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What If... the Avengers Assembled in 1602?

"Hulk Smash Thee!"

We have the Avengers assemble in the 80s, so why not in 1602 as well?

We finally get to meet back up with Peggy and discover what happened when she was summoned through a portal. I'm not quite sure why they put two episodes in between this one and the Hydra Stomper. It would have flowed better if this had been a true two-parter. Regardless, as the title implies, Peggy finds herself in a different dimension's version of 1602.

This episodes loosely adapts Marvel 1602, which was written by Neil Gaiman. It was one of my favorite comics when I was a kid, so I was thrilled when I saw the title. As an adaptation, the episode did an admirable job. A lot of the details and plot points were changed to accommodate Peggy's presence (and the short run time), but it hit the important stuff.

I was very lost at the beginning of the episode, though. It took me awhile to orient myself and figure out what was going on. This was mostly due to Thor. He turned on Peggy so quickly and for such nonsensical reasons that I had no idea what was going on. Luckily, as the episode progressed, I started to enjoy it a lot more.

It was fun to see Steve and Peggy working together as superheroes. Both the fight in the tavern and the final battle were very well done. They managed to sneak in small character moments and the action was always easy to follow. The standoff with Happy was a particular highlight. It would have been my favorite scene if not for conversations between Peggy and the Watcher. Their growing friendship has been an unexpected pleasure throughout the season.

My suspension of disbelief wavered when Steve was revealed to be the Forerunner, though. He obviously knew that he was the person that they were looking for, the person who was responsible for the universe tearing at the seams and countless people dying. How could he just stand by and not say anything? Even if you assume that maybe he didn't initially know that he was the cause of the tears, he should have figured it out once Peggy appeared. It felt off.

I also, admittedly, was rolling my eyes a little bit at the grand goodbye. I know that it was supposed to be poignant and touching, but it felt hollow. It reminded me of Avengers: Endgame and how much I dislike Steve's ending. If Peggy is going to be our main character for the series, and all indications shout that she is, then I want her to be able to move beyond Steve. We've rehashed the story of their lost love enough times.

One of the more intriguing details was that Happy turned purple here. I didn't expect to see that beyond the Christmas episode, so the fact that it popped up again makes me wonder if it won't show up in other places. Happy also didn't really feel like Happy. He was an outright villain in this episode, and while the multiverse obviously allows for characters to take a different path, so far everyone we've met over the course of the series has at least been recognizable. Happy was the first one who felt completely different. I'm intrigued.

Random Thoughts

Rogers Hood is a pretty good name, but I still can't believe they didn't have Hawkeye in that role instead. At least Bucky mentioned him.

Bruce as the Man in the Iron Mask was a fun touch. (And a fascinating historical figure.)

Loki in full Shakespeare mode was an equally fun moment. Iago kinda is the true protagonist of the play...

The Watcher not being as invisible as he thinks is consistently amusing.

Strange Supreme! Seems like he's playing Nicky Fury this season in gathering all of the heroes.

An Honest Fangirl loves video games, horror movies, and superheroes, and occasionally manages to put words together in a coherent and pleasing manner.

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