MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

FAN: Discuss various fictional worlds that don't qualify for SF.

Moderator: Steve

Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11131
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crazedwraith »

The What if...? animated series premieres today.

First up "What if Captain Carter were [sic] the first Avenger?"
User avatar
wautd
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7397
Joined: 2004-02-11 10:11am
Location: Intensive care

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by wautd »

Looks interesting but I'll wait a bit until I can binge a few episodes in a row
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

First episode was okay, but it hove too close to the original story of The First Avenger, the changes from it being Peggy not Steve were pretty minimal all told and none of them really accounted for her being a different person from a different nation. It's arguably even more of an "America won WWII" story than before because it doesn't ask the question "what do the British do with a super soldier?", it just assumes that she would remain under American operational control because that's how The First Avenger went.

Plus they worked overtime to make sure Steve Rogers could stay involved because they didn't have the guts to not have him around.
Spoiler
Then it cribbed the ending from Hellboy, which was fine I guess. The First Avenger turned into Wolfenstein in the last half hour anyway.
User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9155
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Solauren »

Actually, since the SSR was a joint operation, she was under joint authority.

It would be interesting to follow up the end of it, with her in the modern world.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

Solauren wrote: 2021-08-14 09:33pm Actually, since the SSR was a joint operation, she was under joint authority.
Neither The First Avenger or this reprise of it really felt like that though. It was a very simple "America wins the war" story, which is fine for a Captain America story because that's the national identity Captain America represents. It should have felt more different when it wasn't Captain America.
It would be interesting to follow up the end of it, with her in the modern world.
They've already confirmed multiple seasons of What If with a Captain Carter story in each, so we will be seeing more.
User avatar
GuppyShark
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2756
Joined: 2005-03-13 06:52am
Location: South Australia

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by GuppyShark »

Oh, that's awesome news. I always felt the MCU missed an opportunity to really explore the 'fish out of water' of Steve Rogers being dragged from WW2 into the 21st century.
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

To be honest I think the likely audience now are too aware that the attitudes that make a man from the '40s a fish out of water in the modern world have baggage attached that they'd rather not explore with Captain America, who is supposed to represent an ideal self image for the nation.
User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9155
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Solauren »

Vendetta wrote: 2021-08-15 12:02pm To be honest I think the likely audience now are too aware that the attitudes that make a man from the '40s a fish out of water in the modern world have baggage attached that they'd rather not explore with Captain America, who is supposed to represent an ideal self image for the nation.
This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
User avatar
Gandalf
SD.net White Wizard
Posts: 15803
Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Location: A video store in Australia

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Gandalf »

Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
Amusingly, being so progressive in the forties would likely have seen people denounce him as a communist of some sort.

Too bad we never got to see him disrupt a lynching or one of the 1940s other racial horrors.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin
User avatar
Steve
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9559
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA
Contact:

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Steve »

Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
Pretty much the point, Steve knows what it's like to be powerless and the kind of abuse you can suffer in that position. And he didn't hew to the other typical reaction: "kicking down" on the other powerless in the hope it gets you better treatment.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

DONALD J. TRUMP IS A SEDITIOUS TRAITOR AND MUST BE IMPEACHED
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
That's kinda one of those frustratingly naive takes that people who don't think about systemic problems come up with sometimes...

Steve Rogers absolutely does not know what it's like to be part of a systemically oppressed group, and trying to equate the effects of systemic oppression with "skinny nerd is bullied toooo!" is a dumb trivialisation of what's actually happening.

I can guarantee you that if you tried to base a story on that it would go down like a lead balloon with the exact people you think you would be supporting...
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11131
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crazedwraith »

Vendetta wrote: 2021-08-16 03:31am
Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
That's kinda one of those frustratingly naive takes that people who don't think about systemic problems come up with sometimes...

Steve Rogers absolutely does not know what it's like to be part of a systemically oppressed group, and trying to equate the effects of systemic oppression with "skinny nerd is bullied toooo!" is a dumb trivialisation of what's actually happening.

I can guarantee you that if you tried to base a story on that it would go down like a lead balloon with the exact people you think you would be supporting...
I don't recall if it applies to the MCU Steve because you're right he wasn't really shown to be oppressed in First Avenger but at least some versions of him (including 616 iirc) are actually from an irish immigrant family and would know what it was like to be an oppressed group.
User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9155
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Solauren »

Vendetta wrote: 2021-08-16 03:31am
Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
That's kinda one of those frustratingly naive takes that people who don't think about systemic problems come up with sometimes...

