Marvel’s Upcoming Disney+ Show Could Explore a Universe Without ‘Smart Hulk’

The multiverse theories of the MCU have been talked about a lot, and everyone knows they’re out there thanks to Avengers: Endgame broaching time-travel.

However, looking into those alternate worlds couldn’t realistically be done on the big-screen without taking substantial risk with fans thinking it’s some form of MCU canon.

Marvel clearly wants to differentiate those alternate possibilities from the movies and instead focus it in the streaming universe. This is why the upcoming Disney+ show What If…? will become one of the most experimental of any of the Marvel shows planned.

As an all-animated show, it already has a vast palette to explore with the classic Avengers characters. Part of this might mean the smart version of Hulk everyone saw later in Endgame might not have occurred.

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Many of the original actors will return to do voice work

Many animated counterparts to classic shows didn’t always have the original actors doing the voices. One exception is the iconic Saturday morning cartoon version of Star Trek that aired a few years after the original NBC series left the air. All of the original cast came back to provide the voices, making it official in series canon.

Having many of the MCU actors back (including possibly Robert Downey, Jr.) lends credibility to What If…?, outside of how much Marvel fans will react to the alternate storylines.

Based on some of the rumored episodes, it’s going to be a wild ride. At the helm of it is an omniscient narrator, voiced by Jeffrey Wright. He’ll apparently be playing one of The Watchers who passively view all of the events from Marvel history.

The Watchers can also see all alternate worlds, making them godlike and giving a unique perspective from the typical Marvel show.

Most interesting of all is the hoped-for alt-theory of Thanos dusting the other half of the universe rather than the half he did dust. Maybe not having “Smart Hulk” around would have led to the same outcomes.

Was Smart Hulk really a good idea?

Having Bruce Banner turn into a hybrid version of himself and Hulk might have looked a little cheesy for those who always wanted to keep the character traditional as two separate beings.

The Jekyll-Hyde persona of the story was endlessly intriguing in live-action form, mostly thanks to the original TV series in the late 1970s and early ’80s.

Imagining a world without Smart Hulk there would appease those who found this approach a little too unbelievable. Not that there’s any official confirmation of such an episode airing on What If…? yet.

According to all reports, it’s going to be 23 episodes and released weekly (like The Mandalorian), meaning they’ll tackle alternate outcomes for each of the 23 MCU movies.

Ultimately, the series could wipe out one sideline activity fans are still doing: Marvel fan-fiction.

How satisfying will the alternate stories be?

No matter what What If…? does, it may not please every Marvel fan who usually has their own opinion on what should happen in an alternate world. Based on some of the scant information available on what they’ll be doing, it’s going to take some very daring approaches.

In the case of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner maybe being wiped out in the alt version of Infinity War, it would place other characters into panic on figuring out how to bring everyone back to life.

With this scenario, the real point of the show will be made: An alternate outcome can sometimes lead to the same resolutions thanks to others stepping up.

Perhaps it would mean someone like Shuri from Wakanda using her smarts to figure out how to time-travel and resurrect everyone, not including Doctor Strange’s clairvoyance. If alternate realities really existed, similar outcomes might already be happening in the real world.