Like most of the characters populating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peggy Carter originated from the comics, but it's thanks to Hayley Atwell's portrayal of the character on both the big and small screens that she's become so popular this past decade. Introduced in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy went on to lead her own One-Shot short film and the taken-from-us-too-soon ABC series Agent Carter, and she also popped up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron (in illusion form), Ant-Man and two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Her importance to the MCU is unquestionable, and while Peggy died during Captain America: Civil War, a new theory is making the rounds positing that we could see the S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder come back in Avengers: Infinity War thanks to the power of one of the Infinity Stones.
Just like at D23 earlier this month, Marvel screened special Avengers: Infinity War footage for the Hall H attendees at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, which included a montage about the Infinity Stones. During the Time Stone segment, a voiceover proclaims that "Time can fix anything," and then the montage cuts to the elderly Peggy Carter seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, only she then morphs into her younger self seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. This immediately caught the attention of Uproxx writer Donna Dickens, who believes this may be foreshadowing that during Avengers: Infinity War, someone will use the Time Stone to bring Peggy back, or at least try to.
The Time Stone was introduced in Doctor Strange last year, and while it's unclear how long it's been on Earth, the sorcerers of Kamar-Taj have kept it as one of their prized tools, labeling it the Eye of Agamotto. Thus far we've seen the Time Stone be used to rewind and fast-forward time like a video, as well as repeat the same moment over and over again Groundhog Day-style. Presumably this temporal manipulation could be extended to not allow the Eye's user to actually travel to the past and future, and from there, as this Peggy Carter hypothesizes, the user could bring a person from a different time period with them back to the present. Or perhaps the Eye's user doesn't even need to travel to another period to bring a person back, and can instead just think about a deceased individual from their past to make them appear. Either way, both Wong and Mordo said in Doctor Strange that using the Eye is contrary to the natural order of thing, so bringing back Peggy, let alone any dead person, is extremely risky.
Avengers: Infinity War will see Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy and other select superheroes trying to prevent Thanos and the Black Order from obtaining the Infinity Stones. With so much conflict packed into at least two and a half hours, it's hard to pinpoint how this Peggy Carter twist could be thrown in, especially since one of the Infinity War set photos seems to show Black Order member Ebony Maw coming close to taking the Eye of Agamotto away from Doctor Strange. That being said, bringing back Peggy using the Time Stone would provide an interest emotional conflict for Steve Rogers, who, as of the end of Captain America: Civil War, has abandoned the Captain America identity.
Whether Steve Rogers was somehow use the Time Stone to bring Peggy back himself or someone else did it for him (be it as a gift or a way to mess with him), it's doubtful that this would culminate in a happy ending for the two of them. Steve would presumably know about how dangerous screwing with time is, and he would eventually realize that as much as he wants to be with Peggy again, her staying risks fracturing time. Obviously such a decision would be incredibly difficult for him to make, and it would continue to haunt him in Avengers 4 a year later. Of course, if the younger Peggy were to permanently stay in the present, then there's the awkwardness of Steve having kissed her great-niece Sharon, but let's make sure the temporal issues of this whole endeavor are resolved before delving into Steve's situation with both Carter women.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018.
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