If there is something surprising about a work that stands out from the rest, it is that its creator affirms that he regrets a specific aspect of it. We loved it, man; do not give it more laps. But screenwriter AC Bradley, who is in charge of What would happen if…? (since 2021), the animated series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the Disney Plus platform, has quite reasonable reasons to regret a little detail of “What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” (1×04).
This is the episode that we can consider the best and most exciting so far and with the most tremendous, different and decidedly honored closure of the variations in the marvelite Multiverse that Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) unleashes in Loki (Michael Waldron, since 2021). So there is nothing to reproach him in this matter, but let’s see why.
From the Nexus events of ‘Loki’ to the absolute points of ‘What if …?’
The commitment of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in this chapter of What if…? is to prevent by all means let Christine Palmer die (Rachel McAdams). But, if the Elder (Tilda Swinton) already tells Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in Avengers: Endgame (Joe and Anthony Russo, 2019) that it is dangerous to manipulate the timeline, in “What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? ” warns Doctor Strange of something fundamental:
The passing of his beloved nurse is “an absolute point”, a very important event that should not be changed because it depends on it that the universe does not collapse and that, for that reason, it takes immense power to achieve it. An objective for which the protagonist transforms into the fearsome Doctor Strange Supreme, absorbs himself unfolded by his mentor, saves Christine Palmer and destroys her reality.
On the other hand, as we learned in Loki, “a Nexus event” is any event that deviates the Sacred Timeline from what He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) has decreed to avoid the multiversal chaos with which so much violence and suffering occurs, and that the Temporal Variation Authority pruned unceremoniously. So that, in essence, an absolute point and a Nexus event are the same– A cardinal incident that leads the timeline down a certain path.
In the case of What if…? Christine Palmer had to be eliminated for for Doctor Strange to become Sorcerer Supreme in that specific universe and, as such a superhero, tackle much greater evils, such as the triumph of Dormammu (Benedict Cumberbatch) with the help of Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) or Thanos (Josh Brolin), for now.
Why Ashley C. Bradley Should Have No Regrets
During a conversation about the Disney Plus series on The GOAT Movie Podcast, the screenwriter AC Bradley recognized that I would have preferred to include the absolute point from “What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” as a Nexus event.
“When you write animation, you write so far into the future that you can’t think of four years later. I wrote that episode of Doctor Strange in February 2019 ”, says the American filmmaker. “I believe that [al suceso de la muerte de Christine Palmer] I should have called it Nexus event instead of absolute point. The scripts of Loki they weren’t even written yet, so the animatic [la animación de storyboards] crashed before Loki finished his scripts because you’re always writing two years before animation. It is something intense and crazy ”.
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But AC Bradley should have no regrets on this subject. It is possible that a Nexus event and an absolute point do not differ in their basic nature, but they do differ from the point of view with which they are approached. For the One Who Remains and the Temporal Variation Authority, these are unacceptable changes. For those who do not realize in the Multiverse that the death of Christine Palmer, instead of the destruction at the hands of Doctor Strange, leads to the same final collapse because, without it, the Supreme Sorcerer would not have tried to prevent it, something indispensable.
That is to say, for the Old Man, the fact that the nurse perishes constitutes an absolute point and should not be altered because he believes it to be the reason why Doctor Strange comes to embrace his essential superheroic destiny. But he does not know that he should catch up with him after the accident that disables him as a surgeon and that, without Christine Palmer, the disintegration of your universe is assured.