Who voiced Iron Man in What If?
Who Voices Tony Stark in Marvel's What If…? Voice actor Mick Wingert actually plays Tony Stark in the new Disney+ animated series. Wingert notably voices the character Po outside of the film version of Kung Fu Panda (where the role was originally played by Jack Black). And he's no stranger to Marvel. Yahoo LifestyleHere's Why Robert Downey Jr. Isn't Voicing Tony Stark in 'What If...?'
How many episodes of what if will there be?
premiered on August 11, 2021, and will consist of nine episodes, concluding on October 6. It is part of Phase Four of the MCU. wikipedia.orgWhat If...? (TV series)
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16 September, 2021 - 07:50am
16 September, 2021 - 07:50am
15 September, 2021 - 05:01pm
'Black Panther' introduces a villain with a very specific drive and goal. 'What If...?' changes that.
It's a thrill that through What If...?, the new quasi-anthology Marvel Cinematic Universe animated series, we get to catch back up with (alternate versions of) some of our favorite characters from the last 13 years of superhero movie escapades. This is realized in a major way in Episode 6 of the series, titled "What If...Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark," when Michael B. Jordan gets to return to voice his character in an alternate universe where his character goes down an entirely different path. The only problem? As fun as this episode is, it kind of takes away what made Jordan's character so great in the first place, instead having him be a part of what are seemingly twists for the sake of twists. It's a fun, compelling episode of television, and not bad by any means—but by the end, never stops feeling just a bit off. Maybe that's the point.
Part of what makes Killmonger—real name Erik Stevens, or N'Jadaka—such a compelling villain in Black Panther is the fact that his point of view, his anger, and his frustration are all warranted. Just like the Vulture (Michael Keaton) in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he's a villain who makes a good point; T'Chaka left him behind, without a father, in his youth. There are things that Wakanda could be doing differently, for the better, and he's going to use the resources that the hand he's been dealt have granted him—combat skills, strength, and a mind with a penchant for good strategizing—to put his own plan in place.
Killmonger isn't just power hungry in Black Panther. Yes, he wants to become the Black Panther, just as he eventually does in both the film and the latest What If...? episode, but the movie doesn't show him going through all these different layers of deception and villainy to get there. He's certainly not a good person in the movie; he murders throughout, but clearly he sees it as collateral damage to eventually make his way back to Wakanda, bringing the dead Klaue as a sacrifice to prove his worthiness.
The main heroes have also largely remained on their tracks. T'Challa as Star-Lord in Episode 2 ("What If...T'Challa Became a Star-Lord") basically shows that the man we know lovingly as Black Panther would be just as pure of heart even outside of Wakanda. The same episode also showed that Thanos, a man set in his ways, could be equally set in his ways even if he gets convinced that his ideas of genocide were wrong.
It does seem like What If...? is building toward something. And we're never going to complain about getting Michael B. Jordan back into the MCU (and maybe they'll find a way to bring him back for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). Perhaps this all stems from the fact that it always seemed, in every viewing of Black Panther, like Killmonger didn't need to be a villain. He isn't a character who's inherently evil, but rather one molded that way by his circumstances. But What If... seems to imply otherwise; this is a villain in any world. And something about that just feels off.
15 September, 2021 - 04:20pm
Black Panther’s Killmonger did a number of unconscionable, morally corrupt things in his pursuit of power and exacting revenge upon the world for systemically brutalizing Africa and its diaspora over the course of human history. But by the end of Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film, the charismatic villain had made more than enough points to make you understand where he was coming from and sympathize with his plight. The question is, would the latest What If episode be able to do the same with its limited runtime?
But this particular chapter stays relatively grounded, which speaks to how the studio still sees Iron Man as an important part of its cinematic brand. Without an Iron Man to dazzle the world and put Stark on SHIELD’s radar in a different way, it seems as if the Avengers never quite come together, and Stark—who doesn’t need an arc reactor embedded in his chest to survive—sticks to developing new offensive technology. This time, though, he has Killmonger, a respected Navy SEAL known for his lethality in battle, by his side and filling a role traditionally played by James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), who also appears throughout the episode. As much as Tony loves his new pal Erik, others in his orbit like Happy, Pepper Potts (Beth Hoyt), and reporter Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb) have understandable reservations about the newcomer and his motives. Tony’s willingness to immediately invite Killmonger into his inner circle is quite odd, and it makes sense that those close to Tony might suspect whether someone like him might be plotting to take advantage of the lonely, immature playboy.
During a press conference about how Stark made it out of Afghanistan, Killmonger admits to a shocked crowd that he did receive intelligence while undercover within Afghanistan about a plan to assassinate Stark—plans bankrolled by Stark Industries’ own chief operating office Obadiah Stane (Kiff VandenHeuvel). Killmonger exposing Stane’s treachery to the world is enough to convince most everyone that he can be trusted, and more than enough to solidify Stark’s decision to make him his new COO. But Pepper’s never fully able to let go of her gut feeling that something’s amiss about this man’s presence, and it serves her well as the episode unfolds. It also serves to create a kind of distance between her and Tony that she’s never able to close.
