"Marvel's What If...?" Season One Talkback (Spoilers)

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RoyalRubble

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Space. Time. Reality. It's more than a linear path.
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Marvel's What If...?
Series Debut
- August 11, 2021 (on Disney+) with new episodes premiering every Wednesday
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?" launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.

Season 1, Episode 1 - What If Captain Carter was the First Avenger?

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We appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!

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Related Links
:
"Marvel's What If?" (Disney+ Animated Series) News & Discussion Thread (Spoilers)
"Marvel Animation on Disney+" News & Discussion (Spoilers)
"Marvel on Disney+" Pre-Release News & Discussion, Part 5 (Spoilers)
"Marvel Cinematic Universe" News & Discussion, Part 7 (Spoilers)
 

Rick Jones

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Fun first episode. The only thing with the look of the show that I still need to get accustomed to is how cartoony character expressions can be. There were some fun action moments here. It did move very fast and I don't know how much they could have really slowed it down but having a little room to breathe probably wouldn't have hurt. I had no problem with the voices although I thought that Howard Stark felt a lot like Varrick from Legend of Korra at times. Red Skull's goal here felt a lot more like it was in those first episodes of Earth Mightiest Heroes where he was pulling in Asgardian beasts to make up his army. I wish we got maybe a little taste of what the effects of this change were on the wider world. They definitely left room for more story at the end, which is the MCU way. As much as I'm glad to see them acknowledging that first one-shot short, Bradley Whitford's character was insufferable for me. Not even a little bit of the patronizing attitude from the short but a full on, non stop chauvinist. They really made me miss Colonel Phillips. How is this guy in charge of anything with his lack of a mind for this? All in all, so far so good. I hope to see them really dive into the craziness of the premise even more with the future episodes. (You would think a Cthulhu elder god creature would be crazy enough)

I can't believe that I didn't think of how much this would remind me of Wonder Woman until I was actually watching the episode.


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Neo Ultra Mike

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"What If.... Captain Carter Was The First Avenger?" - As someone who wasn't really into comics as a kid (besides Sonic the Hedgehog) I'm sure like others I found out about DC and Marvel characters outside of general pop culture osmosis and references through cartoons. Since yeah when I was young I was into the old FF 60's cartoon series, the X-Men cartoon (well the intro and the arcade game for it anyway) and the Spider Man cartoon. So yeah I've been a fan of Marvel animation for ages... sort of. DC's been far more consistent in turning out quality series and even animated flicks while Marvel's had peaks and valleys. A huge peak was honestly in the late 2000s/early 2010's when we had the trifecta of awesome of Spectaular Spider Man, Wolverine and the X-Men and Avengers Earth Mightest Heroes. All awesome cartoons that would really get kids into the lore of these worlds which yeah sadly dried up once the Disney merger with Marvel was completed. And though that has given us loads of awesome live action movies and even some really solid shows, the animated side suffered.

Most of it was put under Jeph Loeb who was more concerned with catering just to little little kids without really any solid background to get anyone else invested thus resulting in a lot of cheaper and forgettable shows. Ultimate Spider Man, Hulk and the Agenst of Smash, Guardians of the Galaxy TV Series, Avengers Assemble, Marvel Spider Man... yeah no one really ranks these as their favorite of Marvel animation and though we'd occasionally have a great movie like Big Hero 6 or Spider Verse (the later which Sony's not even Disney marvel) all of it seemed like junk just made to tell toys to tykes without the heart of the older series. Even anime had that problem with that whole Disk Avengers thing where it didn't seem like anyone was really trying to push the boundry and make animated Marvel content for someone older then 10. Sure there were attempts but they didn't go anywhere. That Deadpool series got canned and though we did get MODOK the Offenders tie in series that were suppose to come with it got canned due to that Hulu deal shutting down so yeah that's the one show.

Which is why I'm fully on board with the idea of this series. Marvel Studios finally deciding to actually make their own cartoon and to make it distinct play with that multi verse idea and explore various alternate scenarios of things we wouldn't get in the regular canon but can do different things and go different places in their own way. Plus honestly having all of these be more stand alone adventures also works because though I have overall liked more then I disliked the last 3 shows I admit having to watch them week to week to wait for the next bit of story to pick up was starting to get old so having one that tells it's story for the most part and then moves on really works. So with that whole tangent out of the way how was our first outing showing what would happen if Peggy Carter was the Captain America esque figure?

