It’s arguable that both Tony Stark and Killmonger are among some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most memorable characters. Between Robert Downey Jr.’s dynamic debut as the Armoured Avenger in 2008, to Michael B. Jordan’s charismatic take on a largely unknown character a decade later.
Both have left obviously indelible impressions on the MCU, so it’s no real surprise (and quite the obvious fan pleaser) to have the two of them unite in the ongoing What If…? series. ‘Cept things don’t go exactly the way you’d think… or maybe they go exactly the way you’d think. After all, what else would you expect if the world’s greatest weapons manufacturer was introduced to one of the greatest human weapons with no reason to believe that his actions are causing more harm than good.
Naturally, Killmonger’s true colours, motivated by intentions and events that stay true in this reality, eventually surface, resulting in an early death of heroism (at least in a way the current MCU knows it).
While this may be the most fan service-y of all the What If…? episodes thus far, it doesn’t rise as well in terms of the potential exploration of the alternate universe. Bad guy goes badder guy is something to be expected. Thankfully, if the ending is anything to go by, there may be a more interesting eventuality for this reality.
Although the episode’s events in themselves do feel a little lacklustre, if the season finale does deliver a crossover between the various realities witnessed, this reality may be one of the more interesting contributions.
Regardless, the incidental meeting between Tony Stark and Erik Killmonger is certainly a great moment for fans of both characters, and one that many would certainly have wished to have seen in live action. And if nothing else, it was great seeing Ulysses Klaue again!