What If social media reactions are in: "Each episode is better than the last"

What If...?
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The next Marvel Disney Plus series, What If…?, is arriving imminently – and first reactions to the animated series are in.

What If…? explores alternate takes on familiar MCU stories, featuring plot lines like Peggy Carter taking the Super Soldier Serum rather than Steve Rogers, and T'Challa becoming Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill.

Plenty of MCU stars return to reprise their roles, too, including the late Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Sebastian Stan as Bucky, Josh Brolin as Thanos, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and many, many more. Jeffrey Wright also narrates the series as The Watcher, a being who, as you might expect, watches the goings on of the multiverse.

Reactions to the first three episode of the series have hit the internet, and we've rounded up a selection of them to give you an idea of what to expect from the next Marvel Phase 4 installment.

"Fresh, inventive storytelling, particularly for some characters who don’t always get the spotlight," writes GamesRadar+'s our own Bradley Russell. "Lots of shocks/surprises & lead performances that rank up there with the MCU’s very best."

"I've watched the first three episodes of Marvel's #WhatIf and I'm hooked. Each episode is better than the last w/ the third being my favorite. Love how they take a story we know by heart & twist it in all kinds of ways. It's like the MCU's Twilight Zone - weird, wild, good fun" critic Erik Davis (opens in new tab) wrote, while ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis (opens in new tab) said: "First three episodes of #WhatIf are an interesting start. First episode didn't grab me. Second is super entertaining & filled with heart. Third is dark, surprising, and hands down my favorite! Got better as it went by a lot, each episode! Ambitious new style. Loads of MCU nods!"

Critic Tessa Smith (opens in new tab) wrote: "Marvel throws us head first into the MULTIVERSE with What If...? & it's INCREDIBLE! There's STUNNING animation & SHOCKING twists! One choice can change EVERYTHING & the possibilities are ENDLESS! If the first 3 episodes are any indication, this show is gonna be WILD!"

ComicBookMovie.com's Josh Wilding (opens in new tab) said: "I've seen the first three episodes of #WhatIf and cannot say enough good things about this show. @MarvelStudios definitely hasn't disappointed with its first foray into animation (it looks amazing), and the premise works brilliantly...you WILL love #CaptainCarter."

/Film's Ethan Anderton (opens in new tab) was more critical: "Marvel's #WhatIf offers compelling twists on the #MCU along with stylish animation and outstanding action. However, the abridged storytelling creates a disjointed feeling, and lacks the Marvel magic and heart of the movies. Plus, many MCU stars are not great voice actors."

Deseret News' Herb Scribner (opens in new tab) wrote: "Early review for Marvel's #WhatIf – It's fun! #WhatIf does a great job of giving us alternate reality stories while offering nods and winks to the original tales. The first three episodes work were really fun. Each had a different genre, too." He also speculated (opens in new tab) that there could be some links to Doctor Strange 2: "The episodes are not connected to each other (as far as I know) so you could have fun skipping around. You could binge or watch week to week. For Marvel fans, it's a good watch. I don't know if it has any stakes though. Might be table setting for Doctor Strange sequel. #WhatIf"

Rotten Tomatoes' Tania Lamb (opens in new tab) gave a mostly positive reaction: "Expect the unexpected has never been more true in Marvel's #WhatIf! It's a crazy, trippy ride and while it's not my favorite series, it's good to hear some familiar voices of characters I love! I respect the twists and turns in the multiverse, even if I don't like some of them."

DiscussingFilms' Jacob Fisher (opens in new tab) wrote: "Got to watch the first 3 episodes of #WhatIf and it is incredible! Each story for each episode is fantastic and bolstered by a strong voice cast and splendid animation. I couldn't be more happy with how this series has turned out, one of the best animated TV shows this year."

Murphy's Multiverse's Charles Villanueva (opens in new tab) was more lukewarm: "#WhatIf is... fine? Has tons of fun ideas on what these familiar stories could be. Has crazy easter eggs that will send fans into a frenzy. Animation feels stiff at times but really comes to life when the action ramps up. What really makes me scratch my head is the voice work.." 

What If…? arrives to Disney Plus this August 11. Until then, check out how to watch Marvel movies in order to get up to speed on the MCU.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.