In the season finale of Marvel’s What If…?, the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) assembles a ragtag team of heroes we’ve come to recognize from the previous alternate realities explored by the Disney+ animated series. But there was one character on the team who we hadn’t met prior to “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” — an alternate universe version of Gamora, first played by Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy and voiced in What If…? by Cynthia McWilliams.
We’re introduced to this Gamora as she and Tony Stark (voiced by Mick Wingert) are with Eitri (the forger/blacksmith who made Thor his Stormbreaker axe in Avengers: Infinity War), watching him melt down a stone-free Infinity Gauntlet. As Tony (in an unfamiliar sort of mecha suit) rambles once again about a metaphorical suit of armor for the world(s) (and well, that went so great last time), the Watcher appears to whisk Gamora away. “Not you, Tony,” he adds, which Tony should consider great news, given how many other universes feature his death.
While this was Gamora’s first appearance in What If…?, according to head writer A.C. Bradley and director Bryan Andrews, that hadn’t been the original plan. “Originally, earlier in the season there was an episode slated that was much more ‘Party Thor’ in tone — comedic, happy, fun, interesting, heartfelt, all the adjectives — about Tony on Sakaar, which also featured Gamora,” Bradley said.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, production on that episode had to be pushed to Season 2 — which Bradley is excited about, “because it does show a different side of Tony than we were able to show in the other episodes. And him being one of my favorite characters, it was actually one of my favorite absolute episodes to write.”
The tease of Tony on Sakaar is a fascinating one, because the garbage planet first introduced in Thor: Ragnarok and ruled over by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) is likely a gearhead’s paradise, and likely the source of the materials Tony used to build the exosuit we see him wear in the Episode 9 scene.
In addition, Bradley said, the episode will include “how her and Tony came to interact, because they don’t interact in the MCU whatsoever, if I’m not mistaken. Just seeing those two characters rub off on each other — both had very difficult, in different ways, childhoods. Both had very overbearing fathers. And seeing how that affected both of them is going to be a lot of fun.”
More importantly, Andrews added, “It will answer, why is Gamora?” Which is, perhaps, a question worth asking about this particular character. At the very least, learning more about her fancy new armor (which is both sensible and stylish) will be only one fun moment in store for the episode.
Marvel’s What If…? is set to return for a second season on Disney+.