While we patiently await being thrown face-first into the madness of the multiverse with upcoming Disney+ series Marvel's What If...?, a new, intriguing detail has now been revealed regarding Peggy Carter's role in the show. The first episode of the animated series depicts Peggy Carter being given the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers, with the creative team behind What If...? Now explaining that, not only is Peggy Carter stood at the center of the series, but that she will return in future seasons. As executive producer Brad Winderbaum explains...
"We realized as we started developing the second season that Captain Carter was going to be the character who we would revisit in every season and continue that adventure. Obviously, we're telling a story on a giant multiversal canvas, so you never really know who's going to pop up where and when. It's very much an anthology, but there's always opportunity for fun connections to be made."
Winderbaum also explained why Peggy Carter's new-found superhero alter ego Captain Carter was chosen to light the spark that ignite the series.
"We realized, I think, early on in development as we were starting to get [writer] AC [Bradley's] scripts and starting to look at the arc of the series that there was going to be a character that bubbled up and became more important. Not more important than the rest, but had a strong relationship with The Watcher, who is really our driving force behind the series, and that's Captain Carter."
Writer A.C. Bradley went on to reveal the lightbulb moment that led to Peggy Carter's importance in animated Disney+ series, and it came from her first live action appearance in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. "Going into that episode, we knew we wanted Agent Carter to become the first Avenger," he revealed. "My job was to figure out how do we do this? And while watching the original first Avenger, there is a moment where Dr. Erskine says, "Would you rather wait in the booth?" And she goes, "No." And I was like, that's it. That's the moment."
Continuing, Bradley explained what it was about that particular moment that stood out. "She goes, "No, I'd rather stay in the room." Because that's such a loaded phrase. Even in the 1940s, especially in 2021, that women belong in the room and we belong in the conversation. Because when a woman is part of it, it changes the world. I love the idea that Kevin [Feige], Victoria [Alonso], Louis [D'Esposito], Brad [Winderbaum], they were like, "Go for it." They let me make her this really strong feminist character. And also showing that just because a woman gets a super soldier serum in 1940-something doesn't mean she gets to become Captain Carter. She still has to fight for it. And, damn it, she does."
Giving What If...? a central figure to rally around will no doubt benefit the series as chaos reigns throughout the newly introduced multiverse. The character has also been spotted leading a new team that includes the likes of Erik Killmonger as Black Panther, Gamora, T'Challa as Star-Lord, and Thor, with Captain Carter's importance as the series' lead and new Avengers leader slowly growing as the show goes on.
"It's something that evolves over time, but there is definitely like... There's a reason why you will come to learn that that story, it was the first one the Watcher invited us into, and that does have some importance as the series continues," Winderbaum teased.