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What If...? - What If... Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? - Review

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Four weeks after Loki's finale, a new Marvel show arrived on Disney+!

“What If…?” is an anthological animated series that explores multiple alternate timelines from the MCU. Each episode will take us to different scenarios and characters, all introduced by the Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright), a powerful alien who observes the multiverse (without interfering, of course).

The first episode is a retelling of Captain American: The First Avenger (2011). It begins with a Hydra spy attacking Steve Rogers before he gets to receive the super-soldier serum, leading agent Peggy Carter to take it instead.

Then, with Peggy Carter as the Captain, the story twists many important moments from the movie, adapting them to Carter’s new role. However, everything remains the same essentially. Hydra is the main enemy, Red Skull wants the Tesseract to conquer the world, an assault on a train leads to a disappearance, and the Captain has to make a huge sacrifice to save the world, parting ways with her lover as she goes 70 years into the future.

After I finished watching it, one question popped up: what makes a good pilot/series premiere? While that's debatable, usually I expect it to introduce the main character(s) and clarify what the story is about, while setting the tone, time, and space. And, of course, it must be engaging and interesting in a way that makes me crave for the next ones.

But what about anthology tv shows? What makes a good standalone beginning?

If you want, leave a comment with your thoughts on all these topics, but the point is: what was I expecting this season opener to deliver? A very engaging, surprising, twisted, and mind-blowing story? Maybe something unforgettable and genuinely brave? Something that would leave me curious to watch the next episodes? Honestly, I don’t think the premiere was any of these. It felt very familiar, comfortable, common. No big surprises, no big changes, no big risks.

Yet, it distracted me for half an hour. In the end, it felt good.

That mostly sums up my feelings about this episode: a good start filled with nostalgic moments led by an interesting version of beloved Agent Carter.

Let's start with our star: Captain Carter is wonderful. She remains bold, fierce, and interesting, and her moments with Howard Stark left me nostalgic for the canceled Agent Carter show. Anyway, I am very excited to see how her journey will continue. We already know her struggles, strengths, weaknesses, and relationships in the past, but who Captain Carter would be nowadays? I hope we get to watch it someday.

Another thing I liked: Steve Rogers as the Iron Man (here the armored suit is called Hydra Stomper), Carter's sidekick and love interest. He’s still a golden-hearted hero, and his dynamic with Peggy is even cuter.

Also, it's nice to have Bucky around, especially when fighting interdimensional creatures with his friends. This time he gets to live a normal life without brainwashing at the end (I hope so, at least), which made me happy.

Finally, the animation style didn't bother me, though it was weird to watch it sometimes. And I think we are not getting one different style per episode, which may upset some people (not a big deal to me).

Anyway, that's it. Have you watched the episode? Are you excited for the season/any theories? The next episode is upon us already, and I truly expect bolder moves from this show. I'm sure it can be twisted and surprising and memorable if they take bigger risks.

Thanks for reading, and see you soon for the next review.

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