Spider-Man made an appearance as "Zombie Hunter Spider-Man," complete with a fancy cape, on today's episode of What If...?, but it wasn't Tom Holland behind the voice. Instead, Mad Men and The Secret Life of the American Teenager actor Hudson Thames took on the part, officially becoming the first person to name Spider-Man's uncle, Ben Parker, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (multiverse?). Fans knew as early as August that Holland would not be returning to the role of Spider-Man for this episode of What If...?, but not who would step in to play the role in his stead.
The reasons behind Holland's absence are unclear, but it could be an array of reasons ranging from Holland's contract with Sony to his busy schedule. Either way, fan reception to Thames so far has been good.
Despite being set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and featuring the vocal talents of actors like Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, and Hayley Atwell, a number of Marvel superhero actors have not returned to reprise their roles in the alternate-universe animated series. This week, a zombie version of Captain America debuted, voiced by Josh Keaton (who, owing to his roles on Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, was the one fans assumed would be stepping in as Peter this week).
The episode centered on a version of the Marvel Universe where Thanos's quest for the Infinity Gauntlet was interrupted by the most unexpected of candidates: zombie versions of Marvel's heroes and villains, ported in from another universe in as sudden and unexpected a way as the heroes of the main MCU timeline were when they traveled through time and the multiverse to steal Infinity Stones from other timelines during Avengers: Endgame. Peter, who hailed from their timeline, helped "our" version of the heroes stand against the undead apocalypse.
Marvel's What If...? airs on Wednesday mornings on Disney+. Spider-Man: No Way Home is expected to premiere in theaters on December 17th.
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