Marvel’s What If…? finally premiered today, offering up our first look at the animated anthology series. The pilot episode posed the question: “What if Captain Carter was the First Avenger?”, meaning we got a retelling of Captain America 1 with Hayley Atwell’s Peggy in the lead. Though Chris Evans didn’t reprise Steve Rogers, the episode still features numerous other stars from the film, including Neal McDonough, Toby Jones, Dominic Cooper, and Sebastian Stan.
And it’s Stan who’s made the biggest impact on fans. Over the years, we’ve got used to the brooding Winter Soldier Bucky, but in this iteration of What If…?, Stan gets to play the original, more carefree Bucky instead. And the many Sergeant Barnes lovers out there are all for it.
This is the real “what if?” question of the episode.
Howard and Bucky are the duo we didn’t know we needed.
OK, this was mean, Marvel.
But not as mean as this.
Although this reunion made up for it.
Wait, this could actually be onto something…
Thanks to the ripple effect of Peggy becoming Captain Carter, Bucky was never kidnapped by HYDRA and so he didn’t become the Winter Soldier. Sadly, Peggy was separated from Steve when she was trapped in a multiversal portal. But the upside is that this means there’s at least one reality where Steve and Bucky grow old together.
Stan is set to return as Bucky in a later episode of What If…?, in which the Winter Soldier will battle the zombiefied Avengers. This sounds epic, but by the looks of it, fans would love to see more of funny ’40s Bucky too. Well, anything’s possible in the multiverse, so maybe their wish will granted. Don’t miss new episodes of the show as they drop Wednesdays on Disney Plus.