What If…? (2021) Episode 1: What if Captain Carter Were the First Avenger Review

Director: Bryan Andrews

Writer: A.C. Bradley

Stars: Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell, Samuel L. Jackson

RATING: 4 Stars

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The Watcher observes all the strands of the multiverse, and the choices that change history forever. In this episode, What if Steve Rogers was seriously injured before he could be given the Super Solider serum? Having no other choice, Peggy Carter enters Erskine’s machine herself and becomes Captain Carter. Taking the place of Steve Rogers as the First Avenger. While Howard Stark creates a new invention that will allow Steve to finally fight in the war.

I don’t know why I am so surprise, but seeing all these characters back together again on a new adventure, or on an old adventure, but slightly changed. Peggy, Steve, Bucky and Howard all return, most of them voiced by their original actors sans Christ Evans, and it was everything I had hoped for. The key moments from The First Avenger still show up, the Nazi spy blowing up the lab, the fight on the train, the attack on Schmitt’s HQ, but they are all of course, slightly different from the original. It was so interesting to watch what they have changed about the original story, and also see a few Easter eggs and in jokes that fans will love.

They have been incredibly faithful to the original films, as you see by the still above, even some of the shots remain the same from the original film, just altered. I was concerned that they were going to take it too far and the essence of the original would be lost, but nope, they kept it true, and that made me happier than I could possibly explain.

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“A shield is NOT a plan…”

Howard Stark

I did feel like some of the dialogue was a little corny, that they were trying to make it funnier than it needed to be. Some characters, Bucky, Steve and Zola were pretty close to their movie comparisons. That might be because they had a relatively small speaking part, so the differences weren’t quite so obvious. Peggy for the most part was pretty accurate, though at times she seemed to lose that cool, smooth exterior that I love her for. Howard Stark seemed to have dialled his sarcasm and humour up to eleven. There was one Joke about Hedy Lemarr that seemed bang on character, but the rest was a little too over the top, even for Howard.

I can see what my biggest problem is going to be with this show though. Now I have been introduced to this world, with all of it’s mixed up history, I am going to want to see it through. How does the events of this new beginning effect events later on. Does Bucky still become The Winter Soldier? If no, then does Howard Stark still die? Does Hydra still infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D? This has thrown up so many questions. We don’t have the full synopsis for every episode yet so maybe I will get some of these answered? Either way, this was a fantastic start to the new series and I cannot wait to see what other stories they can come up with.

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