*SPOILERS ALERT* After leaving us stunned with a stellar storyline, envisioning the world including Avengers turning into zombies, in What If…? Ep 5, the next intriguing question asked and answered in What If…? Ep 6 is; What If… Killmonger rescued Tony Stark? In this particular timeline, the one dramatic change results in Iron Man ceasing to exist because Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) never gets kidnapped, trapped inside a cave and having his existential crisis, which eventually prompts him to make a suit of armour.
While Lieutenant (Navy SEAL) Erik Stevens aka Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) portrays himself as an ally to Tony Stark, he proves that he’s a villain to be reckoned with in any and every timeline. Moreover, he ultimately kills Tony, Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and his cousin, T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). After reuniting with his family in Wakanda and spearheading a battle between them and the US, Killmonger is bestowed with the mantle of Black Panther. However, Pepper Potts (Beth Hoyt) and Shuri (Ozioma Akagha), who are suspicious of Killmonger from the very beginning, find out the truth and plan to take him down by themselves.
Here are the five takeaways from What If…? Ep 6:
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Tony Stark’s instant liking for Killmonger
Not only does Killmonger rescue Tony in Afghanistan, but he also exposes Obadiah Stane’s (Kiff Vandenheuvel) involvement in the Ten Rings’ ambush. Tony instantly takes a liking for Killmonger and appoints him from Chief Security Officer (which was supposed to be Happy’s (Jon Favreau) promotion) as the COO of Stark Industries. Furthermore, as a gift for rescuing him, Tony uses Jarvis (Paul Bettany) to help build Killmonger’s dream humanoid drone, Liberator, and they use the latter’s vibranium to stick the landing. However…
Killmonger kills T’Challa and Rhodey
… since more vibranium is required, a meeting is set up between James Rhodes and Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) to purchase a lot. However, it’s then revealed that Killmonger and Ulysses were working together and while Black Panther tries to rain on their plans, Killmonger kills him as well as Tony’s best friend. While Killmonger tactfully frames Rhodes for T’Challa’s death, thanks to Jarvis, Tony comes to know the real truth and confronts him. Alas…
Tony Stark dies… again…
… Killmonger reluctantly kills Tony. MCU fans couldn’t help but comment on how many times Tony has been killed in What If…? alone. Reimagining his death in different timelines will always sting. Maybe not as much as his heroic Avengers: Endgame sacrifice but nevertheless, it’s always bittersweet. P.S. Even the animated version of the iconic “I am Iron Man” sequence is sure to leave MCU fans weeping. Even Black Panther’s death has an emotional quotient, due to the heartbreaking passing of Chadwick Boseman.
Killmonger orchestrates Wakanda vs. US battle and becomes Black Panther
After the many murders committed, Killmonger conspires with the US Army (to have the Liberators’ army attack Wakanda) as well as Wakanda. Given how Killmonger wrongfully framed Rhodes for T’Challa’s murder, an unsuspecting Wakanda is hell-bent on revenge and hence, using reverse psychology, Killmonger reunites with his estranged family and convinces them to let the Liberators inside their force shields, which protects their nation, so that “the electromagnetic interference will block their satellite uplink.”
Orchestrating the final battle all by himself, Killmonger first shuts down the drones before starting them up again and fights alongside Wakanda, gaining the trust of T’Chala (John Kani), Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and Okoye’s (Danai Gurira) in the process. Unsurprisingly, Wakanda wins the battle and Killmonger is bestowed with the mantle of Black Panther. Ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb to become Black Panther, Killmonger encounters T’Challa, trying to be a voice of reason, but it’s a little too late. However…
Pepper Potts and Shuri know of Killmonger’s misdeeds and plan to take him down
… in a cliffhanger ending, Shuri is the only person in Wakanda, who is wary of Killmonger’s actual agenda, as is Pepper. The two realise that they have a common enemy and decide to team up and take down Killmonger. “Mr. Stark was a genius, but he’s not the only genius,” Shuri quips.
“Heroes are never really gone. They live forever. As do the ones they inspire to carry on the fight,” The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) narrates, implying how Pepper and Shuri will avenge Tony and T’Challa’s untimely deaths at the hands of Killmonger.
What If…? Ep 6 proves just how deadly of a villain Killmonger can be when given tremendous power! It will be interesting to see if Michael B. Jordan will return as the beloved MCU villain in Black Panther 2.
Which was your favourite moment from What If…? Ep 6? Share your personal picks with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.
ALSO READ: What If…? Ep 5 Takeaways: A Zombie Apocalypse with EPIC Avengers twist; Black Panther leaves fans emotional
Meanwhile, What If…? Ep 7 will drop on September 22.