Bucky and Steve fighting

What Happens When the Avengers Meet Their Zombie Friends? Chaos.

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**Spoilers for the most recent episode of Marvel’s What If…? titled “What If…Zombies? lie within.**

In the latest episode of Marvel’s What If…? we’re asked a simple question: What if the Avengers had to fight a zombie apocalypse? And the answer is a mix of doing the right thing and being completely selfish about it. So, you know, about the same as any outing for the Avengers.

When Hope Van Dyne wants to get her mother back, Hank Pym heads into the quantum realm and ends up finding a zombified Janet, who bites him. Hank still returns to our world and brings the zombie virus with him, and thus, an outbreak wipes out the entire northwest in a matter of days before working its way across the United States. But not even Earth’s mightiest heroes are safe from it.

When the Avengers go to help the zombie situation in San Francisco, they are nearly instantly taken out by zombies. So there is no more Cap, no more Hawkeye, no more Iron Man, and no more Black Widow—which leaves us with some of our other heroes to try to save the day.

Peter Parker joins heroes like Bucky Barnes and Sharon Carter as they tell Bruce Banner what happened to the world (the episode takes place where Infinity War would otherwise begin). But what is fascinating about this entire episode is how selfish some of the Avengers end up being, particularly when it comes to Vision.

As an unapologetic fan of Wanda Maximoff, I have dealt with a lot of explaining away things she’s done, but luckily, in this episode, she’s not the one at fault. Vision is. After escaping from New York, the remaining heroes are heading to New Jersey to try to find a cure, and there, they find Vision. Now, for a comparison, let’s first talk about Bucky Barnes seeing his good friend Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson as zombies and his lack of care towards either of them. To him, those are not his friends anymore, so he does what he has to in order to survive.

Especially with Cap. When Steve Rogers jumps aboard a train and bites Sharon Carter, Bucky isn’t afraid to take out the friend he grew up with and even makes a jab about their famous (end of the) line.

Bucky Barnes in What If

Pair that with Vision and his treatment of Wanda Maximoff and … they’re different, to say the least.

Vision in What If

Vision captures T’Challa and uses him as a meal for zombie Wanda by cutting off his leg. He is trying to find a cure for the zombie virus but can’t, but he continues to keep Wanda in captivity instead of cutting off her head. That only leads to more death, with the remaining Avengers barely making it out alive. Vision does sacrifice himself as they go to get away and head towards Wakanda, but still, he was willing to sacrifice everything to protect Wanda, which is interesting when you compare it to Wanda doing what needed to be done in Infinity War and killing Vision to stop Thanos from getting the Mind Stone.

What we learn about the Avengers in “What If…Zombies?” is that there are some members of this team who will not always do the right thing. In fact, they’d be that guy in the zombie movie who gets bitten and pretends as if he didn’t. But for our heroes who are still willing to do the right thing? They’ll stand up and fight the zombies in order to keep that “hope” alive.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.