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Red Skull

What If...?
by yo go re

What If... Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?

The Red Skull sets his Hydra forces against the Allies' lone super-soldier, Captain Margaret "Peggy" Carter.

As revealed before, the first plan for What If...?-ifying Captain America was that Steve Rogers would fall off the train instead of Bucky, get brainwashed into being "Captain Hydra," and push Johann Schmidt out of his command position. Skull would then be forced to join forces with Bucky, Howard Stark, and Peggy Carter to defeat Evil Steve. In the final product, he ended up being a lot less different from his mainline MCU counterpart, with the major change being that he was willing to focus on mysticism rather than just physical weaponry (something he may have gotten to eventually in the movies).

The producers of What If...? said they reached out to all the original actors to see if they were willing to reprise their roles for the cartoon, but it's unclear whether that included Hugo Weaving: he'd already declined to return as Red Skull for Endgame, with the role being taken over by Russ Marquand, so it makes sense he'd be the one to do the voice here. (Also Ultron, weirdly.)

The majority of this figure is a reused sculpt. The only new part is the head, which is taller and squarer than the movie makeup. The rest of the body comes from the 2018 SDCC exclusive, which has never been released otherwise. Nice choice! The sculpt is perhaps more detailed than you might expect, but this is hardly the first "animated" character to get realistic molds. He's wearing a long black leather coat with Hydra logos molded on the shoulders. The lower part of the coat is a separate piece, and if it ends up sitting too low on the figure's body, the belt will gape out away from the body; if yours is doing that, just slide it up (so it's just under the two silver buttons on the stomach) and it should be fine.

That long jacket does block the leg joints, unavoidably, but Schmidt wasn't running around and doing high-kicks while wearing it anyway. The figure moves like any modern Marvel Legend, with joints at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, torso, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. His right hand is in a clawing/clutching pose, designed to hold the included translucent blue tesseract cube.

Though this series is mostly based on What If...?, the Build-A-Figure is Moon Knight's Khonshu, and Red Skull includes the right arm.

If you're one of the few people who managed to get the Comic-Con version of Red Skull, the new head should be enough to soothe your pains at having to buy him again five years later. But if he's new to you, all the better!

-- 01/13/23

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