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What If...? Episode 2 Confirms What We Suspected About The Black Order All Along

Contains spoilers for Marvel's "What If...?" Season 1, Episode 2

Now that the multiverse has arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's the perfect time to unveil all of the alternate paths history could've taken with "What If...?" The show emphasizes the butterfly effect if a tiny change occurred in the timeline, such as Peggy Carter receiving the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. Episode 2 asks, "What if Yondu took T'Challa away from his parents instead of Peter Quill?" It leads to much more than merely a different Star-Lord. It upends the entire future of the universe.

T'Challa ends up being the most effective hero ever, as he uses his vernacular skills and wit to come out of any situation all right. He's a regular Robin Hood (or, as Yondu would say, "Robin Leach"), and he's put together his own band of merry men to help him on his various quests. The group consists of Yondu, several Ravagers, Korath the Pursuer, and the Mad Titan himself — Thanos. That last one is of particular note because T'Challa managed to convince him genocide was wrong, so he didn't wind up wiping out half of the universe. 

It's a fun nod to the ramifications present with one different decision. However, it also presents revelations within the mainstay Marvel timeline, specifically with the true relationship between Thanos and his Black Order, his henchmen from "Avengers: Infinity War."

The Black Order is strong enough to defeat Thanos

When Thanos goes straight, the Black Order turns to work for the next biggest honcho in the galaxy — The Collector. They prove to be a formidable match for T'Challa's crew when they go to pull off the Embers of Genesis heist, especially when they go head-to-head with Thanos. The Mad Titan stays behind to fight them, but something interesting occurs. He loses the battle, and if Nebula didn't intervene when she did, he would've died. 

Sure, Thanos doesn't have any Infinity Stones, but he's still a powerful adversary without them. In "Endgame," he more than holds his own against Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, and he didn't have any Stones with him during that battle either. However, where the Avengers struggled, the Black Order has no problem bringing him to his knees, which begs the question: Why was the Black Order subservient to Thanos in "Infinity War" when they could've taken him out in the first place?

It's possible Thanos knew of the true power behind the Black Order and believed them to be worthwhile allies. We don't know the timeline of when exactly they joined the Titan's team, but it's possible he already had at least one Infinity Stone to power himself. He could've convinced the Order to join him to see his resource allocation plan come to fruition. Additionally, he killed two birds with one Infinity Stone by recruiting Proxima Midnight and the others by sending them to Earth. Either they would be successful in bringing back the items, or they would die in the process, in which case, there are fewer powerful beings in the universe who could potentially stop him.

Now that we've seen what the Black Order is truly capable of, we hope this isn't the last time we've seen them.