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Outside of Captain America: The First Avenger and the occasional flashback, there haven’t been many opportunities to explore the post-World War II, pre-Iron Man history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.The ABC limited series Agent Carter will help remedy this, as viewers will watch Peggy Carter take on bad guys in 1946 New York. However, despite taking place nearly 70 years before the present-day events of the MCU, the show will be taking opportunities to foreshadow what’s coming in the 21st century. Namely the bad stuff.
Executive producers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who co-wrote the Agent Carter pilot and both Captain America films, told Comic Book Resources that they can’t help but weave in references to the MCU, such as having Anton Vanko, Howard Stark’s future partner, serve as the scientist character. However, since the show takes place in the past, there will also be subtle hints towards the future. Said Markus:
“Also, working in the past where you already know the future -- obviously, we saw ninety-something old Peggy -- there are references being made, whether you do them on purpose or not. We know Hydra eventually took over S.H.I.E.L.D. When somebody says something hopeful about the future in Agent Carter, that is going to be tinged with the fact we know the future didn't work out that well. There are plenty of little indicators of the future going forward, and the legacy of both the S.S.R. and Howard's technology that will have ramifications later.”
Moviegoers learned last year in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that HYDRA has been infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. since its inception, slowly corrupting it as the decades passed. Howard Stark's company Stark Industries went on to become one of the leading weapons developers in the world, and his son Tony continued this until his ordeal in the Middle East, which not only led to the creation of the Iron Man armor, but the dismantling of the weapons division. Howard selling weapons undercover isn’t a stretch of the imagination in the ‘40s, especially considering that Peggy’s missions in Agent Carter involve tracking down Howard’s dangerous inventions. But I doubt anyone at the time thought they’d have to deal with Hydra on such a massive scale again later.
These future indicators remind me of Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, when Obi-Wan Kenobi says to Anakin Skywalker that he’s going to be the death of him, and sure enough, Darth Vader strikes him down in A New Hope. I’m sure if Agent Carter gets more seasons, there will be a comment about how S.H.I.E.L.D. has a bright and prosperous future ahead. Oh, the irony!
You can catch the two hour premiere of Agent Carter tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and at 9 p.m. ET in the following weeks.