As a blockbuster superhero franchise populated by people with special abilities, gods, monsters and inter-dimensional threats, nobody’s looking towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe expecting any degree of realism or historical accuracy. While we did get a prequel set during World War II, it also revolved around Nazi offshoot Hydra trying to harness the power of the Tesseract to build an army equipped with weapons to take over the entire world.
Some fans are sticklers for canon, though, and the first episode of Marvel’s What If…? has finally put an unanswered question to rest by locking in once and for all the exact date that Steve Rogers became the first super soldier. Or in this case, Peggy Carter stepped in to do it and became Captain Carter after the planned subject was injured during a battle against a sleeper agent.
A few years back, Marvel Entertainment touted June 22, 1943 as the day Steve became Captain America, but it was never accepted as official canon by Marvel Studios until now. During the Watcher’s opening monologue, the dulcet tones of Jeffrey Wright confirm that the events we’re about to see unfold took place in June 1943, so it’s safe to assume that the Marvel machine has definitively agreed on a timeline.
It’s a minor thing for sure, but it’s also one of the small connections that make the overall tapestry of the MCU that much more impressive when you really stand back and take a look at it. The first episode of Marvel’s What If…? wasn’t even about Captain America at all, with Peggy taking the spotlight and proving herself to be a more than capable hero in the process, but it at least gave a concrete occasion to celebrate his anniversary.