But what would have happened if Tony had never become Iron Man, thanks to an intervention made by Black Panther villain Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) in Disney Plus series What If…?
In the latest episode of the animated show, Tony (voiced by Mick Wingert) is never kidnapped as depicted in the first Iron Man film, as he is instead saved by Killmonger in the desert, thus avoiding being injured by a weapon created by Stark Industries.
Tony is immediately taken by Killmonger, who also reveals Obadiah Stane’s plan to have Tony assassinated, earning Tony’s trust while a suspicious Pepper Potts watches from the sidelines.
Has Killmonger turned over a new leaf?
In Black Panther, Killmonger, the cousin of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), commits atrocious acts in order to achieve his aim: to claim the throne of Wakanda and use the country’s technological advances to overthrow those in power around the world.
In What If…?, Killmonger makes his big entrance when he takes a missile that is just about to explode and throws it into the air away from Tony, while also shooting down those targeting him.
Having gained Tony’s trust, Killmonger is made his head of security, which is when the pair start working together to create an autonomous robot drone using vibranium, which looks extremely similar to the drones created by Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2.
However, when Tony’s closest friend James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) goes to strike a deal with the villainous Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) for more vibranium, Killmonger’s true intentions are made clear, as he kills both Rhodey and T’Challa, who arrived as Black Panther at the scene.
Tony and Killmonger go head to head
While Tony may not be Iron Man in this universe, he still has some tools at his disposal.
At first, it seemed as though Killmonger was going to get away with killing Rhodey and T’Challa in cold blood. However, he wasn’t aware that Tony had the technology to watch what was going on, thanks to Jarvis.
Tony tries to use one of the drones he created with Killmonger against his former saviour.
Nonetheless, Killmonger lives up to his name, destroying the drone and using a vibranium spear from Wakanda to gruesomely kill Tony in his own home.
Killmonger returns to Wakanda.
Just like in Black Panther, Killmonger uses a sneaky technique to earn the Wakandans’ trust – killing Klaue, known for his theft of vibranium from the country.
Killmonger meets his uncle, his aunt and his cousin Shuri, before warning them of a drone attack coming from the US army to avenge the deaths of Rhodey and Tony.
He manages to earn the trust of his estranged family by leading a successful attack against the drones, bringing them down from inside Wakanda’s force field.
While he then becomes the next Black Panther, T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri – who was always suspicious of Killmonger – goes to see Pepper in the final scene of the episode, proposing an alliance to bring her cousin down after learning of his deception.
What If is available to watch on Disney Plus with new episodes released on Wednesdays.
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