Marvel Studios recently finished its fourth full season of Disney+ streaming material with the ninth episode of What If...?, ending the first season of MCU animated content. For nine weeks, What If...? took fans on a wild ride through different corners of the Multiverse by showcasing new versions of stories told years ago in the Infinity Saga.
Starting off with individualized entries featuring characters like Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter and the late Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa Star-Lord, numerous movies from Phases 1-3 got their shine with different Absolute Points in time coming into play. While stories like Peggy Carter's simply switched out one character's story for another, others took more than a few liberties with past events.
One of the wilder rides came in Party Thor's episode, a version of the God of Thunder that grew up as an only child and made the universe his proverbial dance floor. When the party hit Earth, dozens of the MCU's most prominent galactic heroes found their way to the planet's biggest throwdown in Las Vegas, including fan-favorite Howard the Duck.
This even led to one of the most unexpected meetings in MCU history, which was made even funnier after comments from one of the show's leading crew members.
A Drunken Revelation Leads To Epic MCU Crossover
Speaking with Collider, director Bryan Andrews and head writer A.C. Bradley from What If...? shed some light on how the relationship between Darcy Lewis and Howard the Duck came to life in Episode 7.
Bradley spoke about the process of developing fill-in voices for this episode, which led to her admitting that she can do "a very good Darcy Lewis" after a little drinking. She then proceeded to record a quick take as Darcy, and due to her "slight crush on Seth Green," she and Andrews came up with the idea of having Green's Howard the Duck and Darcy get married in Las Vegas:
BRADLEY: "That kind of came from... When you're making an animation show and you do temp voices called scratch voices, where you put the storyboards and the rough voices against to see how everything plays before you get in Hayley Atwell and Kat Dennings and all the MCU actors... I can't act, but if you give me a beer I do a very good Darcy Lewis."
ANDREWS: "It's true."
BRADLEY: "Because it turns out drunk A.C. and Darcy are kind of the same. So my original scratch was recorded in the edit bay after a couple of shots of whiskey with the crew. And I also love Howard the Duck. I also have a slight crush on Seth Green, because we all watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer as teenagers. And so that came from a bunch of running jokes in both the script, in the edit bay, with some alcohol, which is really how the Darcy/Howard relationship sprang up anyway."
Andrews admitted that this story "came a bit organically," as he and the team thought that there was no way Howard the Duck would miss an intergalactic mega-party in Vegas. He seemed truly happy that "audiences are responding to that," as he felt the bond between the two was "meant to be:"
"Yeah, it just came a bit organically, too, because even when we were doing Party Thor and the universe comes, we're just like, 'Yeah, of course Howard's going to be there. Of course. It's Vegas. He's in this suit. He has a martini, and he's in Vegas for sure.' Right? And then the combo of the two, then each little thing, it was... it's just meant to be. It just came, and it's perfect, so the fact that audiences are responding to that makes us really happy because we've loved that forever and haven't been able to talk about it to anybody, and now we can say, 'Isn't that amazing?' They just seem made for each other. I don't know why. It's great. We love it."
Howard And Darcy - Meant To Be
Even for a character that's had less than a single minute of screentime during the Infinity Saga, Howard The Duck has become a fan-favorite hero thanks to his appearances in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Avengers: Endgame. Thankfully, the talking bird has seen ample screen time in What If...?, first in the Collector's abode and then in Vegas for the aforementioned party.
From the moment Howard met Kat Dennings' Darcy Lewis on Earth, the two seemed to form a strangely strong bond before they held their own oft-utilized Sin City marriage during the party. Considering the "libations, crudites, (and) baked goods" that accompanied a likely hefty amount of alcohol in-universe, it seems only fitting that Bradley came up with this story after a couple of shots in her own system.
In the end, regardless of the process, Andrews and Bradley seem more than satisfied not only with the results of their work but the fan reaction to the insanity as well. It remains to be seen whether more of the Darcy/Howard the Duck marriage will be explored in Season 2 or later, but it was a highlight of Season 1 nonetheless.
All nine episodes of What If...? are available to stream on Disney+.