The first episode of What If…? has debuted on Disney+. This is the first official animated entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it was also Peggy Carter’s return. A fan-favorite character not much has been heard from Peggy since the cancellation of her ABC series, Agent Carter. But that might be changing in the near future after the debut of Captain Carter.
After the introduction of the Multiverse in Loki, the MCU has changed drastically. Basically, anything is possible, which is the point of this new series. But Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to delve even deeper into these possibilities. The rumor mill is that Captain Carter will make her return in that film, thanks in large part to her final enemy in What If…?
Captain Carter in What If…?
The first episode of What If…? looked at the creation of Captain America. One small change ended with Steve Rogers missing the treatment. Peggy Carter took the Super Soldier Serum instead. On that day and in that reality, Captain Carter was born. She appears to be stronger, faster, and more agile than Captain America. This was likely because Peggy Carter was in much better shape than Steve Rogers to begin with.
Howard Stark continued to work with her. He created a costume and shield for Peggy as he did for Steve. Additionally, Howard also created a massive suit of Iron Man-like armor for Steve Rogers. He became the Hydra Stomper and went into battle alongside Captain Carter. This also led to a few other big changes. Bucky didn’t appear to die during the train mission and Steve never ended up in suspended animation.
What did happen was Peggy, Steve, Bucky, and the Howling Commandos tried to stop the Red Skull from enacting a very different plan. This time, he tried to unleash something from another dimension onto his world. Captain Carter fought the beast, beating it back into its home dimension. She then ended up trapped there with it and was eventually freed by Nick Fury. But the potential identity of the beast is key.
Shuma-Gorath makes its debut
The tentacled beast that reached through Red Skull’s portal was never identified by name. But in all likelihood, it was Shuma-Gorath, the rumored villain of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Shuma-Gorath is a powerful pan-dimensional being comprised mostly of tentacles and a giant eyeball. He is an ancient eldritch entity that existed before the universe itself. He may have even been born outside the traditional multiversal construct.
This is a level of power that no one except Doctor Strange has faced in the MCU. Dormammu, the great evil in the first Doctor Strange film, is the only MCU being that comes close. And Dormmamu and Shuma-Gorath are not exactly friends in the comics. Frankly, Shuma-Gorath isn’t really friends with anyone, given his desire to dominate and destroy everything.
Little is known about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at this point. The good doctor and Wong will likely return. Similarly, other mystical characters like Scarlet Witch, Loki, and Agatha Harkness are expected to pop up. There has even been speculation that Doctor Doom may arrive for the festivities. The man does love black magic. But the leading candidate for a villain is Shuma-Gorath. As such, Captain Carter may also appear.
Captain Carter vs. Shuma-Gorath: Round Two
When Steve Rogers last saw Captain Carter, she was fighting what looked like Shuma-Gorath. Nick Fury eventually used the Tesseract to pull her back into reality, albeit 70 years later. What that means is that she is alive and ready to keep fighting The Father of All Evil. And Doctor Strange is going to need all the help he can get if Shuma-Gorath is threatening Earth.
The current rumor is that Captain Carter will make her live-action debut alongside Doctor Strange. If that does come to pass, she had better be played by Haley Atwell. Any self-respecting MCU fan has wanted to see her wield the shield at some point. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might be the moment that fans get to see that happen on the big screen.
Naturally, this is nothing but rumors at this point. And how it all plays out will be interesting, to say the least. What is certain is that bringing the Multiverse into the MCU has opened up limitless possibilities. Many of those possibilities will continue to be explored by What If…? through stories that will have a bigger impact on the MCU than anyone realizes.