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What If…? Season 2 Episode 4 Brings Us "Iron Man: Ragnarok" (REVIEW)

What If... S02E04 has Iron Man going to Sakaar instead of Thor mixing Jeff Goldblum's The Grandmaster with "Death Race" in mindless fun.

In season two, episode four of Marvel's What If…? "What If Tony Stark Crashed Into the Grandmaster?", there's a bit of copying and pasting where Iron Man (Mick Wingert) finds himself at Sakaar rather than falling back to earth during the events of The Avengers (2012) after guiding a missile to destroy the Chitauri mothership that was invading New York. Sakaar was the primary setting of 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. There are a few additional tweaks here. Instead of Chris Hemsworth's Thor and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk, we get Tony Stark (with Wingert stepping in for Robert Downey Jr) and Gamora (with Cynthia Kaye McWilliams in for Zoe Saldana) as the heroes of focus. The other elements of the Taika Waititi film are there, including Waititi himself returning to voice Korg, Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), and Josh Brolin (Thanos).

Marvel's What If …? Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Iron Man: Ragnarok
Jeff Goldblum and Mick Wingert in "Marvel's What If…?" Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

What If Goes 'Death Race' Instead of 'Gladiator'

Don't hold your breath when it comes to any quality Thanos and Gamora exposition or any surprise Guardians of the Galaxy cameos. Another twist in this episode is rather than the gladiatorial combat The Grandmaster makes his prisoners partake in as what happened in Ragnarok, they're in a high-stakes race, weapons and all. There's a lot of "When in Rome," and naturally, with Tony Stark, we have someone who can "MacGyver" together anything around to create an Iron Man suit. At this point, I expect Disney or Robot Chicken to have him create one out of a rubber band, twig, and a gum wrapper. Wingert and McWilliams do a great job playing from one another while Goldblum hams it up even further to chew scenery in the best way he can to the end. I mean, if anyone is making a pitch for Dick Dastardly for a live-action incarnation of Hanna Barbera's The Wacky Races, look no further.

"What If Tony Stark Crashed Into the Grandmaster?" is predictable mindless fun that allows everyone involved to cash in one more Marvel check they wouldn't normally would as the MCU goes into a dramatically different direction for Phase V as it establishes newer characters. If there's anything that's perplexing to me since the Marvel animated series has access to all the characters, why do they in 2023 still just stick with the established MCU characters if nothing of it is canon, given the series' premise? Having those like Daredevil, the Punisher, X-Men, Elektra, or even Deadpool around would really be building that sandbox and utilizing Marvel's arsenal and sandbox. New episodes of What If…? stream every day through December 30th.

Marvel's What If...?: Season 2 Episode 4: "What If...Tony Stark Crashed Into the Grandmaster?"

Marvel’s What If…? Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Iron Man: Ragnarok
Review by Tom Chang

Jeff Goldblum does his best scene chewing as the Grandmaster yet in this hypothetical outing that sees Mick Wingert's Iron Man and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams' Gamora develop quite a bit a relationship as frienemies with Tessa Thompson's Valkrie and Taika Waititi's Korg having front row seats.

Bryan Andrews

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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