After San Diego Comic-Con, fans of Marvel movies have several newly-announced titles to look forward to, from Thor: Love and Thunder to Black Widow. Fans can also be happy with what's coming on the TV side of things as well, with a slew of Marvel shows set to premiere in the future on Disney+. One of the more intriguing shows from the company to keep an eye on is Marvel's What If? series, which will be available to stream in 2021.
Consisting only of stories imagining new scenarios for popular Marvel characters, the official logo for the show was also revealed. As a zombified version of Captain America can be seen in the background, fans are now speculating that a small screen adaptation of the Marvel Zombies comic book could be in the works.
Illustrated by Sean Phillips with covers by Arthur Suydam, Marvel Zombies is a 5-part comic book mini-series written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. Set in an alternate universe, the comics introduce a zombie virus which ravages the superhero population, turning most of them into the undead. Unfortunately, while the superheroes retain their intellect and superpowers, they're now afflicted with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Fan favorites like Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, and many more all wind up infected, leaving it up to the supervillain Galactus to try and save what's left of the planet.
The What If...? series first began as a line of comic books from Marvel in 1977. Behind the idea was simply to present fans alternate versions of events for what happens with their favorite superheroes in the canon stories. They began innocently enough with stories imagining things like, "What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?", depicting an alternate version of the events from Spider-Man #1. Fans had taken to the interesting comics, leading to Marvel's continuation of them over the years ever since. Just last year, the company released a new set of What If...? comics, depicting new scenarios such as how it would be if Flash Thompson were really Spider-Man instead of Peter Parker.
However, it's worth pointing out many of these What If...? comics were much darker than what's been mentioned above. One particular issue presented a scenario of the Punisher tasked with killing Spider-Man, falsely believing the web-slinger to be a villain. By outfitting a Dr. Octopus dummy with an explosive device, Spidey swoops in to attack his nemesis, only to be killed by the ensuing explosion. The Punisher is then invited to a gathering of supervillains who praise him for finally doing what they all couldn't by killing Spider-Man, and the guilt begins to set in when Frank Castle realizes he's been duped. He extracts his revenge by butchering every last supervillain in the room, leaving behind a huge pile of costumed bodies. It's such a dark and depressing tale about what could happen to Spider-Man, but this and so many other What If...? stories have made for highly compelling reads.
While none of us want to see our favorite Marvel superheroes die - Lord knows Avengers: Endgame was stressful enough - it helps to know these will merely be one-off stories with no canon connection to the MCU. Marvel Zombies would fit right in with these imaginative tales, and it would be very interesting to see a televised adaptation of the comic book. We'll all know for sure which stories will be adapted when Marvel's What If...? series arrives on Disney+ in the summer of 2021. You can take a look at the zombie Captain America in the series logo below, courtesy of Marvel Stuff on Twitter.