Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

‘What If…?’ is a brand new avenue of storytelling for Marvel Studios

The Name is Captain Carter

4 mins read

Have you honestly ever wondered about the possibilities of changing one tiny moment, phrase, thought, or choice in your life — the presence of moving past what is pre-written and deciding to start a new? Well, it seems for the next eight weeks, Marvel Studios has decided to challenge the norms of our reality and the pre-established stories from their 24 film shared continuity.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

The concept and idea of this new series is to explore the vast corners of a multiverse that come off feeling immense with unlimited potential.

To be honest, it’s a bold strategy to embark into the world of animation due to its balance, the presence of shorter run times, and the pantheon of other superhero dramas that are forever immortalized in the hearts of the audience and fans alike. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

Hence, where the genius and defiant leadership comes into position. The confidence to examine and tweak the blueprint of paying respect to the past. While embracing the future is just so surreal.

In my opinion, the best thing about “What If…?” is the little easter eggs from having witnessed every chapter of the infinity saga and understanding the importance of every character and the creative freedom that comic books genuinely possess. 

I mean, everyone has a favorite hero, but the brilliance of the MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is how the comics we once adored as children are now brought to life. Many say, “Marvel Studios achieves perfect casting,” The response sometimes leads to mixed reception.

However, for the most time, they genuinely do, I mean go up and down every character that has been brought to life, but being 24 movies deep and having multiple series on a streaming service. I was a little worried if the red brand was starting to lose its flair. 

To be honest, before I started the pilot episode of “What If…?” I had an uneasy feeling of the MCU beginning to run dry or be stale from the over-saturation of the product. It was ironic because the other Disney+ series felt fresh and driven by a deep woven narrative-based character study while taking inspiration from different pre-established genres. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

The looming thought of forgoing all cinematic escapes and live-action character study dramas featuring our favorite heroes for a more bold and straightforward was terrifying — especially the avenue of story-telling in the cel-shaded triumph animation.

Of course, once the credits roll with the animation and concept art. Along the lines of Lucasfilm’s similar style with “The Mandalorian” was a refreshing change of scenery and direction. 

It’s a tip of the cap for everyone involved with the series because animation of any kind is an extremely long and rewarding process. In this case, an animated series that felt like a DVD-feature film compressed into a time frame of 30 mins. You observe the colors, art styles, and human attachments that cut through the 3-D cel-shaded animation.

The action was fluid and felt reminiscent of the film “Captain America: The First Avenger.“ Some scenes were perfectly re-enacted from the live-action blockbuster. At times I was grinning or finishing the movie quotes before the story could catch up or just taking the beauty of this latest chapter of the MCU. 

The voice acting was top-notch and superb without diving into spoilers, Captain Carter herself, Hayley Atwell, who played the same character in live-action during the shared continuity.

It rekindled my passion for why I enjoy the essence of Peggy Carter, and to have Disney+ recommend the Agent Carter series after watching the first chapter of this new experience was the icing on the cake. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios

For those who didn’t know, the spy escape thriller featuring our heroine was an under-rated gem that went unnoticed on ABC for two seasons. It not only took notes from social commentary of the 1940s with how women were treated in the presence of the military and other avenues of the workforce, but the beacon of light and justice Peggy truly embodied and symbolized during her debut in the MCU. 

Everyone always ponders what she was up to during the 70 years when Steve was frozen in time. Well, Peggy was finding love, seeing the foundation of the Red Room, and learning to let go of tragedy while preserving her humanity. It truly felt like her arc did come full when you watch this episode about the choice of Peggy taking the super-soldier serum, it feels like a continuation of what the Agent Carter series stood for. 

With the balance of understanding, we have seen a world where Steve Rodgers, “a good man; not the perfect soldier,” goes on to make the ultimate sacrifice and achieve the life he always envisioned after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” was and still is poignant.

Then to see the mutual feeling of respect and admiration between the hearts of Steve Rodgers and Peggy Carter transcend the laws and preservation of the multiverse was a reminder that some are destined to be together but also bound to meet. 

Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios and Disney+

The chemistry between Atwell and Josh Keaton, an animation veteran, is superb. I don’t want to spoil the other surprises that appear in this episode and the small, subtle changes from the films we all cherish. 

“What If…?” is a bold new chapter into a pre-established phenomenon that makes you question the fabric of reality itself, but with the pacing being a little incoherent to fill in the gaps of a full budget. With brilliant voice acting from a strong cast comprised of MCU veterans, and voice actors legends it’s clear the series has the potential to be something special. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Brendan Rooney

Brendan Rooney has always been full of creativity and enthusiasm toward the world of widespread media. He is also a passionate comic book fan along with a die-hard sports pedigree. Brendan has written various articles covering all topics and dreams of forging a long-lasting legacy by bringing respect to the Rooney name as either a teacher, journalist, or whatever else the future holds. His work has been featured on Google, Quoted by Marvel Games, Reshared by Movie Trades, Broken exclusives, Spoke and presented at syndicated academic conferences as well.

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