Steve Rogers absolutely does not know what it's like to be part of a systemically oppressed group, and trying to equate the effects of systemic oppression with "skinny nerd is bullied toooo!" is a dumb trivialisation of what's actually happening.

I can guarantee you that if you tried to base a story on that it would go down like a lead balloon with the exact people you think you would be supporting...
He doesn't have to be part of a victimized group to be sympathetic or supportive. He was bullied, he knows what that's like. He see's others getting that constantly, and he sympathizes.

I'll also point out he was in charge of a military unit that included a big red-headed man, a black man, someone of asian descent, and a frenchmen. That he was standing shoulder to shoulder with, without complaint, and that he ate and drank with them.

Steve Rogers, in the MCU, was the ideal already. That's why I think him being treated like he wasn't, and all that, would be interesting.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

Solauren wrote: 2021-08-16 08:00am
Vendetta wrote: 2021-08-16 03:31am
Solauren wrote: 2021-08-15 02:09pm This version of Steve Rogers seemed rather progressive for the time. He never said a word about anyones nationality, or sex. (Probably because he was victimized as much as they were). Having him interacting with people expecting that kind of baggage would have been interesting.
That's kinda one of those frustratingly naive takes that people who don't think about systemic problems come up with sometimes...

Steve Rogers absolutely does not know what it's like to be part of a systemically oppressed group, and trying to equate the effects of systemic oppression with "skinny nerd is bullied toooo!" is a dumb trivialisation of what's actually happening.

I can guarantee you that if you tried to base a story on that it would go down like a lead balloon with the exact people you think you would be supporting...
He doesn't have to be part of a victimized group to be sympathetic or supportive. He was bullied, he knows what that's like. He see's others getting that constantly, and he sympathizes.

I'll also point out he was in charge of a military unit that included a big red-headed man, a black man, someone of asian descent, and a frenchmen. That he was standing shoulder to shoulder with, without complaint, and that he ate and drank with them.

Steve Rogers, in the MCU, was the ideal already. That's why I think him being treated like he wasn't, and all that, would be interesting.
Yeah, but that's the thing. Being bullied doesn't mean you "know what it's like" to live with systemic oppression. Systemic oppression that means that nobody has to bully you because all of society at every level is tipped against you all of the time and has been for generations. And that everyone else thinks that this is normal and will often deny that there's anything wrong with the way society works and blame you for it, whilst being hostile to the idea that it is even a thing.

Steve Rogers could be an ally to people suffering from systemic oppression because he understands intellectually that it is right to do so, but not because he knows what it's like. If you aren't part of a group which is actually disadvantaged by systemic oppression, if your grandparents didn't, to name one example, get shut out of the middle class because GI bill loans mysteriously didn't go to black folks very often, you can't know what it's like. You can know that it happened and that it's bad and should be corrected, but not what it's like, no matter how many swirlies you got in school.

But that would, essentially, remove the thing that started this tangent. He wouldn't be a fish out of water from the '40s any more, because understanding that systemic oppression is even a thing which can exist is incompatible with a 1940s American mindset. It's incompatible with quite a lot of the 2020s mindset still.

Steve Rogers can be a fish out of water from the 1940s who stands up to individualised expressions of racism (and punches them in the face) because he was a good man for his time, but he's not going to be a positive speaker on Critical Race Theory any time soon and remain that 1940s fish out of water.
User avatar
GuppyShark
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2756
Joined: 2005-03-13 06:52am
Location: South Australia

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by GuppyShark »

Critical Race Theory wasn't really what I meant about the storytelling potential of 'fish out of water'.

He went into the ice and woke up to a world that had moved on from radio to the Internet, sundown towns to affirmative action, a woman's place is in the home to Xth wave feminism, the birth of air travel to the Apollo missions, the Industrial age to the Information Age. They trivialised all that as a list of movies he had to watch and "I understood that reference!".

