The breakout star from Marvel’s What if…? makes her comic debut in Captain Carter: Woman Out of Time. A reality where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Peggy Carter took the Super-Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers is turned upside down — when the World War II hero is pulled from the ice where she was lost in action decades before! Now, Peggy struggles to find her footing in a modern world that’s gotten a lot more complicated — cities are louder, technology is smarter and enemies wear friendly faces. Everyone with an agenda wants Captain Carter on their side, but what does Peggy want? As she teams with S.T.R.I.K.E. to investigate the sudden resurgence of Hydra, something doesn’t feel quite right. Can Peggy trust what she’s being told, or is someone trying to use her as a high-profile pawn in a game she doesn’t yet understand?
Marvel’s animated anthology series on What if…? on Disney+ produced many memorable moments and concepts, but the one with arguably the most staying power and popularity has definitely been Captain Carter. With an awesome costume and origin story, the already fan-favourite character Peggy Carter got a new lease on life with the show which led to her live-action appearance in Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness and now this comic series.
Handling the writing is Jamie McKelvie who most readers will know as an artist from acclaimed collaborations with Kieron Gillen on Phonogram, Young Avengers and The Wicked + The Divine as well as designing costumes for Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel. This time round, he only provides cover art with illustrations being handled by Marika Cresta. That’s not to say McKelvie has no writing chops (his 2007 series Suburban Glamour is an underrated gem) as he proves to be a strong fit for this series.
McKelvie excels at the fish-out-of-water approach of the series as Peggy struggle to adjust to the modern world. Whilst she enjoys the food and improved technology, the music and entertainment has largely passed her by, and she still finds plenty of sexism in the workplace despite her living legend status. There’s some clever generational gap examination as she is unwittingly manipulated by the rather dubious prime minister which brings her into conflict with her neighbour and friend Harley – a DJ/hacker. Peggy’s coming to terms with the political climate and her trying to find her place in the modern world are the series strongest points. Especially when she sees the government wants to use her as a way to further their cause.
In addition, McKelvie delves into classic Marvel material, with Elizabeth Braddock (Psylocke from the X-Men) calling back to her early Captain Britain days as a member of S.T.R.I.K.E. (the UK equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) which fits the narrative perfectly. He also has a fun version of Tony Stark who is more akin to the Howard Stark of the past than Iron Man.
Kresta is great on the art side. There’s lot of dynamic action and it is thrilling to see a modern UK depicted in a Marvel series. Outside of the action, this is quite a plot heavy series, so we get to see her really excel when it comes to the character moments, with Peggy Carter trying to fit in to a modern Britain outside of her superhero garb bringing some of the best parts.
This is a brilliant integration of Captain Carter into the comic format and is very accessible to readers old and new. Hopefully we’ll see more adventures from her down the line.
Captain Carter: Woman Out of Time is out now from Marvel (9781302946555, p/b, £15.99)
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