6 Ways "Agent Carter" Deepens the MCU

Agent Carter's 8-episode mini season is finally over and while I am all happy that this means the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are back in action (after introducing the Inhumans into the MCU), I will personally miss Peggy Carter adventures and I sure as hell hope we get a Season Two.

Peggy's adventures on the 40's not only were fun as hell but also deepened the MCU and gave some revelations insights into familiar characters. Here are some ways in which Agent Carter marvelously builds and deepens a universe so many of us are very fond of.

Just because we are friends this is your friendly warning, there will be spoilers.

1. The Introduction of the Black Widow Program

It was an amazing moment when we saw Dottie Underwood take out one of the bad guys  at the end of episode 4 "The Blitzkrieg Button" we all thought the same: "those fight moves sure look familiar."

Don´t they?
And then on the next episode we are treated to a flashback scene of the "KGB's Black Widow Training Program" confirming our suspicions: Dottie is indeed a Black Widow.

These little widows are killing each other in a training session, and they become such bad asses that later in the episode one of this girls kills a motherfucking Howling Commando.

And this was in the 40's, guys! Natasha Romannof, our Black Widow, was born in 1984. She was probably starting the program in the early 90's. Can you imagine just how much more hardcore these training programs became? What kind of brain washing techniques could they develop in almost fifty years?

This makes The Avengers' Black Widow shine in a whole new light. One can only imagine how many hours of torture she had to endure to became as hard core as she is and it also speaks of her strength of character, not only for abandoning the KGB but then later for uploading all of SHIELD data at the end of Winter Soldier.

If you think about it, this training scenes offer new insights into one of the MCU's most under developed characters.

2. Getting to meet Jarvis

Howard Stark's butler and probably best friend was a great addition to the MCU. This guy had such a big influence on the Stark family that Tony modeled his helper AI on this guy's personality.

He will not marry Peggy, get over it.
The AI that by Age of Ultron becomes The Vision, while not as big or deepening as the other things on this list, was a great addition. I would love to see The Vision get some British mannerisms based on this guy, and James D´Arcy's amazing performance.

3. The Capitan America Adventure Hour

This radio show was a lot of fun and even if we did not get a lot of it in this first season I sure hope we get more of it on Season Two.

It not only served its purpose of creating some context on how people perceive Peggy ("Oh, you are Capitan America's girflriend, right?") and underestimate her, but it also gave us a very interesting insight on how the MCU of the 40's perceived superheroes as a cultural phenomenon.

We must not forget that in this Universe populated by Miracles, there are also civilians and the public perception of our heroes will play part in Capitan America: Civil War so getting this snippet of social commentary was a blast (though I might be reading too much into it).

4. Peggy's decision to throw away Capitan America's blood

Halfway through the series we find out that this season McGuffin is a vial of Steve Rogers' blood, replicating the Super Soldier program is something that has a big echo through the MCU.

By the series final moments Peggy is now in possession of this vial because Jarvis stole it from Howard Stark and she makes the decision of throwing it away to the sea. This gives Peggy closure about the death (nope!) of Steve, but is also a direct factor in the creation of the MCU versions of Abomination, The Hulk and Deathlok.

No matter how hard you try to think about it The Incredible Hulk did happen

Every attempt at the creation of any kind of super soldier is a direct repercussion of this decision, if Peggy had just handed the vial to the SSR we would be watching a very different MCU (did I just give Marvel a great idea for a "What If" comic book or what? Can´t wait for the royalty check to come through!),

5. Howard Stark's deepest desire.

On the last episode of the series we see Howard Stark getting hypnotized by Dr. Faustus. In this hallucination, Howard believes they have found Steve and goes out to try and find him.

(He is actually about to bomb the shit out of some veterans parading on V-Day, bummer.)

Howard's deepest desire is to bring back Steve Rogers. This is because he believes that helping create Capitan America is the only time he has done some good with his genius. Like father, like son, both Starks regret their time as weapons manufacturers and both Starks try to find redemption through heroism, while Tony takes this personally Howard does it by creating Cap and founding SHIELD.

This particular insight gives us a new way to look at Howard: the MCU paints a picture of Howard as an absent and demanding father to Tony, but through Agent Carter it is revealed that he is truly a good guy.

Maybe he was as demanding as he was because he was trying to push Tony to selflessness and heroism (kinda failed on that one, there, Howie) and maybe he was absent because he had this lifelong mission/obsession of doing some good on the world.

This we might never know. What we know is that Howard Stark is one of the good guys and his similarities with Tony run deeper than what we might have originally thought off.

6. Planting the seeds for the big HYDRA infiltration of SHIELD.

At the end of the series, the big bad, Dr. Faustus, is in prison and guess who is his cellmate? Arnim Zola, because of Winter Soldier we know that Arnim Zola was brought in to found SHIELD as part of Operation Paperclip.

Fun Fact Interlude (tm): Operation Paperclip was an actual historical military operation that happened after WW2 and Zola's story clearly mirrors that of Wernher Von Braun, who was brought to the US and was later a founding member of NASA. Same thing, except for the whole "Evil organization inflitrates government" scheme of course.

Let's face it: if NASA was an evil organization, Republicans would not give such a hard time allocating funds to it (*z-type snap*).

So, Dr. Faustus, the greatest hypnotist alive, becomes BFFs with Arnim Zola and thus the great SHIELD infiltration begins before SHIELD is even founded. Just how much of Dr. Faustus' power gave a head start to HYDRA on this scheme? My bet is a lot.

Please Toby! Become a recurring character!
I can only hope that Toby Jones lowers his rates and becomes a recurring character on Agent Carter season two or whatever season they use to tell the story of the creation of SHIELD.

Assorted Musings (or: "things that don´t really deepen the Universe but are cool Easter Eggs nevertheless")

  • Howard Stark would rather destroy his tech than let any government get their hands on it. The apple does not fall away from the tree indeed.
  • Peggy guiding Howard through the radio while he is on a plane is a very intentional homage to the end of Capitan America: The First Avenger
  • Howling Commandos in action!
  • Villains Galore! We get to meet Anton Vanko (Whiplash father), Hugh Jones (CEO of Roxxon and the asshole who kills Howard Stark), Johan Venhoff, best known at Dr. Faustus and of course Arnim Zola at the end.

Agent Carter is entertainment at its best, and a prime example of why the MCU is so great. It adds another layer of complexity to an established world and shines new light into parts of the MCU we are already familiar with, thus deepening this world.

MCU this is why I love you, and Agent Carter, I sure as hell hope you come back for another season.
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About Game_Brains

I make videogames. Superhero culture is the closest thing I have to a religion. Hopefully one day I will explore space, but meanwhile I´m happy replaying Mass Effect. I seriously want to achieve immortality, not joking on this one. My self appointed mission in life is to make the world a happier place. I´m a walking and talking self help book, also, I TOTALLY BELIEVE IN YOU.
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