ND TV Review: What If...? S1:E1 What if... Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?
Marvel Studios gives us the MCU's first animated series with What If...? The program will give us a peak into areas of the Marvel multiverse and the alternate realities that exist throughout. This is a natural progression following the finale of the Loki series' first season which resulted in a splintering of the time line and the branching of alternate time lines.
The first episode takes us back to World War II where because of a few changes in events Peggy Carter receives the super soldier treatment instead of Steve Rogers. Peggy under the name Captain Carter and donning a Union Jack style costume with accompanying shield takes on the Red Skull, Hydra and the Third Reich. I'm not going to spoil the story here, but just as the Captain America: The First Avenger film centered around the control of the Tesseract or Cosmic Cube, this episode does also.
This episode moves fast, in less than ten minutes Carter is already fighting the Nazis as a super soldier. This will need a bit of an adjustment on the part of those used to the slower pacing in the live action programs. While I noticed this immediately it made sense to me in that this is similar to the pacing you'd find in a comic book trying to tell a story within 22 pages. Jeffrey Wright voices the Watcher, who acts as a our host/narrator similar to role the character played in the comic books. For those not familiar with the comics. The Watcher sets things up for the viewers similar to how Rod Sterling did in the Twilight Zone or The Crypt Keeper in the Tales from the Crypt series.
The cast list for the episode has a lot of familiar MCU names from Hayley Atwell returning to the role she's played on the large and small screen to voice Peggy Carter. Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Dominic Cooper, Sebastian Stan, and Samuel L. Jackson all return to voice the roles of their characters from the first Captain America film. These familiar voices paired with the excellent animation made a great first impression on me for this series. Plus I'm a sucker for WWII super heroics, so it almost felt like Marvel was really pandering to me.
I enjoyed the Captain Carter character immensely and loved the costume design. I want to see more stories with this her center stage. Maybe that will be possible. I'm rethinking my choice to skip pre-ordering the Marvel Legends figure of the character that is for sure. This episode has me wanting to dig through my long boxes to find my old issues of What If...? My only complaint comes back to the pacing, I almost wish the episode was a little longer so the story didn't seem so hurried along. Overall it was a fun episode and I'm looking forward to the next.