So What If? just got started on Disney+ and as you can guess, some folks are already labeling Captain Carter as Captain Britain. Let’s just get this clear, she actually calls herself Captain Carter in the episode, so let’s stick with that. But some folks might actually be rolling their eyes seeing a woman take on the role and to be fair, back in the day a lot of people might have done the same if they’d never read a What If? comic. This version though was pretty cool, to be honest, and yes, there are spoilers coming for those that don’t want to be informed. But if you’ve seen it or don’t care and want to know, the fun part of a What If? story is that it doesn’t usually take a monumental action that can change everything around. Sometimes it takes just one decision that creates a chain reaction that will create a story that is similar but still excitingly different. In this case, it had to do with Peggy Carter staying in the room instead of going to the booth when the process that would turn the scrawny Steve Rogers into the muscular Captain America was about to happen.
Due to being in the room, she wasn’t able to stop the HYDRA agent from setting off the bomb, but she was able to stop him from escaping with the serum, which, after Steve was shot and incapacitated, she ended up taking. She would become Captain Carter and would face just as much resistance from the military brass when it came to going on missions, but in a different way, since she’s a woman and, back in those days, women weren’t a part of the front lines. It’s easy to say though, Captain Carter actually appears to wield her shield with even more precision and force than Captain America did, but given that this is animation it’s very easy to see how the awesome moves and maneuvers are far more likely to happen. Hey, animation has a serious advantage over live-action at times.
The story only gets better by realizing that even with her transformation she still looks at Steve with every bit of affection that she had in the movie, and he’s just as drawn to her. This becomes an even better relationship since thanks to Howard Stark, Steve is able to get back into the battle with the first Iron Man suit that becomes known as the HYDRA Buster, which is a pretty accurate name for it since with the suit Steve is able to take on pretty much anything. He does get blasted off of a cliff when the train that the Allies were trying to intercept is found to be a trap, which catches Steve fully and forces Captain Carter, Bucky, and the others to fall back before the tracks and the mountain give way. The remark that Bucky makes when Captain Carter saves him from falling off the side of the train, about how she nearly ripped his arm off, was pretty funny since it’s likely that there are plenty of Easter eggs that will be hidden in this series, and fans will be looking for every last one of them.
But, the storming of the Red Skull’s castle is where things tend to go wrong. Up until this point, the Red Skull really hasn’t been much of a presence, much as he wasn’t until he revealed himself to Steve Rogers in the first Captain America movie. Even when he is revealed and unveils his plan to bring something through the portal he creates with the Tesseract, he’s still not much of a presence since he gets crushed by the creatue that comes through the gate not too long after the portal is opened. This time through, Captain Carter disappears through the portal, leaving the rest of the troops to wonder where she’s gone, and Steve the one who’s heartbroken. Years later, Captain Carter returns when the Tesseract is used to open a portal again, only to find that 70 years had passed. The war is over, and there’s no word of Steve before the credits roll. As a start to the What If? series this was a great way to go since it’s already building a world in which one little difference can create a vastly different story.
From the previews there’s plenty more to go, as it appears that Tony Stark will meet Erik Killmonger, T’Challa will become StarLord, and other stories will be changed as well as the season goes on. Hopefully this season will give way to another one since there are a lot of stories yet to be told in the MCU, and it would be great to see some that haven’t even developed yet, especially if they show heroes and villains that the MCU hasn’t used yet.
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