14. What if Peggy Carter became Captain America?
One of the only What If? episodes we can confirm will happen centers around Peggy Carter (Haley Atwell) becoming Captain America instead of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). There’s also a precedent for this alternate version existing as she appeared in an issue of Exiles last year, but we want to see the entirety of Peggy’s journey.
As far as how that would play out on Marvel’s What If? series, it’s probably safe to say Peggy will jump into Erskine’s machine instead of Steve during World War II. She’d then go on to fight Red Skull and presumably battle foes similar to Rogers’ archnemesis.
The one significant difference is what would happen to Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) if Agent Carter becomes the next Cap. Rogers was the one who saved Bucky from Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) the first time around but that doesn’t mean Peggy would use her powers to do the same. In turn, Bucky may be left in Hydra’s torture chamber.
Fortunately, Steve Rogers isn’t the kind of guy to leave his best friend behind — even without superhero powers. He can’t charge into the Hydra facility as he did in The First Avenger but planning a thorough rescue attempt isn’t preposterous. Who knows, Steve might even don a suit of armor made by Howard Stark for the breakout.
13. What if Steve Rogers was a brainwashed Hydra soldier?
A major highlight from Avengers: Endgame was Captain America (Chris Evans) tricking Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) into believing that he too was a Hydra soldier. Cap didn’t have to go into any crazed explanations, he merely repeated their credo of “Hail Hydra” while leaning in to speak with Sitwell privately.
While their brief greeting was taking place, Agent Rumlow (Frank Grillo) signaled his goons to take Cap down. But Sitwell then nods to Rumlow, informing him of Cap’s defection. Everything becomes copacetic again but what if Captain America was actually a Hydra agent?
It’s no secret that Hydra managed to manipulate and brainwash several people in the MCU’s history, and there were plenty of opportunities for the dastardly organization to implant ideas in Cap’s head too. He was also inside of the destroyed Hydra facility for an extended period of time, without anyone else’s knowledge, and what’s to say Cap didn’t get abducted while inside.
Regardless of the past, a Captain America who reveals that he’s secretly been a Hydra Agent for years would be devastating to the MCU. Most civilians have the utmost respect for Cap so the idea of him being exposed as a villain is bound to cause an uproar.
To be fair, a Hydra-controlled Captain America sounds like the perfect catalyst for a superhuman Civil War. The MCU’s signature battle between heroes was on the basis of ethics, though a more compelling conflict would be between villains disguised as heroes and the real Avengers.