Warning: This article contains spoilers for What If…? season 2, episode 1, “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?”


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Summary

  • What If…? season 2 breaks its own rules, creating plot holes in the MCU’s multiverse.
  • The events in What If…? season 2, episode 1 contradict the established history of the MCU.
  • Characters like Drax, Groot and Korg appearing in What If…? season 2’s premiere create confusion with the MCU’s timeline.

Marvel Studios’ final release of 2023, What If…? season 2, has already explored a brand-new reality across the multiverse of the MCU, but also created several glaring plot holes. What If…? season 2 premiered on December 22, 2023, with its first episode, “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?” The series is set to release an episode daily for nine consecutive days over the Holiday period, and will explore new worlds and variant characters after What If…? season 1 introduced the likes of Captain Carter, Strange Supreme, the HYDRA Stomper and Jeffrey Wright’s enigmatic narrator the Watcher. However, What If…? season 2’s premiere episode seemingly breaks some major MCU rules.

What If…? season 2, episode 1, “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?,” saw Karen Gillan reprise her role of Nebula from the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. In this alternate reality, however, the Mad Titan Thanos was betrayed by Ronan the Accuser, and while Nebula was left for dead, she eventually found herself on Xandar being recruited into the Nova Corps, mirroring her heroic journey as a Guardian of the Galaxy in live-action. What If…? season 2’s premiere was a thrilling and dark detective story, but the episode broke several rules established in Phase 4’s What If…? season 1, and creates several plot holes in the MCU’s multiverse.

Related

What If…? Season 2 Cast & Marvel Character Guide

What If…? season 2 premieres on December 22, 2023, on Disney+, bringing new and returning voice actors to the animated worlds of the MCU’s Phase 5.


What If…? Season 2’s Return Breaks Its Own Rule

Nebula as a Nova Corpsman on Xandar in What If...? season 2

What If…? season 1 established the rules of the animated universes in the MCU, with one major one being that these stories branch off from minor changes in choices from the MCU’s history. This suggests that the history of these realities would be the same as the one depicted in the MCU, but What If…? season 2, episode 1 breaks this rule immediately. Ronan the Accuser never got the chance to defeat Thanos in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, so the events prior to What If…? season 2, episode 1 clearly aren’t the same as the MCU’s known history. This leads to several plot holes being created throughout the episode.

Nebula’s MCU Return Creates Multiple Plot Holes

It has previously been stated that, while What If…? season 1 was more closely linked to the MCU’s actual events, What If…? season 2 would tell wackier and more divergent storylines. This means that the rules of What If…? season 2 might be massively different to what audiences know of the MCU’s timeline, so it could make sense that the events of “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?” are wildly different. However, if What If…? season 1’s rules are still in effect, What If…? season 2’s premiere episode creates some major plot holes, even despite exploring an alternate reality in the MCU’s multiverse.

During What If…? season 2, episode 1, several Guardians of the Galaxy members, such as Drax the Destroyer and Groot, are seen inhabiting Xandar’s casino, yet Drax should be imprisoned in the Kyln at this point in the MCU’s timeline, and Groot should be seen with Rocket Raccoon by his side. Similarly to Drax, Taika Waititi’s Korg should also still be imprisoned, though he was in the Grandmaster’s captivity on Sakaar at this point in the MCU’s live-action stories. 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy also introduced Howard the Duck as part of the Collector’s collection in Knowhere, so his residence on Xandar in What If…? season 2’s premiere is confusing.

New episodes of What If…? season 2 release daily at 3am ET/12am PT on Disney+.

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