HomeMarvelWhat If...? Episode 5 Recap: The Undead Avengers

What If…? Episode 5 Recap: The Undead Avengers

The Avengers in a Walking Dead world.

What If…? episode 5 takes place at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. Bruce Banner has just escaped the clutches of Thanos thanks to Heimdall using the last of his magic. Bruce crashlands in Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum to warn Earth of Thanos. What If…? episode 5 is inspired by Marvel Zombies — a five-issue limited series published from December 2005 to April 2006 by Marvel Comics.

What If…? Episode 5 Spoilers Below

The problem in What If…? episode 5 is that nobody is present in the Sanctum Sanctorum. There’s no Strange or Wong to be greeted and warned of incoming danger. All that remains is Strange’s sentient cloak.


A confused Bruce exits the Sanctum Sanctorum and finds nobody outside as well. New York City is mysteriously empty. Before Bruce can question why the city is deserted, two minions of Thanos, Maw and Obsidian, arrive on Earth.

Bruce attempts to summon Hulk for the upcoming fight but cannot do so. All alone, Bruce fears this may be his last fight. It is only once Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Wong show up that Bruce feels more confident in his odds.


The three Avengers battle Maw and Obsidian, but Bruce notices something odd. The Avengers start eating the two invading aliens. It’s only once the dust clears that Bruce makes the horrifying revelation: The Avengers are zombies!

Bruce attempts to escape while Strange’s cloak tries to hold off the advancing zombies. The cloak can only hold them off for so long as Maw and Obsidian also go after Bruce. Worst of all, the zombies are still well aware of their powers of magic and tech.


Just when it seems that Bruce is doomed, the flesh of the zombies is quickly eaten up by a mysterious force. Wasp then reveals herself to be aiding Bruce, making her presence known when she enlarges to her normal size. She then decapitates Iron Man as her giant ants pick up the head.

Wasp informs Bruce to flee. Bruce, having never met Wasp, asks who she is. She responds that she’s all that’s left. Spider-Man swings in to help Bruce by whisking him away on his webs.

Marvel Zombies
Image Credit: Marvel Studios

What If…? Episode 5 Zombies Started In The Quantum Realm

The Watcher then attempts to explain the events that led up to this zombie apocalypse. The story shifts towards the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp, occurring just before the events of Infinity War.

Hank Pym dived into the quantum realm to find his missing wife, Janet. When he finds her, however, she has contracted a zombie virus. Hank and Janet return to our realm to spread the zombie virus, with Ant-Man being the first to go.

A zombie horde spreads across North America in as little as 24 hours. The Avengers arrive to stop this threat but they’re too late. Ant-Man, in his smaller state, quickly infects Captain America. The rest of the Avengers soon follow.

We then cut to Peter Parker recording a video on how to survive the zombie apocalypse. He convinces a number of survivors to help him instruct survival tactics: Happy Hogan, Kurt (from Ant-Man), Bucky Barnes, and Sharon Carter.

Bruce and Peter meet up with General Okoye who informs him that she’s searching for her Wakandan King. The camera pans out to reveal that the safest base of operations is a collective of train cars that have been suspended high above the air by Spider-Man’s webbing.

The surviving Avengers find that there’s a beacon emitting a signal from a SHIELD base. The location may have the development of a curse for the zombie virus. To get there, they’ll have to travel to New Jersey.

The survivors arrive at Grand Central Station and try to start up the train. As Spider-Man, Wasp, Hulk, and Kurt try to activate the train, the others keep watch for zombies. It does not go well.

In the underground tunnels, Happy Hogan, armed with Iron Man’s blaster glove, is transformed into a zombie by Zombie Hawkeye and attacks Sharon. At the same time, Zombie Falcon has entered the above-ground part of the station and is attacking Okoye and Bucky.

Okoye manages to slice Zombie Falcon in half so that she and Bucky can join the others. Sharon kills the Zombie Happy Hogan and attempts to flee as more zombies follow, taking Happy’s Iron Man blaster glove with her.

The train is nearly ready to go when more zombies swarm the platform. Doctor Strange’s cloak attempts to hold off the ones on the rails while Wasp stops the ones on the platform.

The train is activated and the remaining survivors managed to make it out alive. Peter is flung onto the train by Strange’s cloak just as the train mows down a handful of zombies on its way out of the station.

Sharon notices something on the roof of the train that breaks through. Before she can defend herself, she is attacked by a zombie. Bucky rushes to her car when he hears her screams and finds out who killed her: Zombie Captain America.

While Wasp attempts to hold off Zombie Sharon, Bucky engages with Zombie Captain America in a fight. Bucky ultimately wins after bifurcating Captain America with his own shield and taking the shield for himself. Wasp manages to explode Zombie Sharon but notices that she has been bitten during her encounter.

Wasp and Spider-Man have a heartfelt conversation about carrying on in the face of death. The train, however, has run out of fuel and the team is now faced with traveling across an army of the undead too powerful to best.

Wasp, realizing she doesn’t have much time, decides to use her powers of enlargement to carry the survivors to safety over the zombies. She succeeds in getting the survivors to safety just as the zombies crawl over Wasp and devour her body.

What If…? Episode 5 continues at the SHIELD base where the team reunites with Vision who reveals his work in combatting the zombie threat. The Mind Stone turns out to be powerful enough to cure the zombie disease. Vision proves this by showing his work on curing Scott “Ant-Man” Lang, despite now only being a head in a jar.

A new plan is formulated as Vision’s Mind Stone can be used to cure the entire planet. To do so, however, will require access to Wakandan technology. Bucky takes the initiative by searching the base for transport.

While Bucky searches, however, Bruce notices that they were not the only survivors to respond to Vision’s signal. Bucky’s search leads him to a dark room with an injured T’Challa and a Zombie Wanda “Scarlett Witch” Maximoff.

Wanda Maximoff
Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Once Bucky brings T’Challa to the others, Vision’s secret is revealed: He’s been feeding human beings to Wanda. Vision reveals that he could not cure Wanda and couldn’t bring himself to kill her.

Before the others can attack Vision, Wanda breaks out of her cage. She kills Kurt upon her entrance and proceeds to attack the others. They escape the base but Okoye is killed as well.

Vision, feeling guilty for what he has done, removes the Mind Stone so that the others may use it to save the world. He kills himself in the process. With the Mind Stone removed, the zombies slowly start advancing on their position.

Bucky attempts to hold off the pursuing Zombie Wanda while the others find transport. Bucky, attacking a grief-stricken Zombie Wanda, is flung into the air by her magic. She then sets her sights on the survivors.

While T’Challa prepares a jet for takeoff, Bruce holds off the zombies and Zombie Wanda by finally transforming into Hulk. The jet with Peter, Scott, and T’Challa manages to escape.

En route to Wakanda, Peter and T’Challa speak about how to go on after witnessing so much death. T’Challa tells him that death is not the end for someone so long as someone remembers them. They proceed with hope for the future.

What If...? Thanos
Image Credit: Marvel Studios

What If…? Episode 5 ends in Wakanda where Thanos has arrived and is transformed into a zombie. Wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, he powers it up for what is presumed to be the end of the universe.

Catch the world’s mightiest zombies in What If…? Episode 5 now streaming on Disney+.



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