You don’t have to watch every episode of AoS to understand ‘What If’. Suffice to say, the team gets stuck in a VR/Matrixesque world, where events have turned everything on it’s ear. Mistakes were made, events happened, SHIELD has fallen, and HYDRA is out in the open, ‘protecting’ the USA now. All it cost us was our freedom.
In the Marvelverse, some humans have Kree(alien) DNA in their genes passed on from their ancestors. They’re seen as ‘tainted’ ‘impure’ ‘dangerous’ ‘subversives’ and ‘freaks’. They are denigrated and seen as INHUMAN. Everyone must submit to genetic testing for these markers. Roadside checkpoints are everywhere. Forget your ID, or have the wrong classification? Expect to be arrested with no ACLU to protect you from violent interrogations. Classified as INHUMAN and are the victim of a crime? Don’t bother to report it, the police won’t be bothered to investigate.
Back through the looking glass for a minute. What does this have to do with the current state of America? Think recently about H.R.1313 allowing employers to request DNA samples from employees under the guise of ‘wellness programs’. How long before employers look at these samples and begin raising insurance for employees with ‘potentially debilitating trends’ in their DNA. You might not HAVE cancer or MS or diabetes, but you have a HIGHER potential, due to your DNA. Employers can raise your insurance premiums to cover these ‘potentials’ and if you don’t submit -they can charge you higher premiums anyway. Do we want to even think if the govt starts tracking us by DNA?
We’ve also seen how LGBTQ Rights are under attack left and right. NC H.B.780 attempting to overturn 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage. Overturning Title IX protections in schools. Restrictive ID statutes for Transgenders in 8 states. That’s all just the tip of the iceberg. Hate Crimes, so, so many Hate Crimes. The LGBTQ population is fighting for their right to SURVIVE, to be recognized as HUMANS with RIGHTS. While the conservatives want to make them all just go away, silence them, shut them back in closets, ‘convert them back.’
Through the glass again, where we find Agent Coulson never joined SHIELD, opting to shape young minds as a history teacher instead. He gives a brief overview of how we got there. Pretty Propaganda, all tied up in ribbons to indoctrinate the youth of the country. He talks of the division throughout the nation, multiple media sources, and ‘alternative facts’. He even goes so far as to allow one of his students to be removed from class by HYDRA agents for ‘testing’
In this nightmare world, there is only the state run Hydra Observer for a news paper. No one outside of HYDRA owns a cell phone. Talk radio is also sanctioned by the state, filled with hate speak the likes of Sean Hannity and Alex Jones.
I won’t spoil the rest of the episode for those who would like to watch on their own. But there is hope. Subversives undermine the control. Truth shines light through the cracks in the facade. An underground Resistance is fighting. Just. Like. Us. We cannot fall asleep at the wheel, or they win and this IS the future in store.