What If...? Season 2 Premiere recap | Agents of Fandom

‘What If…?’ Season 2 Premiere Recap: Nebula Finds a New Home

The final MCU Disney+ series of the year premieres in beautiful fashion.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for What If…? Season 2 Episode 1.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to fans of Marvel Animation! The next chapter in the Multiverse Saga and final project of the year for Marvel Studios is now streaming on Disney+, and it’s safe to say it’s a step right in the right direction in comparison to the first season. While What If…? Season 1 focuses on more unfamiliar and sporadic stories, Season 2 opens with a fan-favorite character in an eerily possible situation. Let’s dive into all the details about exactly what happens when Nebula (Karen Gillan) joins the Nova Corps in our What If…? Season 2 premiere recap.

The Daughter of Thanos Is on the Straight and Narrow in the ‘What if…?’ Season 2 Premiere

Nebula, voiced by Karen Gillan, in her new Nova Corps uniform in the What If...? Season 2 Premiere | Agents of Fandom
It’s always nice hearing familiar voices behind characters in Marvel Animation, and Karen Gillan is back providing a fresh new take on Nebula. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

The special thing about What If…? is that every episode has a unique premise, and the premiere dives into what would have happened if Nebula joined the Nova Corps. How did she wind up in this position? In this universe, Ronan the Accuser betrayed Thanos and attacked him, destroying everything and everyone except his daughter, Nebula. In the aftermath of Ronan’s attack, the Nova Corps saves Nebula, and she swears herself into service, promising to use her power for the betterment of Xandar.

After killing Thanos, Ronan set his eyes on destroying Xandar, but the planet wasn’t so easy to take down. They put up an impenetrable shield and bought themselves 50 years to figure out a solution. Early in her duties as a Nova Corps officer, Nebula discovers Yondu Odunta (Michael Rooker) has been murdered, and Nova Prime (Julianne Grossman) tells her to solve the mystery behind his death by any means necessary. Nova Prime has suspicions that there is more to this case than meets the eye and tells Nebula if she can’t solve the mystery, Xandar may not make it until morning.

For the first step on her journey, Nebula heads to a Xandarian bar, where she runs into an alternate version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Korg (Taika Waititi). She heads upstairs to find the boss, Howard the Duck (Seth Green), and learns that someone is trying to tear down the shield and let Ronan into Xandar. Nebula then heads to break Captain Marvel familiar Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) out of prison, and the two set out to find more information about the planned sabotage.

Yon-Rogg and Nova Prime Turn Their Back on Nebula and Xandar

Nebula, voiced by Karen Gillan, holding Yondu's whistling arrow in What If...? Season 2 | Agents of Fandom
Nebula would make Yondu proud with her use of the whistling arrow in the What If…? Season 2 premiere. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

When Nebula plugs into the core to gain more information on the potential culprit, Yon-Rogg betrays her and pulls the plug on her connection. He plans to unleash Ronan on Xandar, but he’s not the only one involved in this plan. Nova Prime is the true mastermind, the one who recruited Yon-Rogg and set Nebula up for failure in the first place. Nova Prime orders Nebula executed, but she barely manages to escape with her life to the lower reaches of Xandar.

Nebula finds her way back to Howard and the makeshift Guardians team, and they help get her back in working order. Howard arms the crew and Nebula dons a new fin and takes her place as the new Yondu, controlling the famous whistling arrow. The group then heads out to confront Nova Prime and Yon-Rogg and stop them from lowering the shield and letting Ronan wreak havoc on the planet.

In a shocking turn of events, Nebula reveals she sniffed out Nova Prime’s plan from the beginning and sabotaged the codes to remove the shield. Nova Prime tries to escape but ultimately meets her end after refusing to accept Nebula’s help. The shield closes back up while Ronan is trying to come inside, effectively destroying both his ship and the shield. There is once again peace on Xandar thanks to Nebula and the makeshift Guardians.

The ‘What If…?’ Season 2 Premiere Understands the Multiverse

The elements that make this story work so well are the ones most notably absent in Season 1. Ronan killing Thanos and going on a rampage is something that could have easily happened if our Guardians of the Galaxy hadn’t been there to stop him. The first episode is a delightful multiversal story, hinging on a beloved character, and if Marvel continues down this path the rest of the season, we’ll have a special show on our hands.

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'What If...?' Season 2 Premiere Review

'What If...?' Season 2 Premiere Review
4 5 0 1
4.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • The new and improved animation style is an A+.
  • The episode tells an interesting and plausible story.

The Bad

  • Pacing is a little off, a lot of stop and start for a short episode.
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