The seventh installment of Marvel studios’ What If…?’s first season tackles the new hypothetical of the arrival of Thor on Earth. In this alternate timeline, Loki does not exist within this universe and Odin had now returned Loki to his family and father instead of taking him into the royal family. Thor’s path is forever affected by this notion and his status as a prince is given a serious transformation from the MCU’s original incarnation.
Without the mischievous influence of Loki on Thor’s development, Thor has taken on the party-centric personality in which he brings to Midgard or Earth. Within the episode, Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis make their triumphant returns to the MCU in animated form with Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) voicing Darcy and Natalie Portman (Black Swan) as Foster in addition to a Howard the Duck cameo voiced by Seth Green (Family Guy). Furthermore, Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) as Loki, Chris Hemsworth (A Cabin in the Woods) as Thor, Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) as Nick Fury, Karen Gillan (Selfie) as Nebula, Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) as Korg, Frank Grillo (Warrior) as Brock Rumlow, Clark Gregg (Choke) as Agent Coulson, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as the Grandmaster, and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as Maria Hill.
In this episode, Thor plays upon the Frat-bro persona as his party antics have seemingly transformed into a virus-like effect that S.H.I.E.L.D. deems as a danger to them all. In response, the program performs fun and the entertaining fight between Captain Marvel and Thor across the world’s landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Grand Canyon. The episode acts as a fun-fuelled adventure for the God of Thunder and his further playboy-ish antics that happen to tear down the world’s infrastructure as each minute passes.
Overall, “What If…Thor Were An Only Child?” divulges into the fun absurdity of that popular teenage high school film trope. Thor acts rambunctious and the whole world falls apart around him without too much care until his mother gets involved. It was similar to the fun antics brought on in the T’Challa and Guardians of the Galaxy crossover that saw edgy teenage humor being infused throughout the episode. However, it was quite the departure from other episodes that have garnered such acclaim and success as the Zombies installment or the Dr. Strange standalone episode.
Party Thor embodies the typical frat-bro and popular student stereotypes while also allowing the viewer to reconnect to that irresponsible and spoiled only child that they all knew growing up. Similar to other less intense episodes, the final scene does take on the insidious natures that these timelines can offer, in this instance, Ultron, sporting a facial feature resembling Vision, arriving with the full set of infinity stones. Regardless, besides the fun gags and harmless scenarios of this episode, the comedy-induced installment this week of What If…? does not seek out the same psychological questions nor offer a deeper meaning than giving Thor the full playboy treatment.