What If...?: What If...the Avengers Assembled in 1602?
December 29, 2023 8:39 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Loki is a happy ham actor.

Peggy hears The Watcher: "Do you need something? I'm kind of busy." God, she's so great.


"Storming the castle is kind of my thing."

"Good job, Rogers. You made him mad. Good luck." How is Happy Hulk Hogan in this one?!

"It never gets easier. We never get our happy ending."
"I'm sure somewhere out there, we do."
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:04 PM on December 29, 2023

Also Loki standing right next to Peggy as Thor roars for her arrest not lifting a finger either way. I suppose having big sis around spared him a lifetime of alternately backing up and reining in Thor's impulsiveness.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:12 PM on December 29, 2023

This episode seems to be very loosely based on the Marvel 1602 series [Wikipedia spoilers] written by Neil Gaiman; here, there doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason for Purple Happy or any other particular person (the McGuffin that seems to be the precipitating factor notwithstanding) except for Rule of Cool (and Funny). Maybe it'll all make sense in the next (and season finale) ep? I dunno. Tons of fun.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:17 PM on December 29, 2023 [2 favorites]

I loved Original 1602 but was surprised this was more modern characters time traveling rather than, say, the closest equivalent to them but period.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:30 PM on December 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yes, this was more “inspired by” the 1602 series. They had to use MCU characters that people would recognize. The modern speech was a bit disappointing.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:07 AM on December 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

Gaiman's 1602 gave major focus to the Fantastic Four and X-Men, neither of which are currently in the MCU.
So, they took the basic concept and adapted it to their core characters. (including an evil purple man as the underlying trigger!)

Not all the actors were comfortable with the Elizabethan dialect (*cough* jonfavreau) but I grinned throughout. Hiddleston expounding on Shakespeare? Yes, please!

Haven't seen the final episode yet, but on the whole, this season feels a lot like fanfic - and I mean that as a compliment! - with open-ended settings seemingly designed to inspire further fanworks.
posted by cheshyre at 6:37 AM on December 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

I very much enjoyed Hiddleston's Loki talking about Shakespeare's new play really being about Iago.
posted by synecdoche at 4:23 AM on December 31, 2023 [5 favorites]

So much fun!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:18 PM on January 2

I feel 100% alone when I say this (even though I know I'm surely not), but I almost started spontaneously weeping when I saw how many Captain Carter "What If..." eps we were getting this season. I love Peggy more than almost any other MCU character, and to see her in so many different stories/settings feels like it's raining $100 bills on my soul.

Like, I had that gasping-hiccup feeling and then immediately started binging these. Just a little more, Peggy, and then we must part ways again... but for how long?

I'm all caught up on the latest live action MCU-verse shenanigans, but these What Ifs are really delivering both nostalgia and exciting new stories/twists.

I too could watch an entire Shakespeare in the Park series of plays starring Little Brother Loki. Hiddleston was MADE for camp and drama, so this episode had us both rolling!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:09 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]

The funny thing about Captain Carter is that she originated, not from the comics, but from one of Marvel's mobile games, a match-3 called Puzzle Quest. For the Captain America 75th anniversary thing some years back, they put out a gazillion versions of Captain America and one was Peggy Carter because there are really only so many variations you can do. She turned up once or twice after that in the comics as part of "main characters go reality hopping" storylines and then What If...? hit and she got a lot more fleshed out. The game has even put out two more versions of her, with slightly different variations on her backstory. (It's normal in the game to have multiples of a given character. There are enough Spider-Men to populate a small town at this point.)
posted by Karmakaze at 2:04 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]

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