What If … Captain Carter Were The First Avenger? Episode Review

Marvel is back at it, but this time with an animated show! Please do not read on if you don’t want to know any spoilers for What If … Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

A single moment can change everything and so it happened that Peggy Carter took the serum instead of Steve Rogers, altering the course of reality.

My thoughts?

I wasn’t sure if I was going to review this show, or even watch it, to be completely honest. I am a huge Marvel geek, so I like their content, but I’m really picky about animated content I consume. I don’t know why, but I just struggle getting into things that aren’t live action or a very particular style I fancy.
The animation style of What If …?, while at times beautiful, is not my favorite. I don’t think that they really caught the likeness of all the characters we know so well and even though they tried to get most of the people who played the live action counterparts to voice the same characters on the show, there are several actors not involved in the project. I’m not saying all of that’s an insurmountable problem, but it did put me off slightly.

The first episode in the series introduces us to the Watcher. He is our narrator and guide through the new realities. Right at the beginning, he explains that time and space is a prism of endless possibilities and that every single choice can lead to an infinite number of realities. Releasing this after the finale of Loki therefore makes a lot of sense, showing us what is all potentially out there and simultaneously declaring all of what we see as canon.

credit: Marvel Studios

This episode in particular focused on how things would be different if Peggy Carter had received the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. Here are some of the most notable points that were made:

  • Peggy Carter was always a force to be reckoned with. Of course, it was sad to see her be dismissed, even after she had become a super soldier, but we already knew how capable she was. It came as no surprise that she changed minds rather quickly through her actions. There didn’t seem to be a big adjustment period to her new strength and abilities, which was interesting. She might be stronger than Steve ever was.
  • I very much appreciated the fact that Steve wasn’t intimidated or turned off by Peggy after her change. He fell in love with her as a person and their story continued on just as sweetly as it would have were the roles reversed. We knew he was a good guy, but that proved it again.
  • In this version of events, Peggy gets the tesseract from Red Skull and Howard Stark builds a suit of armor for Steve powered by it. They call it the Hydra Stomper, but it is very much reminiscent of an early prototype for a later Iron Man suit. Can you imagine Steve Rogers as the first Iron Man? I cannot, but it worked here.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Steve enlists Peggy to save the 107th and that leads to Bucky hanging out with Howard Stark, which I find hilarious in my head for some reason. Can you imagine unburdened Bucky from the 40s just getting into all sorts of trouble with Howard? Because I sure can!
  • Peggy, Steve and the Howling Commando try to capture Red Skull on the train again. It’s a similar scene to the one Bucky first “died” in, but Peggy catches him. He thanks her for it by saying that she nearly ripped his arm off, a callback like many others during the episode. In the end, it is Steve who falls victim to an explosion and is believed to have perished.
  • All of it was a ploy by the Red Skull to capture Steve though, who survived due to his suit, and get the tesseract back. He uses it to open a portal, which releases a monster with massive tentacles. I’m not sure what monster it is exactly. It resembles quite a few possible candidates.
  • As Peggy and the squad discover that Steve is alive and try to stop the monster from devouring them all, Peggy picks up a sword to fight back. This is another (aside from the suit and shield) reference to Captain Britain, who did carry a sword. She eventually manages to drive the monster back through the portal, but only by sacrificing herself. In typical Steve-Peggy-devastating-last-conversation-fashion, he tells her she still ows him a dance.
  • Now we jump about 70 years into the future, when Nicky Fury and Clint Barton accidentally activate the tesseract in the present day, releasing Captain Carter in the process. This is where the episode ends, similar to how Steve woke up in present day New York, sad that he couldn’t keep his date with Peggy.
  • Lastly, throughout the episode, there were a lot of visual and other callbacks to “our” version of events, such as Peggy furiously knocking a punching bag off its hook or making fun of the ORS tours. They are nice and aplenty, if you want to go hunting for them in the brief air time.

I’m sure there are important bits that I missed, but overall, I didn’t think it was *that* different or mind-blowing. I thought I would be more impressed? Seen as this is a bit of a one shot thing, with each episode focusing on a different character, I can’t help but wonder what the purpose of this particular story was. Everything is always so interconnected these days, with actors hinting at the show influencing future events, that my brain won’t stop trying to figure out what it could all mean.