I think for the most part it worked. I guess a problem of this kind of idea is that due to having a shorter episode length run time a lot of ideas or bits from the movies they try to incorporate do feel sort of rushed that to really get anything from you'd need to see the movies. Like why Bucky is so important for Steve and Peggy to rescue and even more of Peggy's connection with Steve. I kind of wish the whole "I actually feel respected" was elaborated on as aside from the "we won the war" line at the end felt like that was the only interesting sort of new earnest emotion that this one had that we could of seen more of. Would of been better then having that stupid sexist "women can't be soldiers" general which yeah I get it 40s and all but aside from being shushed later all of his scenes felt painful. And not even a "well it will feel better when he gets what's coming to him" considering he's still on the allies side so you don't really get that. And though I get the idea of having this gigantic multi tentacle beast for the opponent I do wish there was a better finale obstacle since outside of being tentacle slammed around not much this creature could do as that was the only fight here that was not really one sided.

That's not to say the battles here were bad since yeah on the contrary the action in this episode was awesome. I mean Captain America especially in Winter Soldier and Civil War showed how cool that kind of combat can be in live action but in animation you can just show off the super human speed and power better. From how Peggy flipped over the truck and took down that giant Nazi guy in three hits to that especially awesome like near one take scene of her jumping on the plane and taking out a bunch of goons before jumping into another one... again the only super awesome action scene these Disney Plus series have given us is the first one of Falcon and Winter Soldier but I have a feeling this show will be able to give more because with animation you just generally have more freedom to do anything so those sort of shots are great and honestly seeing Peggy wield the shield and the sword in that last fight is a real iconic image. And I am glad they are using the one change to show other ones that since they were able to recover the Tesseract Howard used it's power to make that Hydra Smasher and honestly Peggy does have a dryer snarkier attitude towards her then Steve so her talking about Howard having to push buttons and out sciencing him for a sec was funny and I liked Howard's bit interrupting the two's about to kiss but still wanting to watch them and having been dragged along on the mission in the first part. And some other odd lines here and there from Dum Dum Dugan just being "oh okay" about seeing Captain Carter and Bucky telling steve Peggy headed high cause they drew the low straw. And honestly though some lines were cheesy here that makes sense because that was the attitude of the first Captain America movie and though some bits were a bit too non the nose (Bucky talking about "nearly losing an arm") it never got to groan worthy content or anything.

So yeah solid introduction to this concept that I guess cuts the drama out of the situation but eh you already knew that from the movie this is about selling a unique idea and honestly the action and speed sells that really well. I'm sure other episodes will have more down time moments but this one wanted to get across going through the war and in that regard it did work. I do wonder if Watcher will do more then just pop in the beginning and end of every episode but he worked as did this idea so yeah can't wait to see more what ifs on what else could happen in the MCU pop up in the next 8 weeks.
 

the greenman

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This was definitely a fun episode. Makes me want to revisit CA: tfa real soon. I didn't have issues with the voice cast at all; except one. Whitford as Col. Perlmutter (Flynn) was a needed addition to Carter's super soldier.

I did have one problem with Red Skull, because the VA did not convince me at all. I did love the Lovecraftian aspect of his version of Hydra. Even though we know in hindsight the subtle romance of Steve and Peggy from the film. This kinda pushed it forward more.

The whole Bucky scenario was interesting. I think someone wrote, that idea can be an episode of its own if Winter Soldier never existed. Hmmm.

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bigdaddy313

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Do you know what I love and appreciate so far is how they don’t hold back on the violence and the maturity like the MCU. The used guns, grenades and Captain Carter was vicious, throwing guys off planes, breaking bones like that big Nazi guy from the truck. Usually for animations Marvel would hold back a lot but Marvel Studios is just like Lucas Arts, it screams great projects for the future.

