What If…? Fifth episode: the zombies arrive

What If…? arrived in its fifth episode on Disney Plus and brought with it a zombie invasion. Here is our review of What If…?

ORIGINAL TITLE: What If… ?. GENDER: Superheroes. COUNTRY: United States. DIRECTOR: AC Bradley. DURATION: 9 episodes, 34 mins approx. DISTRIBUTOR: Disney +. RELEASE: 8 September 2021.

What If…? could he stop surprising and move the cards on the table? Obviously not, because with episode five the zombies arrive, or rather a zombie apocalypse that through a virus infects and transforms all humans and in this case, the Avengers. Surely the expectation for this episode was very high, because the combination of zombies and the Marvel universe had considerable potential from the point of view of script and entertainment. Unfortunately, this potential turned out to be an unsuccessful experiment and perhaps the first major mess of this animated mini series.

Beautiful zombies are coming | What If…? fifth episode

To analyze the episode it is important to start from the central point: the zombies. On this aspect, the episode certainly happened, because these zombies infect the whole of humanity, they also infect the Avengers like Iron man and Captain America and are graphically truly enjoyable, with great attention to the aesthetics of the colors and the profiling of the characters. The horror, splatter aspect of the narrative arc is certainly entertaining and winning. From a stylistic point of view, the experiment was successful and was able to entertain both the filmmakers and the viewer. What is missing here, however, is the plot.

What If ...?  Fifth episode: the zombies arrive

Zombies take us away from the concept of the series | What If…? fifth episode

What If…? episode 5 totally lacks a coherent plot as well as adherence to the basic concept of the series, or the hypothesis. Already in the fourth episode, we had perceived that we were dealing with an episode in its own right rather than a game of parallel hypotheses. And here, in the same way, we are faced with another universe. A universe in which in the early stages of Infinity War, a zombie epidemic puts the Avengers in a position to face it. Therefore, the “game” of the small change that can create a hypothetical different narrative development is missing, the “What If” is missing.

But even in this case, we have the impression that an experiment of exploration and research has been made, towards new styles of graphics, language and storytelling. The language is in fact very playful, the atmosphere is light and the whole thing is totally lacking in drama. This is very different from what we saw with Dr Strange in the fourth episode, which seemed to be aimed exclusively at an adult audience.


Marvel was attracted by zombies and above all by wanting to insert them in the Avengers universe and this gave rise to an episode that is certainly fun, enjoyable from the point of view of graphic and horror aesthetics, especially if we think that it is basically a cartoon. Beside this there is a plot void, for a screenplay that forgot to write the episode and above all to give it content.

We hope that the series can recover with the next sixth episode, also because we are approaching the conclusion and there is still plenty of time to see more complete episodes from the point of view of all the creative departments.

These zombies are beautiful, but they don’t conquer

Points in favor

  • the zombies
  • the graphic aspect
  • light-hearted language

Points against

  • absence of texture
  • narrative confusion
  • pace too fast

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