What if Dr. Strange lost his heart instead of his hands? That’s the question posed in the latest episode of the new Marvel animated series, “What If…?” Dr. Strange is driving to accept his award for his amazing surgery with Christine in the car when he’s rear-ended and crashes his car. Christine is killed in the process, leading Dr. Strange to the Ancient One and his journey to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. But, after defeating Dormamu, Strange goes on a mission to change the past and bring Christine back.
The simple answer is he destroys the world. To paraphrase Harvey Dent from “The Dark Knight,” Dr. Strange lives long enough to see himself become the villain. He’s so immersed in bringing Christine back that he turns to some very dark magic in an effort to save her. He ends up creating a version of the multiverse where there are two Dr. Stranges and eventually the world he knew is destroyed. It’s a great example of how our loved ones anchor us and keep us from going over the edge. While we will never be in a position like Dr. Strange was, our loved ones can be the difference between the right decision and the wrong decision in our own lives. Christine is the anchor that turned him into one of the greatest heroes who helped defeat Thanos. Without her, he becomes a villain that causes more destruction than Thanos, Ultron, or anyone else; despite not believing his actions make him a villain until the very end.
I love the animation in this series. The style is amazing. It enhances the story and makes this series work. A lighter version of animation would be too childish. And, while this animation style is plenty dark, it could go darker and that wouldn’t work either. It’s a balance that is difficult to find, but Marvel has found it and walks the line perfectly.
I love the concept of this series. I love how it looks at how things could change if someone else were in the role, or if something had changed in our hero’s journey. Some of these are going to work better than others, but the Dr. Strange episode has been my favorite so far. It gives a good idea of what grounds him. It lets us know that he is capable of both great and terrible things. And, it shows us how important the non-superhero characters can be. It also elevates Christine despite killing her off, because it reveals her importance to Dr. Strange as his movie series continues.
Episode: 5 stars out of 5
Series: 4.5 stars out of 5
What did you think of this episode of “What If…?”