Header Ads

Steve Rogers Is Captain Carter's Winter Soldier - MCU Theory Explained

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Marvel's What If...? episode 9, "What If...The Watcher Broke His Oath?" 

In Marvel's What If...?, the finale episode's post-credits scene may be setting up Steve Rogers' Hydra Stomper becoming the Winter Soldier of Captain Carter's alternate MCU timeline. While Peggy Carter joined the Watcher and the rest of his assembled Guardians of the Multiverse to fight an Infinity Stone-powered Ultron, she was eventually returned to her own universe and timeline. However, while Peggy would have preferred to have been sent back further into the past to be reunited with Steve Rogers, it was only because she didn't know what lay ahead.

In the post-credits scene of What If...?'s finale episode, Peggy is taken back to the exact moment she left, fighting the terrorist Batroc on board the Lemurian Star, mirroring the primary MCU and the beginning of 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier which saw Steve Rogers' Captain America adjusting to modern life after being frozen for 70 years after sacrificing himself to save the world. Similarly, Captain Carter sacrificed herself during WWII as well, saving the world by fighting Hydra's monstrous squid-like creature (possibly Shuma-Gorath) back through the portal created by the Tesseract. However, when she emerged on the other side she soon realized she had jumped forward to a new and modern world 70 years later, meaning she couldn't be with the love of her life Steve (just like the primary MCU's Rogers who lost his version of Peggy).

Related: Is Captain Carter Worthy Of Wielding Mjolnir?

However, just as Bucky Barnes was preserved and brainwashed to be Hydra's deadly assassin known as the Winter Soldier in the main MCU timeline, the same thing could have happened to Steve Rogers' Hydra Stomper in Captain Carter's timeline seen in Marvel's What If...? Seeing as Captain Carter is experiencing her own version of events that took place in 2014's Winter Soldier, it does appear to be a pretty strong theory that could see her reuniting with Steve, though potentially in a much darker fashion at the onset.

After saving the multiverse, the Watcher returned Peggy to her own universe and time. However, he could tell that Captain Carter wanted to be sent further back to the '40s so she could be with Steve and have her happy ending, rather than the present day where she feels as though she doesn't belong and the love of her life was seemingly lost to her. However, the Watcher asked Peggy to trust him, promising that the time she found herself in needs Captain Carter to keep the world safe.

With that, Peggy finds herself right back to before she was taken by the Watcher in the final episode's post-credits scene, facing down Batroc on the Lemurian Star before the terrorist was tased and knocked out by Black Widow. Natasha then showed Peggy what Batroc's pirates had been after amongst the ship's cargo, and it was none other than the Hydra Stomper armor Howard Stark built for Steve so he could help fight in WWII. Furthermore, Black Widow confirmed that someone was inside the armor, and it's very likely that it's Steve Rogers himself.

There are a handful of reasons why Steve Rogers could very well be this timeline's version of the Winter Soldier. Firstly, while Bucky Barnes was a Howling Commando and fought alongside Peggy and Steve, it was Steve in his Hydra Stomper armor who was believed to have been lost during their train operation, rather than Bucky as is the case in the main MCU. Steve would later be found by the Howling Commandos in the clutches of Hydra, attached to several machines while still inside the armor. As a result, it's possible that Hydra could have tampered with Steve and his armor to make him more compliant, brainwashing Rogers into becoming their assassin over the years just as they used Bucky.

Related: Captain Carter's Costume Change Proves She's Following Steve's MCU Story

Secondly, it seems as though Captain Carter's timeline is loosely following the events of the main MCU, seeing her leading a team of SHIELD agents and Black Widow to infiltrate the Lemurian Star taken over by Batroc, the same operation that opened the Captain America sequel which saw Captain America reuniting with Bucky who had become Hydra's assassin. As such, it's very possible that a similar interaction could happen in a future episode of Marvel's What If...? that could continue to explore Peggy's timeline, seeing her reconnecting with Rogers in the present only to discover that he and his armor have become the unwitting weapons of Hydra.

Seeing as how the Hydra Stomper armor is likewise attached to several machines inside the crate found by Peggy and Natasha, it's possible that some of them are being used to preserve Rogers' life, not unlike the cryogenics used on Bucky in between his dark missions, allowing for his age to be largely retained since WWII. Furthermore, seeing Steve Rogers as an agent of Hydra would be a dynamic nod and reference to Marvel Comics' Secret Empire, which saw Rogers' personal history being rewritten so that he became a sleeper agent for the Red Skull's Hydra who then took over the world once activated.

In any case, while a Winter Soldier-esque transformation for Steve Rogers and his Hydra Stomper armor is just conjecture for a future Captain Carter episode that could be featured in Marvel's What If...? season 2, there is some strong evidence. While it wasn't absolutely confirmed by Black Widow that Steve was the "someone inside" the armor, it's very likely that it's Captain Carter's lost love, having somehow survived all these years. As a result, a Winter Soldier arc feels like the most logical theory and explanation that would continue to mirror the primary MCU and Captain America's journey quite well. Either way, fans of Marvel's What If...? will just have to wait and see what's in store when and if Captain Carter's story continues in the upcoming second season.

More: What If...? Season 2 News & Updates: Everything Marvel Has Revealed

Marvel's What If...? season 1 is streaming now on Disney+.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.