All in all, this was enjoyable, but I’m a bit unclear on what this means for the future of the MCU. Am I supposed to be prepared for an appearance of Captain Carter in the upcoming live action movies, because we are now dealing with the multiverse? Is this all completely inconsequential? I guess only future episodes will tell.


What did you think of the first episode of What If …? Talk to me in the comments below!

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (Book Review)

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Publisher: Orion
Page Count
: 496

Blood for Blood is the conclusion to the Wolf by Wolf duology (you can read my review for the first part here) and what an amazing one at that. I had the book at home for months now, but I dreaded finishing this little series, not really wanting it to end. Also, I felt like I had to be in the right mood for it, because of the whole World War II storyline and my relationship with that (already talked about that quite a bit in my other review).

This book broke me, but at the same time it was everything I could have wanted. Other than in Wolf by Wolf, we get multiple POVs and not just Yael’s, which in my opinion, serves the narrative greatly. While you never feel like you have all the information, you are way more in the loop about where everyone’s head is at. Yael’s actions from the first book definitely have consequences and affect her every relationship and even though I don’t condone what certain people did, reading chapters from their point of view made me understand their decisions. Also, you get a glimpse into their past as well, which shows how circumstances can shape people and how lives are intertwined without us realising it sometimes. Once again I feel pretty good about predicting some major plot twists, however, there will forever be one that I am not happy about. For obvious spoiler reasons I am not going to go into detail about it though. But the gif below, that was me! DESTROYED AND IN SHOCK!

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I cried, I laughed, I was very involved once again. Right from the beginning it was action-packed and defying all my expectations for how this story could possibly play out. I actually thought that this would be a whole longer series than just the two books, but Blood for Blood has one of the most perfect closing sentences and I will forever cherish that tale for sure.

Noooow, there is one more thing I need to talk about and it’s something I also talked about in the review for the first book – the use of the German language. As a native speaker I am here to tell you, they used it all wrong. It already bothered me a little bit during Wolf by Wolf, but this time around I could barely go three pages without having to complain to someone (thanks for listening to me about that – you know who you are!). I didn’t really make that part of my rating though, because that would have meant such a huge reduction of stars and I actually like the story very much. So, here goes nothing, I am hoping this makes sense to you, but I mostly just need to vent.

  • Curse words: okay, I get it. The author used words even a non-German speaker could kind of grasp the understanding of such as verdammt or scheiße (and YES that is how you actually write that word, not with a double s), however, during the 1940s that wasn’t nearly as common of a curse word as it is these days. So, it does not necessarily make sense to use it so very often. Aside from that, the author used expressions that only exist in the English language such as “I don’t give a shit”. Now, they replaced one word (in this case “shit”) with the German equivalent, but since the saying doesn’t exist in the same form in my language, it again makes no sense. Therefore the use of words felt random and just for the sake of putting something German in there.
  • Nouns: You cannot use nouns as verbs or adjectives, also, they are always written with a capital letter. In addition to that, the ending of the word depends on whether it is singular or plural and the placement of it in the sentence. There are just so many grammatical issues I have with the way words were used. Unfortunately, I am also not sure that even the author understood all the words. Again, a couple of examples.
    • You cannot be dummkopf, however, you can be a Dummkopf.
    • You cannot blitzkrieg someone. Blitzkrieg is a military term and refers to quick military actions to prevent further escalation. It’s a method of warfare, yet it was used so often and casually in the book that even I started to doubt the actual meaning of the word. In fact, I don’t even know what it really meant in the context of the story sometimes.
  • The names: This was actually something that bothered me right from the beginning of the duology. I discussed the names with my mother and even she agreed that most of them would not be authentically German.
    • Luka Löwe LITERALLY means Luka Lion. Aside from the fact that I think that Luka is a rather modern name (that could just be me), he is supposed to be this hot womanizer and all I could see was an animated lion. It just takes away so much of the credibility and the earnestness if the main love interest has such a ridiculous name.
    • Why is every other character’s last name the one of an animal? We already clarified the meaning of Löwe. Wolfe anyone? (Still unhappy about the -e at the end of that name. If I could show you how silly that sounds pronounced in German, you would understand.) Baasch? (That’s not actually an animal, but Barsch is a fish and there’s really not that much of a difference here anymore.)
    • So many of the names were English-fied (again, well aware that’s not a word, but I think you get my meaning). There were letters added or taken away that just made the name sound … wrong? Some names were turned into nicknames NO German speaking person would use. I could see some of it working in this day and age, because we’re are such a global community, but not in the 40s and 50s, especially if German is the main language in that universe.

