Doctor Strange 2's What If cameo explained

What If...?
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is full of exciting cameos, some recognizable and some that might have left you scratching your head.

Fans of Marvel's animated series What If... will definitely recognize one cameo in particular, though they appear in live-action form. If you haven't seen Doctor Strange 2, turn back now because there are major spoilers ahead.

Read on to find out more about that familiar face in Doctor Strange 2.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

If you've made it this far, then you know that Hayley Atwell appears in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. 

She's not playing the Peggy Carter we know and love from the Captain America movies or Agent Carter TV series, though. This is an entirely different version of the character drawn from the multiverse – but one we've met before in What If. 

Who does Hayley Atwell play in Doctor Strange 2?

Atwell plays none other than Captain Carter in Doctor Strange 2. She was introduced in the very first episode of What If, which saw Peggy Carter undergo the Super Soldier transformation instead of Steve Rogers. She then became Captain Carter, who wields a Union Jack-emblazoned shield and fights in World War 2. 

But, Captain Carter ends up sucked through a portal while fighting a giant tentacle creature, and emerges 70 years in the future. She then becomes a member of the Guardians of the Multiverse after teaming up with Party Thor, Star-Lord T'Challa, Black Panther Killmonger, Doctor Strange Supreme, Gamora, and Black Widow to beat an all-powerful Ultron. 

In Doctor Strange 2, she's a member of the Illuminati, and fights Wanda Maximoff when she arrives for America Chavez.

Will Hayley Atwell play Captain Carter again?

What If...? finale

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

So far, Atwell has played Captain Carter every single time the character has appeared in the MCU, voicing her throughout What If and bringing her to live-action.

But in Doctor Strange 2, Peggy is brutally killed with her own shield by Scarlet Witch, who slaughters the rest of the Illuminati while she's at it. Whether that rules out a return for Captain Carter or not remains to be seen – after all, in the multiverse, anything is possible…

Is Doctor Strange 2's Captain Carter the same as What If's?

What If...?

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It's unclear just what version of Captain Carter this is. No mention is made of Carter's role as a Guardian of the Multiverse or her history from What If – plus, the Illuminati have Ultron guards, and after Peggy fought another version of the evil robot before, she'd probably be more wary of them. 

Then there's the fact that Captain Carter is confirmed to appear in every season of the animated show, which might be difficult considering her gruesome end at Scarlet Witch's hands. So, chances are this is a different version of Captain Carter, and she's safe to appear in future shows and movies down the line.

Want more on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Then check out our guides to: 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.