Summary

  • Marvel’s What If…? season 2 confirms that the Elders of the Universe, including the Collector and the Grandmaster, are nearly impossible to kill.
  • This revelation also answers the question of how the Collector survived after his appearance in Infinity War.
  • The enhanced physiology of the Elders grants them near-invulnerability, allowing them to survive even extreme attacks like being reduced to liquid.


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Marvel’s What If…? season 2 appears to confirm that at least two Marvel Cinematic Universe characters are almost impossible to kill. Moreover, this revelation also answers a question viewers may have had following Avengers: Infinity War. The MCU’s Thor: Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok introduced the Collector and the Grandmaster to the franchise, respectively, with both characters belonging to the mysterious and powerful special from Marvel’s comics: The Elders of the Universe.

In the main Marvel Comics universe (Earth-616), the Elders of the Universe are among the universe’s first sapient species after the Celestials. In addition to being immune to aging, the Elders all possess powerful superhuman abilities granted by the Power Primordial (a comparable energy to that which created the Infinity Stones in their MCU incarnation). One such power that the Elders of the MCU appear to possess is near-invulnerability, as proven by an episode of Marvel’s What If…? season 2.

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What If…? Season 2: Stories, Variants & Everything We Know

Here’s everything Marvel has revealed about What If…? season 2, which was confirmed even before the season 1 premiere of the animated show.


What If…? Suggests The Elders Of The Universe Are Unkillable

The Grandmaster winks in What if Season 2

The fourth episode of Marvel’s What If…? season 2 – “What If… Iron Man Crashed into the Grandmaster?” – sees the return of the MCU’s iteration of the Grandmaster in an alternate ending to 2012’s The Avengers. Towards the end of the episode, Grandmaster is seemingly killed when his Melt Stick accidentally liquifies him. In the episode’s post-credits scene, however, Grandmaster is humorously shown to still be alive despite his liquidation. Not only does this show that the MCU’s Elders are all but unkillable, but it also strongly suggests that another MCU Elder, the Collector, is still alive in the main timeline.

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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.

Infinity War’s Collector Mystery Could Have Been Solved

A split image of the MCU's Collector and Thanos

The Collector’s last live-action appearance is in Infinity War, in which Thanos travels to Knowhere to steal the Reality Stone from his collection. The Collector is revealed to be an illusion generated by the Infinity Stone, however, leaving his fate unknown. While the Collector is mentioned in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special as having sold Knowhere to the Guardians of the Galaxy, how he survived the wrath of Thanos was unclear.

With Marvel’s What If…? having confirmed that the Elders, like their comic counterparts, are exceptionally difficult to kill, it is now no surprise that the Collector managed to survive his encounter with Thanos. While he likely endured extreme pain at the hands of Thanos, who was armed with two Infinity Stones, his enhanced physiology would allow him to survive. As Marvel’s What If…? season 2 proves, the Collector could have even survived being reduced to liquid.

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