Contrast to Wonder Woman - she went from a matriarchal Hellenic society and in a brief period in patriarchal but technological WW1 England gave the director opportunity for comedy and drama. She'd never experienced oppression personally as a woman in her past, but she sure as hell confronted it when it was in her face.
User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10883
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Vendetta »

GuppyShark wrote: 2021-08-16 11:02am Critical Race Theory wasn't really what I meant about the storytelling potential of 'fish out of water'.

He went into the ice and woke up to a world that had moved on from radio to the Internet, sundown towns to affirmative action, a woman's place is in the home to Xth wave feminism, the birth of air travel to the Apollo missions, the Industrial age to the Information Age. They trivialised all that as a list of movies he had to watch and "I understood that reference!".

Contrast to Wonder Woman - she went from a matriarchal Hellenic society and in a brief period in patriarchal but technological WW1 England gave the director opportunity for comedy and drama. She'd never experienced oppression personally as a woman in her past, but she sure as hell confronted it when it was in her face.
Yeah, but that's the thing. The fish out of water needs the fish to still have expectations founded in the previous world. If you do that with all those social things that have changed since the 1940s that makes Steve Rogers look really bad. Every time he finds something in the modern world that's chaged with regard to the position of women, black people, and so on in society and reacts even slightly negatively to it, he shows that he's not as good a person as he could be. And if he's just joyously enthused by the fact that it's finally better, well, that's just a white guy saying "Gee I'm glad we fixed racism" and that's not great either.

So it's actually a really good thing that they didn't explore that and just made him a good guy and good ally by modern standards not 1940 standards. Because there's no way Steve comes out of the latter looking good.
User avatar
GuppyShark
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2756
Joined: 2005-03-13 06:52am
Location: South Australia

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by GuppyShark »

Ahh, I get it.

Steve woke up to a _better_ world. Not a perfect world, not a utopia, but the standards of living had improved, technology had improved, equality had improved. He was asleep during the post-war era where wealth inequality declined, but he'd still remember the Great Depression.

Diana being amazed at icecream and bristling at being kicked out of a room full of men for being a woman aren't really similar.
User avatar
Agent Fisher
Rabid Monkey
Posts: 3650
Joined: 2003-04-29 11:56pm
Location: Sac-Town, CA, USA, Earth, Sol, Milky Way, Universe

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Agent Fisher »

T'challa as Starlord. Loved the episode.

And rest in peace, Chadwick. It was great to get one last time of him as T'challa.
User avatar
EnterpriseSovereign
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2796
Joined: 2006-05-12 12:19pm
Location: High orbit

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

GuppyShark wrote: 2021-08-16 12:09pm Ahh, I get it.

Steve woke up to a _better_ world. Not a perfect world, not a utopia, but the standards of living had improved, technology had improved, equality had improved. He was asleep during the post-war era where wealth inequality declined, but he'd still remember the Great Depression.

Diana being amazed at icecream and bristling at being kicked out of a room full of men for being a woman aren't really similar.
This part of Winter Soldier touches on the whole "fish out of temporal water" thing.
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

"As you know science is not fact"- HuskerJay
"The Delta Fyler [sic] isn't even a shuttle craft" -HuskerJay69
"The Dominion War wasn't really all that bad"- Admiral Mercury
User avatar
EnterpriseSovereign
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2796
Joined: 2006-05-12 12:19pm
Location: High orbit

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

GHETTO EDIT: First episode also basically turned Steve Rogers into Iron Man with a tesseract-powered suit.

IMO what makes the series work is how they have the same live-action actors providing their voices to their animated selves.
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

"As you know science is not fact"- HuskerJay
"The Delta Fyler [sic] isn't even a shuttle craft" -HuskerJay69
"The Dominion War wasn't really all that bad"- Admiral Mercury
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11131
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crazedwraith »

I watched the first two episodes yesterday. Despite making this thread I've been oddly reluctant to watch them.

So yes Captain Carter was cool but like a speed run of First Avenger with Peggy, Iron Man and a squid thrown in. It's cool. It's interesting to me Carter is much more bad ass than Steve was. In-universe maybe because she was fit before taking the serum? Out of universe, the freedom of animation and the need to make her appear as power as Steve in his last appearences to make it seem impressive?

And the T'Challa episode.... Well I don't like to apply the term 'mary sue' outside of fanfiction but I'm struggling to find another term. It's like Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf and it's played borderline straight. T'Challa, raised by Ravagers somehow talks Thanos out of his plan? Is a Galaxy renowned hero? Women want him? Men want to be him?

