik "Killmonger" Stevens played by Michael B. Jordan in the seminal of film Black Panther. The fact that Killmonger's popularity spawned the #KillmongerWasRight hashtag on Twitter is a testament to Jordan's portrayal.
As a true tragic hero, Killmonger opted for death rather than jail, meaning his time in the MCU had come to an end. But thanks to the animated series What if…? fans have another chance to see Killmonger in action.
The episode essentially begins at the beginning of the MCU when Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) is ambushed while in Afghanistan to demonstrate the new Stark Industries Jericho missiles to the military. But instead of being captured by the Ten Rings organization (presumably under Wenwu's orders) his life is saved by Private Erik Stevens, codenamed Killmonger.
Back home, Tony holds a press conference (without the cheeseburger) where he announces he's hiring Stevens as his company's new Chief Security Officer, much to the chagrin of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). An investigation by journalist Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb) leads Erik to reveal that Stark's kidnapping attempts were funded by Stark Industries COO Obadiah Stane (Kiff VandenHeuvel).
After being promoted to COO (not bad for his first day on the job), Erik reveals to Tony his doctoral thesis on an automatic combat drone to replace human soldiers, but has not yet managed to develop an interface. By returning the favor, Tony helps make Erik's Gundam-inspired “Project Liberator” a reality. Meanwhile, Pepper Potts (Beth Hoyt) doesn't trust Tony's new best friend enough and starts looking into his past with the help of military liaison James Rhodes (Don cheadle).
The observer (Jeffrey Wright) closes the episode with a touching remark that, intentional or not, serves as a touching tribute to Chadwick Boseman.
“The heroes never really left. They live forever as those who inspire to carry on the struggle ”.
- The background of Killmonger in Black Panther revealed that he attended and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the United States Navy SEALs. He was eventually recruited into a phantom unit of the CIA associated Joint Special Operations Command.
- An updated version of the Iron Man is featured in this episode.
- Killmonger shares a love of anime just like the actor who plays him Michael B. Jordan, as Jordan revealed in THR.
- After seeing Ramonda in action in this episode, I really hope Angela Bassett gets some action scenes as Ramonda in the next. Black Panther Continuation.