What If…? is my most anticipated MCU Content after The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. This is Marvel Studios’s first animated project and by the time it was announced, no one really knew if this was canon to the MCU or not. Either way, I was excited at that moment, especially when the concept arts were revealed! And after the events of Loki opened up the Multiverse, this was confirmed canon to the MCU. Maybe we should call it MCM now? Marvel Cinematic Multiverse? 👀
Today, I’m going to put on my Marvel nerd hat as I recap and share my thoughts about Episode One.
This review contains spoilers so please tread lightly or watch the show first.
What If…? Episode One: What If Captain Carter were the First Avenger?
Quick Recap 📝
As Uatu The Watcher narrates the highlights from Captain America The First Avenger, the episode opens in the underground facility where Steve Rogers supposedly transforms into Captain America.
Doctor Erskine asks Peggy Carter if she would be more comfortable observing the experiment on the booth. Peggy decides to stay, therefore becoming her nexus event, creating a new universe. A Hydra agent triggers an explosion killing Dr. Erskine and shoots at Col. Phillips and Steve while trying to escape with the serum. Peggy shoots the Hydra Agent, retrieves the serum, and climbs into the chamber, leaving no choice but her to become the Super Soldier.
In Tonsberg, The Red Skull steals the Tesseract for Hydra. Howard Stark helps Peggy retrieve the Tesseract, giving her a suit and a shield, and also bringing Dr. Arnim Zola in the SSR Custody. Howard builds an iron suit for Steve, called the Hydra Stomper, using the Tesseract as power source. Peggy rescues the 107th from a Hydra facility, including the Howling Commandos.
Captain Carter continues to fight Nazis with the help of the Hydra Stomper and the Howlies. On the train mission, Steve advances and breaks inside the train, only to discover explosives. The train explodes and falls with Steve inside the Hydra Stomper suit. Fueled by their grief, Captain Carter along with Howard and the Howlies attack Hydra’s base. Bucky and the rest of the Howlies find Steve and help him power up the Hydra Stomper. Captain Carter fights off the Hydra’s Champion, a tentacled monster summoned by the Red Skull using the Tesseract. She pushes it back to the portal, sacrificing herself, promising Steve for a dance lesson.
The Tesseract transports Captain Carter 70 years in the future, meeting Nick Fury and Hawkeye inside the SHIELD Facility.
Episode Thoughts 🧠
I checked my Letterboxd account to see my ranking for Captain America The First Avenger. It’s on the 13th spot, second highest for the Phase One movies. Then again, sometimes my ranking changes based on my mood. Anyway, not the point.
I think that movie was the first one I watched where I really cared about the continuity of the movies. And I really enjoyed that movie, despite how cheesy it was. Besides, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan were there. Again, not the point. 🤣
I love how this episode was sort of a quick rundown of the movie, and it was even fun to spot the differences and the references from CATFA! Peggy Carter, still the strong badass woman we all loved! I haven’t seen the entirely of Agent Carter, but I definitely picked up how it mirrored Howard and Peggy’s relationship from the series.
Captain Carter with the Howling Commandos was really fun to watch. Bucky was the comic relief and this episode made me realize that this was a timeline where Bucky was never experimented on, never lost his arm, and possibly lived a normal life. 😭 Also, can I just say how cute he was? I’m definitely a simp for 1940s Disney Prince Bucky Barnes!
I enjoyed the Steve and Peggy moments. I mean, I don’t hate Steve-Peggy and I guess I’ve made my peace with that Endgame ending, but I think this was cuter than the movies.
Overall Thoughts 💡
The animation style was really cool. The art style reminded me of the end credit sequence of Captain America The First Avenger. There were moments where it felt really Classic Disney, and the coloring and lighting was pretty amazing too! I particularly love the tracking shots during Captain Carter’s air fight sequence.
Actually, the action sequences were amazing! It’s a good thing they decided to make this animated because it gives them more freedom on what they could do with the actions.
My only issue was the dialogues because it was pretty distracting to see when the characters’s mouths does not correspond to the dialogues.
But overall, this was a great start and I’m excited to see more! I hope they do more than 2 seasons of What If!
Let’s Chat! 💬
Are you watching What If? What alternate storyline would you want to see?