See, I would not have complained if those mistakes had happened once or twice … but they were constantly present. There was barely a time when they used the correct German word or phrase. So, what I don’t understand is why the publisher, who surely has a partner company in Germany or something, didn’t send it to them to check for those things? It would be such an easily avoidable thing to prevent frustration among everyone who DOES speak the language. Because let’s face it, not everyone of us has English as their mother tongue, yet most of us read in that language. I, for one, would really appreciate that.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! (but only because I didn’t take the language problems into consideration!)

5stars

Now that the duology is finished, will you read it too? Have you already read it?

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Book Review)

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Publisher: Orion
Page Count
: 390

I am not really sure where to even start with this review. Maybe it would be wise to mention that I have a little bit of a strenuous relationship with WWII stories. It’s not that I don’t think they can be fantastic and valuable or even entertaining at times, but coming from Austria, there is no way around that topic. You talk about it pretty much every year in class, visit concentration camps and everyone is just afraid of it happening again, so they bombard you with the terror of the past and make you carry the guilt of generations way before your own. Yes, Austria was Hitler’s birth country and yes, we were the first to get annexed to Germany, but fact is, that I had nothing to do with the events of WWII. Yet the way it is treated in my culture still makes me feel like I have to make amends for what happened back then … you can see why I wouldn’t exactly seek out even more of that on my own time then, right?

Despite everything I just said, I still venture out into that world every now and then, because I know that these stories have an even greater impact on me than most things do. So, when I kept hearing about Wolf by Wolf on a regular basis and everyone seemed to love it, I finally caved and I am so glad I did. I wouldn’t want to miss it from my little library.

From the first page onwards, the beautiful writing never lets you go. I couldn’t remember one dull moment in the entire book. Varying between Now and Then, you get a good sense of how Yael has become the person she is now and why she is willing to do the thing she does. You can feel her determination just as much as her doubts and her wavering when she isn’t sure of her actions. Even when she doesn’t know who she really is, you know that she is a good human being.
By the end I was shaking with nerves and not sure I ever really wanted to put that book down again. However, it is just the beginning to a whole series and one has to take that into account. There are so many things still in the open and I NEED to know how it continues. I NEED to know who’s paths are going to cross again. I think I might even consider reading the novella to shorten the wait until November (Yes, you heard right. I want to read a novella at my own free will! That does not happen often!).

If I had to complain about one thing, it would partially be the use of German language. That is really just me nit-picking, because it doesn’t really have much of an impact on the story. However, it just felt so english-fied (I know that that’s not a word, but I don’t care). Sometimes there would just be too many or too few letters to a word, making it something that a native speaker wouldn’t use in a real sentence. And then there were the names. I have to say that most of them were chosen really well, except that if a person is German and their last name was Wolfe, they probably wouldn’t end it with an “e”. Neither would they shorten the name Adele to Ad. As I said though, that’s minor things and I am clearly rambling. The one name that truly nagged me was Luka Löwe … I don’t know how that sounds to you, but to me it sounds like an animated lion from a children’s cartoon, which definitely subtracted from his supposed attractiveness a lot.

Wow, this has gotten so much longer than I planned for. Either way, I think it was a great first book in a series that seemed weirdly realistic and made me shudder to think of what might have happened if events had turned out differently – I can only recommend it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A stunning piece of alternate historical fiction!

5stars

Do you think this book could be for you? Have you already read it? Did you like it?