Avenging Shakespeare: What If?

AI-generated cartoon Loki peforming Hamlet
Poor Yorick is about to be used as a projectile.

I was a huge fan of Marvel’s movie efforts right through Infinity War / Endgame. I’m also one of the people who think that Disney’s switch to television series was their jump-the-shark moment. I haven’t really followed any of their Disney+ shows, and once you lose those, you start losing the Easter eggs in the movies, which makes you care less about the movies. It’s a slippery slope.

Then I discovered the Season 2, Episode 8 of the animated What If? series has the Avengers in Shakespearean England. I’m in!

I haven’t watched any episodes leading up to this one, but who cares? I get the general idea – it’s a multiverse thing where we see the characters we know in new roles. This one opens with Loki doing Hamlet, and I’d recognize Tom Hiddleston’s voice anywhere. Sold. Of course, it’s not long before some alien force attacks, and the fight scenes begin.

Unfortunately, that’s about all the Shakespeare we get. We don’t get a Shakespeare character (though Tony Stark looks much like him). There’s a two-second bit where Loki is talking about a new play he’s written called Iago. “There are other characters in it,” he says, “but really it’s about Iago.” I laughed.

I assume this is based on Neil Gaiman’s comic of the same name, but I’ve not read it. Maybe I should? I’m going to assume it has a lot more Shakespeare content.

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