Today’s What If…? finale was its biggest episode yet, with the animated series pulling its own Avengers-style team-up as the Watcher assembled the Guardians of the Multiverse – made up of characters from previous episodes – to battle Infinity Ultron, who threatened all reality. As you’d expect, with season 2 already on the way, it left things somewhat open-ended. With a couple of key villains set up for a future return to the MCU later down the line.
The Guardians’ climactic battle against Ultron takes place on his original Earth, as introduced in episode 8, with Natasha retrieving Hawkeye’s arrow that has Dr. Zola’s A.I. consciousness downloaded into it. The gang infects Ultron with Zola, and the HYDRA scientist deletes the evil robot from his body and takes over his form. But the danger’s not over yet, as Killmonger decides he wants the Infinity Stones, too.
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Killmonger and Zola then begin to fight for control of the powerful gems, before Doctor Strange Supreme realizes it was the Watcher’s plan all along to take both the Stones and these dangerous players out of the game, so he manages to freeze them inside a pocket dimension. Strange swears that he will watch over the dimension from now on to make sure the pair don’t escape.
Having both Zola and Killmonger merely frozen and not killed, however, suggests the door is open for either or both of them to return somewhere in the future of the franchise. This could come next season on What If…? or else occur in a live-action property. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, maybe? Or could this Killmonger return in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?
The last few episodes of What If…? already broke out of its anthology format and affected the whole multiverse, so it’ll be interesting to see how important the show proves to be to the MCU going forward.