And now for something completely different. While Mitchell has done a solid job with reviewing the Marvel and Star Wars shows, I volunteered to take over episodic reviews of the latest Marvel show on Disney Plus. With shows like “Loki” and “WandaVision” leading to “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” being the catalyst for the MCU post-Infinity Saga, it’s becoming clearer that this show is less fun speculation and more of taking baby steps into the newly-restored Marvel multiverse (see “Loki” if you want to know what I’m talking about).
“What If…?” follows Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), a member of the alien Watcher race that observes the multiverse, as he looks into alternate versions of MCU stories. The initial scenario brought forth by the omniscient entity has Agent Peggy Carter volunteer herself for the Super Soldier experiment in “Captain America: The First Avenger”, after an attack leaves Steve Rogers wounded and the project nearly lost. This allows her to get the Tesseract and get help from Howard Stark to build the HYDRA Stomper for Steve Rogers, which looks exactly like Tony Stark’s first Iron Man suit. After rescuing Bucky Barnes and the 107th, despite being held back by male leadership, Captain Carter and the HYDRA Stomper are seen as key parts to the war effort. This culminates in an attack on HYDRA and the Red Skull as he summons a creature that takes over and forces Carter to sacrifice herself and emerge seventy years later, in the present day.
Even as someone who didn’t see “Captain America: The First Avenger,” this really had good setup with a little bit of a feminist kick to it. Seeing the divergence in not only from a Marvel lore standpoint but also the gender politics of the time is amazing to watch and left me thinking what the ripple effect would have been. This episode shows how much the Butterfly Effect has here, with how the simple act of Peggy replacing Steve as a super soldier changes the timeline and has me excited for what’s in store for the series.
Of all the shows that Marvel has made, I haven’t been more hooked for a show since “WandaVision.” With the concept making for interesting storytelling and the ripples of the changes making for new timelines, it definitely has me excited for what other adventures The Watcher will lead audiences into going forward.