What If…? Episode 1 Teases Doctor Strange 2’s Rumored Multiverse Villain


What If…? may have teased a rumored Marvel Cinematic Universe villain said to be appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for What If…? episode 1.

In addition to a superpowered Agent Carter, Marvel’s What If…? premiere includes a surprise villain that may appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The new Marvel Disney+ series, What If…?, gives fans a look at alternate timelines in Marvel’s Multiverse, and the premiere gave Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) her due. The episode takes a look back on the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, with Carter choosing not to watch Project Rebirth from the safety of the booth. After the program is attacked and Steve Rogers (voiced in What If…? by Josh Keaton) is injured, Carter puts herself in the super-soldier chamber, gaining the powers of Captain America. She then becomes Captain Carter.


The Captain Carter change drastically alters the timeline. Steve Rogers becomes a version of the first Iron Man, donning a HYDRA-stomping metal suit. Also, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) doesn’t become the Winter Soldier, though he jokes at one point that Captain Carter almost ripped off his arm after saving him from falling from a train. Additionally, Red Skull (Ross Marquand) cannot initially gain access to the Tesseract, which changes his plans. Red Skull now wants to summon the « true champion of HYDRA » from beyond the stars.

Related: Is Marvel’s What If Canon? The Show’s MCU Connections Explained

In addition to altering events, What If…? may have teased a new Marvel Cinematic Universe threat. Red Skull eventually summons his champion, using the Tesseract to open a portal for a tentacled beast. Unfortunately, the monster is uncontrollable, apparently killing Red Skull and potentially threatening the safety of the entire planet. Captain Carter fights the beast back through the portal, disappearing along with the monster. She reappears from a portal around 70 years later in front of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Though the monster that Carter fought isn’t named, it appears to be Shuma-Gorath, a villain rumored for Doctor Strange 2.

What If Trailer Captain Carter Shuma-Gorath

There are several hints to the villain’s identity. Shuma-Gorath, one of the Old Ones, is a mystical, one-eyed, tentacled beast in Marvel’s comics. Though there’s no clear view of the entire creature in the What If…? premiere, the tentacles may hint at the monster’s true identity. Also, What If…? is all about the Multiverse and the numerous possibilities that could happen now that the Sacred Timeline has been destroyed in the MCU. With Shuma-Gorath’s deep connections to the Multiverse in the comics and its rumored upcoming appearance in Doctor Strange 2, it makes sense that Disney’s new show would give the villain a tease.

A potential Shuma-Gorath appearance has numerous implications. The events of What If…? are canon in the MCU’s Multiverse, and Hayley Atwell is rumored to reprise Captain Carter in a live-action appearance in Doctor Strange 2. With Shuma-Gorath also rumored to be the villain in the Doctor Strange sequel, the episode could directly tie into the movie. That means Red Skull, non-Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes, and even scrawny Steve Rogers could appear. Of course, Shuma-Gorath hasn’t been confirmed as the villain in Doctor Strange 2 thus far. But what if Marvel’s What If…? premiere is a small Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness spoiler?

More: Loki Secretly Answers One Lingering Endgame Timeline Branch Mystery

Marvel’s What If…? releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023

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