Marvel’s What If…?

Disney Plus

Season 1 Episode 1

What If…Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?

When Steve Rogers is seriously injured, Peggy Carter becomes the world’s first super soldier.

In order to stop the rise of the third Reich, the allies attempt to make the first in a series of super soldiers that will take on the Axis powers and Hitler’s super scientist Red Skull. They’ve chosen Steve Rogers to be the first candidate for the experimental procedure, but during the lead up to the experiment, a series of events will change the course of many lives. The opening of the episode does a great job of recreating the events of the first Captain America movie and every change that happens in that moment has a natural progression given the characters and circumstances.

In the aftermath of a disaster, Peggy is forced to subject herself to the experiment or everything will be lost and she becomes the super soldier instead. Unfortunately, her becoming a super soldier highlights issues she already deals with especially the rampant sexism and misogyny that she already had to deal with as a woman in the military. Bradley Whitford does a great job of Colonel Flynn as he undermines Peggy’s attempts to do her duty. It’s a great antagonistic relationship that is a double edged sword thematically.

As Peggy takes on HYDRA and frees the Howling Commandos, Red Skull works on his ultimate plan for the Tesseract. Events in the story place the tesseract in the hands of the allies and Howard Stark uses it to power his new weapon piloted by Steve Rogers. The Peggy/Steve dynamic continues to stay romantic and innocent at the same time and it was great to see the roles reversed, but also how they support each other.

The action in this episode is fantastic. There are so many moments throughout the episode that I wished we could have seen on the big screen especially the aerial combat scene between Peggy and the Luftwaffe. With all the great elements in the episode, there were some elements that didn’t work for me. The Red Skull and Peggy never really interact so his presence throughout the episode is nebulous. He’s just there as the bad guy and serves no purpose other than that. The tesseract threat is interesting, but doesn’t get the time it needs to be explored. The episode is fast paced, but a little too fast as it tries to move from iconic moment to iconic moment to flex the twists in the story.

I loved seeing so many members of the cast return including Hayley Atwell as Peggy, Stanley Tucci as Erskine, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark and Sebastian Stan as Bucky. The actors know these characters well and their performances reflect that.

The first episode of What If…? is a fun adventure that gives a new twist on some iconic cinematic moments. The moments that are expanded on work really well and the animation is fun and interesting. Pacing issues aside, it was definitely enjoyable.

Marvel's What If...? S01XE01




  • Fun, great action and charm


  • Pacing was off and the villain was nebulous

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