Peggy Carter's new Avengers team in 'What If'

‘What If…?’ Assembled One of the Coolest Teams to Take On a Great Returning Villain

What If…? is back for a second season, and the Disney+ animated series is bringing burning questions about the mightiest heroes in Marvel’s canon. Episode 2 asks, “What If … Peter Quill Attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?”

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Set in the ’80s, the episode takes us into an era of S.H.I.E.L.D. where Howard Stark (John Slattery) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) are working together to keep the world safe while Captain America is frozen/M.I.A. This is also an era where there aren’t as many superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are doing most of the work.

So when Peter Quill comes to Earth, it’s a problem. We watch a boy come to terms with a lie he has been told all his life. The episode features multiple “what ifs” at play. In this universe, Yondu delivers Peter to Ego (Kurt Russell), where Ego begins to mold Peter into exactly what he needs.

The next “what if”sees Peggy and Howard assembling their team of heroes to defend Earth. One of those heroes is Bucky Barnes. Yes, that Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) who would, in the MCU main timeline, go on to kill Howard Stark and Maria Stark. So … that’s a big ole change to the dynamic.

Their team is pretty iconic, and watching these heroes assemble to take on Peter is pretty cool.

Peggy and Howard created a team…

a new team of avengers posing

Agent Carter fans will enjoy seeing Peggy and Howard team up one more. It will remind you of the scenes in Avengers: Endgame, where Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) run into Peggy and Howard when they time-travel to the ’70s.

And watching Howard and Peggy in charge of a team? Perfection. The team in question includes Dr. Wendy Lawson/Mar-vell, Bill Foster/Goliath, Black Panther/King T’Chaka, and Hank Pym/Ant-Man, along with Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier. The team fights Peter Quill, with Quill later turning on his father and joining the group to defeat Ego.

Ego is back…

Peter Quill and his dad Ego looking at the world

What surprised me the most was having Ego back in the mix. Kurt Russell’s Ego was a major villain in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 where Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) learned what happened to his mother and the truth about his father, Ego.

But the heart that Peter Quill has is always there and that’s what makes this episode (and the inclusion of Peter Quill) so good. Ego thinks that he has enough influence over Peter to ruin his son, destroy Earth, and take it for himself, as he has done planet by planet before. What he doesn’t expect is the power that Peter’s mother has over him. It’s beautifully portrayed and one of the best parts of the episode.

Everything about this was just so much fun and reminds us why a show like What If…? ends up working so well!

(featured image: Disney+)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.