The MCU Doubles Down On Its Phase 4 Thor Insult | Screen Rant

Marvel's What If...? episode 9 depicts Thor as an awkward comedic relief character instead of the powerful God of Thunder he really is. When Thor got in tune with his ability to harness lightning during his fight with Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, fans expected to see him embrace his status as one of the MCU's most powerful characters. Avengers: Infinity War honored this promise, as Thor singlehandedly turned the Battle of Wakanda in favor of the Avengers. But once Thor failed to kill Thanos due to his own ego, his personality took a 180 turn.

After so many consecutive defeats, Thor finally broke in Avengers: Endgame. He found comfort in alcohol, food, and video games and abandoned his will to fight. This was actually an understandable reaction. However, Endgame dropped all nuance by constantly poking fun at Thor's weight and mental state. Unfortunately, Thor became the butt of the joke for most of the movie. Now, What If..? cements Thor's character as one of the MCU's goofballs, with Party Thor performing most of the gags in episodes 7 and 9.

Related: Thor Is Now On 4 Superhero Teams In The MCU

What If...? episode 7 showed how Thor would have remained irresponsible if Odin hadn't adopted Loki. While this is accurate considering Thor's insolent behavior during the first half of 2011's Thor, his first multiversal appearance in What If...? doubled down on this aspect of Thor's personality. Episode 9 only made it worse, as Thor's only contributions for most of his scenes were screaming and failing to understand what the Watcher explained to the Guardians of the Multiverse. It may be true that growing up as Odin and Frigga's party-obsessed only child would have made Thor more scatterbrained, but it certainly wouldn't have removed his ability to react properly to the potential end of the multiverse.

What If...? insulted other MCU characters such as Thanos, who was massively underpowered, and Captain Marvel, who never won a fight despite being Earth's last hope. The short runtime of What If...?'s episodes meant that most characters didn't have enough time to show more nuance, which resulted in dumbed-down versions of the characters fans know and love. "What If... The Watcher Broke His Oath?" managed to answer many unresolved cliffhangers and deliver a better-paced story than most previous episodes, but perhaps Party Thor would have been a more complex comedy relief character in a movie-length version of the finale.

With Marvel's What If...? season 2 coming in 2022, it's safe to say that the Guardians of the Multiverse will be called upon once again. This gives season 2 the opportunity to fix the mistakes of the previous season. Hopefully, it will present complex characters defined by more than one personality trait.

More: Marvel Finally Fixed What If...?'s Problems, But Was It Too Late?

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