In response to T’Challa’s murder, Wakanda prepares to go to war with the military, and chaotic and misguided as it all seems to Pepper, it’s precisely what Killmonger wants. Between the Patriot Act, and giving the American Government a way to seize Stark Industries’ assets, it takes almost nothing for production on more Liberators drones to be greenlit, and Killmonger plans to use the conflict to achieve his true goal. On the night that the American drones are meant to invade Wakanda, he arrives just outside the country’s forcefield with Klaue’s help before killing the South African for saying some boring, racist nonsense about Black people being savages. In a graceful gesture of diplomacy, Killmonger brings Klaue’s body to a group of Dora Milaje once he’s within the border, and it’s enough for him to be granted a chance to present himself to the Wakandan royal family.
Unless the Wakandans let the drones into the country and then close the force field behind them, it’s likely that the robots would overwhelm the human warriors on the ground, and the Wakandans make the difficult decision to put faith in Killmonger’s intel. The information proves to be accurate, at least in part, as the American drones shut down just after the force field is thrown back up. But no one seems to notice the handheld remote Killmonger uses to bring the drones back online, convincing them all that it’s Tony Stark’s doing from beyond the grave.
What If airs Wednesdays on Disney+.
15 September, 2021 - 09:04am
As we cross the halfway point of What If’s first season, the show’s strengths and weaknesses are coming into clearer focus. Inventive action choreographed in ways that would be tough for live-action to pull off? Easy. Reliably strong voice acting? Absolutely not. Worthwhile reinterpretations of established canon? Well, as is the nature of an anthology show, that we take on a week-by-week basis. Episode 6 sees Michael B. Jordan return to his excellent Killmonger role, giving him the chance to further his cause in a totally new way. While the episode leaves intact Killmonger’s motivations and so doesn’t deepen our understanding of him, it does broaden what we know about him in ways that make him an even more impressive foe, even in the context of 2018’s Black Panther.
The chance to spend more time with fan-favorite MCU characters who may not have appeared in 6 or 7 movies is one of What If’s biggest draws. Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger is nothing if not a fan favorite. Jordan brings all the confidence and intellect of his live-action portrayal of the character to his animated counterpart, slyly manipulating Stark Industries and the US Government into fabricating an army of combat drones of his own design (Gundam-inspired, in a nice nod to Jordan’s love of anime.) Sure, there’s not a lot of subtlety in the American-made drones’ “Liberator” moniker, but at least their function in the story dovetails with Killmonger’s long-held belief that the oppressed people of the world should be armed against their oppressors with weaponry advanced enough to even the playing field. Killmonger stands as a top-tier MCU villain and tragic figure in his own right because we understand that he’s a product of the system he’s fighting against - making Rhodey’s (Don Cheadle) suggestion that he work within that system feel appropriately tone deaf - so despite his twisted morality, it’s not hard to sympathize with him. It was the right call not to alter Killmonger’s motives or goals, which are sacrosanct to what makes him work, but learning more about his MIT doctoral thesis (Doctor Killmonger??) and his ability in Machiavellian maneuvering retroactively makes live-action Killmonger - and T’Challa’s victory over him - all the more impressive. It calls to mind a similar strength that Star Wars’ Rogue One had, which fleshes out the destruction of the Death Star in a way that actually makes A New Hope even more thrilling upon subsequent viewings.
Killmonger’s carefully orchestrated frame job of Wakanda for the death of Tony Stark serves as reminder that What If is at its best when expanding our understanding of established characters by putting them in wholly new situations, as the show did with T’Challa’s Star-Lord back in Episode 2. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns this week as the serious, leery Black Panther we’re familiar with from the MCU movies. Boseman’s third What If performance is, appropriately, significantly more subdued as he cautions Killmonger about his methods from the Ancestral Plane.
Episode 6’s other returning MCU vets rise above the relatively low bar for voice acting the series has set up to this point. Andy Serkis’ Klaue is just as off-the-wall as ever and Danai Gurira’s continually great work as Okoye makes the wait for the Disney+ Wakanda-set series even more unbearable. Her dig on the Liberators (“they’re built by Americans, we’ll be home by lunch”) makes her 2-for-2 dunking on the U.S. after last week’s hilarious comparison of American reality shows to horror movies.
Things start to fall apart by the end, though, as Killmonger pulls a Syndrome and defeats his own drones to look like a hero to the Wakandan people. The climactic battle against the Liberators looks good, but lacks any real stakes, as there’s no real effort made to mask the fact that Killmonger is staging this invasion as a means to further his conquering of Wakanda (and claiming of the Black Panther mantle.) Worse, it’s hard to believe that T’Chaka (John Kani) wouldn’t see this double-cross coming from his nephew after killing his brother N’Jobu for the exact same reason. Wakanda’s king may have held on to the nation’s isolationist tendencies for too long, but a fool he was not. Of course, there’s hope for Wakanda as Shuri (Ozioma Akagha) arrives at Stark Industries to enlist Pepper Potts’ (Beth Hoyt) help, but the meeting’s abrupt nature hardly feels like a resolution. Other episodes this season have suffered the same fate, and it’s yet another area of improvement for What If to focus on next year.
Have you watched Marvel's What If...??