There will not be a single Comic Book fan that has never asked themselves “What If?”…..that moment where you think what if this moment happened another way, what if Superman landed in Russia instead of Kansas USA, what if the Radioactive Spider bit Gwen Stacey and not Peter Parker and so many more iconic moments that created the superhero’s we know and love. Well thanks to MARVEL and Disney Plus, a number of “What If?” questions having been imagined and brought to life in a new animated series that has launched today August 11th 2021 and the first Episode asks the question, “What If?” Peggy Carter took the Super Solider Serum instead of Steve Rogers?
I love the whole concept of the “What If?” question and perhaps one of the first things MARVEL MCU fans might ask themselves is indeed, what if Peggy Carter took the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers to become Captain Britain instead of Captain America. This twenty one minute animated episode as seen through the eyes of The Watcher, voiced brilliantly by Jeffrey Wright, shows fans what would happen if a single moment was changed from the original MCU timeline, in this case that moment during “Captain America: The First Avenger” in the room just as Steve Rogers is preparing to undergo the procedure and Captain Carter is asked if she would be more comfortable watching with the other VIP guests but instead of agreeing as Peggy did originally, she chose to stay on the floor of the lab and thus creating a new alternate timeline as not only did Peggy choose to stay, but the Hydra Agent chose to act before the experiment was completed instead of after, blowing the bomb and shooting Steve Rogers who left the Vita Ray pod to try and help. In the scramble and with only moments before the chance to use the serum would be gone forever, it is Peggy that chooses to step inside the pod to take the serum.
The art style is fantastic, even having a classic 40’s feel to the characters and having the familiarity of using recognisable characters and scenes from Cap’s first MCU film also really go a long way to showing just how different events and the MCU would have played out with this change in the timeline. The only complaint and more disappointing element is that only Chris Evans failed to return to voice “Skinny Steve” in this animation, the original cast returned from the film or had their lines reused from the film in this animation. Josh Keaton replaces Evans but also delivers a fantastic performance along side the always excellent Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. As the story explores her own battles during that time in our history and the very dismissive and misogynistic attitude to women in the army which mirrors what happens to Steve Rogers who is side-lined and set to perform for troops instead of being used as the Super Soldier he is, Peggy also faced this struggle with leaders who view the entire program as a failure because he became the super solider instead of Steve and her fight to have her worth recognised just as Steve did.
The animation in the combat and battle scenes is exquisite, especially when Captain Carter is fully in her uniform and Shield, now re-imagined with the Union Jack colours of Great Britain and showcased a lot more fighting ability than even Steve Rogers was shown to have in his first live action film. I do not want to spoil all the surprises and twists of this “What If?” story but I really do adore this art style which I do hope will be used for the remaining stories to be told and though the wait for the weekly drop of each episode gives me something to look forward to, as a MARVEL and a MARVEL MCU fan, I really want to just binge all the episodes now.
For those who have watched the LOKI series on Disney Plus and the birth of the full Multiverse in the MCU going into Phase 4, I do hope that at some point Hayley Atwell could well become the true Captain Carter on the big screen. This story alone shows just how deep they are going with this question, it is not just putting a character into a different character’s costume or powers, you really do get a taste of what that MCU Universe would look like with just one simple change taking place. I am very excited to see where this series goes as it continues to ask the question…