The animation, OMG I love the ANIMATION it’s soo smooth, soo Beautiful, it really reminds me of a greater version of the Superman series in the 1940’s. The colour is superb it’s like Disney’s 2D animated Films like Tarzan, Lion King and so forth. I kind of thought it would be like Cell Shaded animation but it’s not, the CS animation has a certain type of Movement style, this show is way smoother and the motion moves like a classic Disney animated film that took 4 to 6 years to make. You guys have no idea how happy I am.
Their mouth needs a little work but thats ok. LOVE IT.

Josh Keaton as Steve Rogers was so perfect, he really sounded like Chris Evans. Everyone else reprised their roles and obviously sound awesome, even Hugo Weaving’s replacement from Infinity War as the Red Skull who got crushed by the way, yeeesh that sounded Nasty.

I can’t wait till next week, I wonder if the next one is another change or Captain Carter is involved in many episodes like a linear exploration of the multiverse but we will see.
 

Yojimbo

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I was surprised of all characters, they brought back Flynn from the Agent Carter One-Shot and that Heinz Kruger managed to kill so much of the upper echelon of the SSR, that Flynn was the highest ranking one left and took over. But I did wonder was Flynn there, too, in the main timeline albeit retroactively or was offscreen in the john? Or why Red Skull stole the Tesseract later in this AU.

At first, I thought the generic space octopus was Shuma Gorath but nah. Dug that Howard built Steve a retro version of the Iron Man 1.0 suit powered by the Tesseract.

Impressive the only recast was for Steve Rogers. No shock they went with Ross Marquand for Red Skull.

Seeing an MCU story in animation took some getting used to.
 

Last Spider

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Good first episode, having Haley Atwell back as Peggy is always a good thing, the voice recast fir Steve did a good job almost didn't notice it was someone else.
I'm real excited for more, especially the Doctor Strange episode.
Do you know what I love and appreciate so far is how they don’t hold back on the violence and the maturity like the MCU. The used guns, grenades and Captain Carter was vicious, throwing guys off planes, breaking bones like that big Nazi guy from the truck.
They do all this stuff in the movies though so...
 

bigdaddy313

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Good first episode, having Haley Atwell back as Peggy is always a good thing, the voice recast fir Steve did a good job almost didn't notice it was someone else.
I'm real excited for more, especially the Doctor Strange episode.

They do all this stuff in the movies though so...
Yeah that’s what I am saying, Marvel Entertainment would hold back a lot but Marvel Studio kept the same tone in its animation as their movies.
 

Frontier

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Who better to chronicle a multiversal anthology series than The Watcher himself, played with mysterious and cosmic charisma by Jeffrey Wright :)?

Is Uatu going to constantly be pointing out the exact moment something got changed? Going "hey, here's where it happened" every episode? It's really like Uatu is part of the audience watching the show :p.

Who would have thought Peggy Carter having googly eyes for Steve Rogers and wanting to be up close and personal would have multiverse ramifications :rolleyes2:?

So I guess Steve Rogers...really did not need to become Captain America. Like, Peggy becomes a Super Soldier, goes through the relatively same situation of no one talking her seriously until she proves herself and gets the Tesseract before they were supposed to in the "main" universe (even though that doesn't deter Red Skull), captures Zola earlier, pulls off the Howling Commandos rescue mission, prevents Bucky from getting Winter Soldiered, her Red Skull ends up taking himself out, and she ends up coming back to presumably lead her worlds' Avengers equivalent. Huh :confused:.

Josh Keaton voicing Steve Rogers was surprisingly well cast. Like, he's a spectacular Spider-Man (heh), but he does a great job of filling in for Chris Evans as MCU Steve while still making the role his own. Never count on a professional VA where it counts! I wonder if he'll play Steve as Captain America in other What If's :)?

Okay, so we can have people blow up, fall to their death, get incinerated, shot, and crushed by a cthulu beast...but we can't show blood or bullet wounds. Well, whatever works :shrug:.

"Captain Carter" doesn't really have the same ring to it that "Captain America" does but I guess they couldn't just use the Captain Britain name willy-nilly...then again it was kind of weird that a Super Soldier designed for the American military ends up sporting the Union jack on her Superhero uniform :nurse:.

