Disney+’s latest Marvel show has finally arrived in animated form with the highly anticipated What If..? series. Loki broke open the multiverse and now What If..? will expand upon it in ways that we as Marvel fans could never have fathomed. Most of the voice talent are the actors who portrayed them in the films but some did not. It’s extremely detailed and a real visual masterpiece for fans wanting something a little different.
Each episode is only about 30 minutes long but worth it. The good thing is that each episode is narrated at first by our guide known as “The Watcher” who states “I am the watcher, I observe all that transpires here. But I do not, cannot, will not interfere.” It’s all very mysterious and intriguing and a breath of fresh air for the MCU as we await Shang Chi-and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Plot spoilers follow, without further ado let’s dive right into the premiere episode featuring a twist on Captain America.
The first episode is a twist on Captain America: The First Avenger. We see the scene when Steve is supposed to receive the super-soldier serum and Peggy is asked to go up the balcony to observe. Her choice to remain instead of leaving the room is why she ends up taking the serum. The Hydra agent sent to steal the serum and disrupt the experiment shoots Steve instead and Peggy is forced to go in the machine instead to keep the project from being a total waste.
Afterward, Peggy is not treated with respect at all and shamed because she is a woman. Steve is left feeling awkward instead because of Peggy’s new abilities and strength. Howard Stark decides to help Peggy by giving her the shield that now features The British Flag emblem instead of the original star.
Peggy gets right into the action on her own by infiltrating Hydra and stealing the Tesseract. She also manages to capture Zola. Howard Stark utilizes the Tesseract to create the Hydra Stomper, a suit that looks like an early form of the Hulkbuster Armor. This is piloted by Steve to fly Peggy on missions to fight Hydra. Steve asks Peggy to rescue Bucky who has of course been captured. She goes on the rescue mission and lots of hilarity ensues as the men are astonished by a woman having such strength. The two have a romance brewing but keep getting interrupted.
The famous train scene plays out but instead of Bucky falling off the train Steve sacrifices himself to stop the train which turns out to be a trap. Peggy watches in horror as Steve is seemingly killed in the blast. Later on, they decide to head to Hydra’s base to stop them once and for all. Red Skull now has the Tesseract and is using it to open up a portal. The two teams split off to stop Hydra with Bucky and his team and Peggy on her own. Bucky discovers Steve has survived and is held captive inside The Hydra Stomper that looks to have been experimented on.
They break Steve free and they all head to help Peggy stop Red Skull. Red Skull has successfully opened the portal and suddenly a Kraken-like creature appears. His plan goes awry when the creature captures him with its tentacles and pulls him in. Peggy realizes that the portal will continue expanding if it’s not stopped and the creature will destroy all of Europe, if not the world. Bucky and co. arrive and Howard is tasked to try and close the portal. Peggy grabs a sword to fight back and shoves the creature back in.
Peggy ends up sacrificing herself to keep the creature at bay as the portal closes. She tells Steve that he owes her a dance. They all watch and horror as all that is left behind is the Tesseract. Years later we see the same scene that played out at the beginning of the very first Avengers film. Nick Fury and Hawkeye activate the tesseract and instead of Loki coming through it’s Peggy Carter. Hawkeye tells Fury that ” that’s Captain Carter”. Peggy asks where Steve Rogers is and is told that the war ended almost 70 years ago. Fury asks if she will be ok. Peggy sighs and says “we won, of course, we did”. It’s very similar to how Steve woke up years later at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.
Honestly, the way they were able to recreate and recapture the classic moments from the film but twist it around works so well in animated form. What If..? is shaping up to be a truly unique offering from Marvel that will keep taking fans on a wild ride.