Warning: Contains spoilers for What If…? episode 9.
Marvel’s What If…? introduced a version of Peggy Carter who became a Super-Soldier instead of Steve Rogers, and as Captain Carter, she might be the strongest Super-Soldier yet. Captain Carter might not have had as much to do as either the original Captain America or Sam Wilson, but what little she has done gives credence to the idea that she stands at the top.
The season one finale of What If…? opens with Captain Carter going through the beginning of her version of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Just like in that movie, Captain Carter and Black Widow are tasked with rescuing S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel being held hostage by a group of pirates led by one Georges Batroc, who’s better known as Batroc the Leaper. Just like Captain America before her, Captain Carter ends up in a one-on-one fight with Batroc where she willingly takes his bait to forego fighting with her shield and settle things with pure fisticuffs, the personal specialty of Batroc the Leaper. This is when the difference in the strength levels of the different Captains becomes readily apparent.
Both Captain Carter and Captain America are able to defeat Batroc with relative ease despite not using their signature shields, but there are slight differences in their respective fights that might say a lot about their skill levels. Both before and after discarding his shield, Steve’s martial arts couldn’t prevent him from taking several hits from Batroc throughout the fight, but throughout the entirety of her fight with Batroc, Peggy rarely ever took a hit as she dodged nearly every attack he threw out and was pretty much the only one landing hits between the two of them.
While there isn’t an explicit comparison being made between the two Captains, based on their performances, it’s easy to conclude that Peggy, at least at that point in time, was stronger than Steve was at the same point in time. Similarly, the same can also be said when comparing the fight to Sam’s fight with Batroc in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where Sam had a far more even match with Batroc and takes more hits than Steve and Peggy, even with the shield and accessories of his suit aiding him.
It makes sense that Sam would have the most difficulty dealing with Batroc since he’s the only Captain who isn’t a Super-Soldier, but as for Steve falling short of Peggy, it could be a combination of Peggy possibly being stronger due to being more physically fit than Steve was then serum was used and Batroc simply being a powerful opponent, in general. Whatever the case, What If…? gives us possibly the strongest Super-Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Carter, and if she shows up in season two, her appearances would probably further exemplify that with ease.
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