It is slightly counter acted by the idea that this gives rise to The Collector being a much nastier villain than he was in canon and possibly Ego won't be stopped in this verse but... it was silly. Nothing wrong with silly but it didn't click with me.

I'm not sure how much advantage using the MCU Actors as voice actors really is. Acting <> voice acting and some of them aren't so great at it and some just sound different than in canon. Then again Drax's 'sound alike' was even more distracting so... eh.

It's fine but not knocking my socks off so far.
User avatar
Crossroads Inc.
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9212
Joined: 2005-03-20 06:26pm
Location: Defending Sparkeling Bishonen
Contact:

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

my problem with the series has largely been the part of me that can't stop over analyzing things...
YES they have been fun, but like with each one I go "Wait, exactly HOW was the time line changed so much by ONE thing?"

Like the first one is probably the worse for that.
Peggy gets the super serum formula and... Some how this leads to the red skull going after the tesseract like, months later, and then loosing it to the good guys... Which means, he never had super tech in the first place, or laser guns, or all the other stuff... So, Like why was he a threat?
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
"Congratulations, you get a cookie. You almost got a fundamental English word correct." Pick
"Outlaw star has spaceships that punch eachother" Joviwan
Read "Tales From The Crossroads"!
Read "One Wrong Turn"!
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11131
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crazedwraith »

After now catching up, I think the following three episodes are much less grating in that regard and the show's getting stronger as well I think.

As aside the guy for subbing for Tom Holland (and apparently this voice change is enforced by Sony) was so good that I didn't realise he wasn't Holland until afterwards.

And Benedict Cumberbatch does well but he has previous experience voice acting in movies and acting on Radio. (Cabin Pressure, greatly recommended as he plays someone entirely different from his typecasting)

Crossroads Inc. wrote: 2021-09-13 05:01pm Like the first one is probably the worse for that.
Peggy gets the super serum formula and... Some how this leads to the red skull going after the tesseract like, months later, and then loosing it to the good guys... Which means, he never had super tech in the first place, or laser guns, or all the other stuff... So, Like why was he a threat?
He still had lots of conventional resources. Though yeah why SSR would particularly care about him is another matter.

I still think T'Challa's case is the most inexplicable tbh.
User avatar
Crossroads Inc.
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9212
Joined: 2005-03-20 06:26pm
Location: Defending Sparkeling Bishonen
Contact:

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

oh I totally agree. I honestly chalk a lot of it up to a mix of Trolling the fanbase and a bit of "we aren't really taking this one seriously" I mean, the whole MEME of Thanos was that NON ONE could reason with him, so having him go "Oh of course I could be reasoned with" I just try and laugh and shrug.

The Carter one, yeah, it was harder to ignore the changes.
Praying is another way of doing nothing helpful
"Congratulations, you get a cookie. You almost got a fundamental English word correct." Pick
"Outlaw star has spaceships that punch eachother" Joviwan
Read "Tales From The Crossroads"!
Read "One Wrong Turn"!
User avatar
Solauren
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9155
Joined: 2003-05-11 09:41pm

Re: MARVEL's What If...? (spoilers possible)

Post by Solauren »

One possibility with the Red Skull not going after the Tesseract -

What if, in 'Sacred timeline', even though he was shown going after it early, he only actually went after it after the Super serum worked on Rogers?
Red Skull immediately went 'another Super soldier, we need an ace in the hole' and went after the Tesseract when he did. (which resulted in the Nazi officers visiting him a few months later, and Hydra splitting back off from the Nazi's)
That would still give him months of super-tech build time while Steve was selling warbonds.

And the SSR was after him because Hydra took out an SSR project. You do remember that guy dying from a suicide capsule going 'Hail Hydra' to Steve, right?

In the 'Peggy Supersoldier' timeline, he decided that a female super soldier wasn't a threat, so they didn't need the Tesseract yet. He didn't move up his timetable to combat her, until she said 'screw this, I'm a soldier', and went out and did something, and it became obvious she was a threat.

However, without months of lead time before the allied Super soldier was deployed on the field, the Red Skull decided to do the stupid thing, and summon a Eldritch Terror (which ever works). It's also possible the idea of a female that could best him pushed his already fragile mental state over the edge.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
Post Reply