I see the creators understand animation enough to know they can make the characters move and fight like they're in a cartoon and not a live-action movie, complete with a more exaggerated moveset and physics :cool:.

General Philips dying was the true tragedy of this timeline :(.

I guess if there's any differences I would point out between Captain America versus Captain Carter...Peggy seems a little more headstrong and aggressive than Steve was, and seems to enjoy her abilities and what she can do more. And obviously for Peggy it's the need for validation and achievement driving her to some extent, which was a character arc for her in her own show, contrasted with Steve who always just wanted to do the right thing, which is true even in this universe :proud:.

I thought for a second they were using archival footage of Red Skull because the voice sounded uncannily like Hugo Weaving, but instead it was Ross Marquand again! He truly has that voice down! I'm only disappointed we didn't get a good Captain Carter versus Red Skull fight :mad:.

It was kind of surreal hearing Sebastian Stan playing pre-WS Bucky again, although you could kind of tell that Sebastian Stan isn't used to VA work by some of his line delivery in this episode :sweat:.

I guess Iron Man suits run in the genes to the extent that, with the right power source, Howard was able to construct a pre-Iron Man Iron Man armor in the Hydra-Smasher. I'm kind of wondering about the historical implications of that one, particularly on Tony :oops:.

Dang it Howard, learn to read the mood faster :rolleyes:.

I was wondering if that dimension hydra monster was Shuma-Gorath, but no giant eye was a dead giveaway o_O.

I guess Steve and Peggy fall in love in any universe...but are still always destined to be torn apart for one reason or another before they can have that dance. Unless this Peggy's journey will wind up taking her across time until she ends up going back in time to live out her life with Steve and leave the shield for Sam :elle:.

I'm glad Jeremy Renner is in this for more episodes because it would've been hilarious if he was only in it for like that one line as Hawkeye :murphy:.

I guess the question is where Peggy goes from here beyond probably leading the Avengers? I don't think we've seen enough as to how much this world diverged just from Peggy becoming a Super Soldier...like, will all the same Avenger-y stuff happen, just with her in place of Steve? Will she be a woman out of time or acclimate better than Steve did? So many questions :knd1:.
 

BigFatHairyDeal

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I think it's alright. Big issue for me is that for Marvel What ifs...? and DC Elseworlds, the event that happens differently should trigger a lot of unfamiliarity from the events we already know, but some things should also stay the same. I felt like in this episode, a handful of things that should've been different stayed the same, but things that otherwise should've been similar got swapped.

Maybe I'm misremembering things from the MCU, but here's my list:
  • The Hydra Stomper shouldn't look almost exactly like Iron Man's original suit. It adds a fun-ish parallel, but I probably would've preferred it be different. It's like Peggy's choice retroactively made Howard more like Tony.
  • Howard chose the shield to be part of Peggy's ensemble when he originally had no real intention of making that Steve's weapon, or at least had to be convinced into customizing the shield. Steve saw the shield in its prototype stage and liked it. So they forced another parallel without accounting for the reasons in the original take.
  • Not sure why the Allies were able to get the Tesseract the way they did in this episode. What in this alternate reality made it easier for them to acquire it from the Nazis? Obviously, in the original movie, there was no talk about a large energy reading coming from Norway, but it happened this time and I didn't catch it in the episode why it was a plot point here and not in the 2011 film.
  • Also not sure why they were able to tap into interdimensional travel and summon a beast this time when in Captain America the best they could do was power weapons.
One part I flat out didn't get the first time watching was why pushing the Hydra creature back into the portal led Peggy to (presumably) 2012 MCU alt-Earth, but the creature didn't appear as well. But I guess you can always just say the Tesseract is fickle like that.

So in recap, they brought in certain familiarities without accounting for the triggers, but then they added variation without adding such triggers to cause things to play out differently.

Overall, it's a good start. Nice to see that MCU-adjacent stuff has the full backing of Disney so we can get these high-budget projects. And I really like the premise: this is the world we know except one choice triggers a difference.
 

the greenman

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I think it's alright. Big issue for me is that for Marvel What ifs...? and DC Elseworlds, the event that happens differently should trigger a lot of unfamiliarity from the events we already know, but some things should also stay the same. I felt like in this episode, a handful of things that should've been different stayed the same, but things that otherwise should've been similar got swapped.

