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As anyone who has ever read comics knows, death is rarely permanent and no character is ever truly gone so long as there is a story to tell and a fanbase interested in hearing it. Naturally, fans expect a similar impermanence to death in comic book movies and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there are few characters audiences would like to see return more than Hayley Atwell's Agent Carter. The character died at an old age in Captain America: Civil War but that hasn't stopped fans from wondering about how she could come back to the MCU and now there is another path she could take: Peggy Carter could become Captain America.
If that sounds weird, bear with me, because this gets into some very comic-booky stuff. Next month's issues of Marvel's Exiles comic book series features Peggy Carter assuming the role of Captain America. The Exiles comic finds a team of superheroes from different realities all joining forces to correct problems across the multiverse. According to Entertainment Weekly, Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez, the writer and artist, respectively, on Exiles, who can do almost anything thanks to the premise of the book, took their cue from the Marvel Puzzle Quest video game, in which Peggy is Captain America. In that reality, Steve Rogers was killed before he could become Captain America, so his friend Peggy volunteers to participate in the project and take the Super Soldier Serum. Already possessing the necessary skill set, she overcomes the dangers of the serum and her incredible Britishness to assume the mantle of Captain America. So now there is a precedent for Peggy Carter, who perfectly inhabits the ideals of the stars and stripes, to become Captain America.
So what does this tell us about how Peggy Carter could come back to the MCU? We all assume that Chris Evans' Steve Rogers is not long for this world, likely to die or just retire in Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers 4, after which someone will have to pick up the mantle. We've always thought it would be Bucky or Falcon, but is there anyone better than Peggy Carter? Peggy may be dead at present, but these are comic book movies, and there is nothing that cannot be undone. A lot of speculation has surmised that the presence of the Time Stone in Infinity War and a likely swan song for Cap could see Peggy show up again, at least in a flashback scene. But the Infinity Stones raise a lot of possibilities about alternate timelines and the multiverse, and let's not forget Scarlet Witch's considerable abilities as well. These mechanisms could be how the X-Men and mutants eventually get integrated into the MCU, so there is no reason they couldn't be used to bring back an alt-reality or resurrected Peggy as Captain America. It wouldn't be the first time a hero's love interest took up their mantle..
Hayley Atwell has spoken about her desire for a Peggy Carter solo film in the past, and she recently played coy when asked if we would see her character again in the MCU. Whatever happens, I think many moviegoers would love to see Hayley Atwell in the MCU again. The character was great in Captain America: The First Avenger and her short-lived Agent Carter TV series was a lot of fun. You can see current Captain America and guy who kisses his ex's grand-niece, Steve Rogers, in Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters on April 27.