Maybe I'm misremembering things from the MCU, but here's my list:
  • The Hydra Stomper shouldn't look almost exactly like Iron Man's original suit. It adds a fun-ish parallel, but I probably would've preferred it be different. It's like Peggy's choice retroactively made Howard more like Tony.
  • Howard chose the shield to be part of Peggy's ensemble when he originally had no real intention of making that Steve's weapon, or at least had to be convinced into customizing the shield. Steve saw the shield in its prototype stage and liked it. So they forced another parallel without accounting for the reasons in the original take.
  • Not sure why the Allies were able to get the Tesseract the way they did in this episode. What in this alternate reality made it easier for them to acquire it from the Nazis? Obviously, in the original movie, there was no talk about a large energy reading coming from Norway, but it happened this time and I didn't catch it in the episode why it was a plot point here and not in the 2011 film.
  • Also not sure why they were able to tap into interdimensional travel and summon a beast this time when in Captain America the best they could do was power weapons.
One part I flat out didn't get the first time watching was why pushing the Hydra creature back into the portal led Peggy to (presumably) 2012 MCU alt-Earth, but the creature didn't appear as well. But I guess you can always just say the Tesseract is fickle like that.

So in recap, they brought in certain familiarities without accounting for the triggers, but then they added variation without adding such triggers to cause things to play out differently.

Overall, it's a good start. Nice to see that MCU-adjacent stuff has the full backing of Disney so we can get these high-budget projects. And I really like the premise: this is the world we know except one choice triggers a difference.
Well, I do understand a lot of your gripes. However, as many in this thread have already brought up, this is limited to the MCU films. That's not all that important to what you're griping about, but I see this mostly as an introduction to the concept of What If . . .? from the comics. Especially to those just coming into this concept. So I'm not all that hard on this initial episode.

I would love for it to be a little bit longer in length to explore & flesh out stuff as you pointed out.

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Freddy

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Do you know what I love and appreciate so far is how they don’t hold back on the violence and the maturity like the MCU. The used guns, grenades and Captain Carter was vicious, throwing guys off planes, breaking bones like that big Nazi guy from the truck.

Not only that, but the guns were realistic/shot bullets and we see characters drinking alcohol. I didn't need this show to be all "HARDCORE & ONLY FOR ADULTS!!", but it is nice that, besides showing on-screen blood (at least so far), they are allowed to go as far as other MCU projects in terms of "mature content."
 

bigdaddy313

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Not only that, but the guns were realistic/shot bullets and we see characters drinking alcohol. I didn't need this show to be all "HARDCORE & ONLY FOR ADULTS!!", but it is nice that, besides showing on-screen blood (at least so far), they are allowed to go as far as other MCU projects in terms of "mature content."
Thank you, you are absolutely right and it makes sense that it should follow the same path like Star Wars Clone Wars and Bad Batch in terms of Maturity and not treated like a Saturday morning cartoons.
This is why streaming service really serves this type of Material.
 

Roxas_Sora

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Well, it's not a surprise that the Super-Soldier serum made Peggie Carter strnger than Stave as Captain America. According to Erskine, the serum amplifies what you already has: The good becomes better, and the bad becomes worse. In Steve's case, he was a physically weak man whose inner strength came out, gaining the abilities of the full human potential. In Red Skull's case, he was a sick twisted man whose insanity corrupted him completely.

In Peggy's case, she was already a strong woman, both physically and mentally, whose abilities where incredibly amplified with the serum. Peggy was physically superior ot Steve before he was injected with the serum (obviously), so it's only logical that, if both of them have received the serum to amplify what they already had, Peggy would be a stronger supersoldier than Steve himself.
 

RoyalRubble

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Another week, another "What If" question.
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Marvel's What If...?
Season 1, Episode 2
- What If T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?
Episode Debut
- August 18, 2021

Comments?

We appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!

Additionally, please use Spoiler Tags if you wish to discuss the events of an episode in other threads outside this Talkback for the first 7 days after its premiere (i.e., as soon as a new episode debuts, Spoiler Tags for the previous episode aren't mandatory any longer).
 

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