At the end of the year the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be taking a step forward by looking back nearly 70 years. A short run of Agent Carter is scheduled to air during the mid-season break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and if the One-Shot of Captain America’s girlfriend is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. Set shortly after World War II, the series is going to follow her adventures as she struggles against new perils, battles sexism in the workplace and proves integral to the establishment of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Unfortunately, details on the show have been hard to find. We know that Hayley Atwell is reprising her role as Peggy Carter, that Dominic Cooper is returning as Howard Stark, and that the wonderful Agent Carter One-Shot does fit in… somewhere. Whether it’s the launching pad for the show or is supposed to feature at the end is a little vague and reports have been contradictory. That’s not a bad thing, since we don’t want too many spoilers at this stage. However, here are some things that we’re hoping to see…
1) Arnim Zola:
Captain America – The Winter Soldier showed us how HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola was brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. after the second world war as a part of the real-life Operation Paperclip. It made sense, since Zola was clearly a cutting-edge scientist. We also know that he was untrustworthy, and that he laid the groundwork for S.H.I.E.L.D. to be infiltrated on every level by HYDRA. It would make sense to see him hard at work in the show, allowing us to voice the other characters’ distrust in him and shaking our heads with woe every time our heroes have to rely on him.
2) Stark’s Wonderful Toys:
The Agent Carter One-Shot gave us a glimpse at her spy equipment, and it was classic James Bond. Her briefcase – complete with a sping-loaded concealed knife – was straight out of From Russia With Love. We already know inventor Howard Stark is appearing, and we can expect some nifty gadgets from him. Will we see him perfect the hover-car conversion from the Captain America film and seen on Agent Coulson’s beloved convertible Lola? What about the joy-buzzer EMP, the two-way radio watches or the noisemaker? Classic tech is always good…
3) The Howling Commandos:
Speaking of those old gadgets, in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. we learned that Agent Triplett’s granddad was one of the elite Howling Commandos. They appeared in the first Captain America film. Dum-Dum Dugan appeared in the One-Shot… is it too much to hope that Cap’s old team returns to help out? If you were putting a team together like Howard Stark is, these are the guys you’d want straight away. And yes, we want them too.
This vial of mysterious blue fluid Agent Carter retrieved in the One-Shot is supposed to be a biological WMD. Yet comic book fans will also know of the band of villains also called Zodiac. Is this the introduction of them? Time will tell what role it plays (if any) but it would be good to see some new villains, and this could be their origin.
Those “Previously on…” intros at the start of shows are so routine they’re stale. The animated show Legend of Korra did something creative by presenting them as newsreels. Here it would fit even better, since newsreels were a product of that time. Throw in a voice-over (is Shane Black, writer/director of Iron Man 3 and the mysterious voice on the telephone in the One-Shot available?) and it could lend even more of a nostalgic feel to the show.
6) The Secret Defenders:
There was talk of seeing this WW2 super-team appear in Captain America flashbacks. Namor will probably be out, but we saw the original Human Torch briefly at the Stark Expo in Cap’s first film. Even though this is a spy show, some cameos by old super-powered heroes would be a nice touch and a treat for the fans.
Cameos aren’t the only thing fans love to see. The MCU is a big place and we’ve got a good idea of how every story in it is like a jigsaw piece that lets us see the big picture. Some more pieces are always welcome, and since we know certain facts about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s history from the Winter Soldier film, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and so on, some extra tie-ins would be fantastic. And since it goes both ways, plots in this may lay the groundwork for other upcoming projects.
8) The Bikini:
Dum-Dum Dugan marvelled at this sight, and Howard Stark had to explain it. Something like that is a good reminder of the time period, and there’s a whole lot more to that era than the bikini. Like the place it was named after, the Bikini atoll, where the USA did atomic bomb testing in 1946. This is the dawn of the nuclear age these characters are living in as well as the beginning of the Cold War, and we’d be disappointed if such things aren’t brought up.
9) Colonel Chester Phillips:
He may have given Steve Rogers a lot of flak early on, but in the Captain America film he learned to appreciate the first Avenger. A gruff warhorse with a no-nonsense cynical edge, he reminds us a little of Nick Fury only without the sneakiness. If they can get Tommy Lee Jones to reprise the role, even briefly, then this character would be a marvellous addition to the team.
10) The Cosmic Cube:
We know Howard Stark retrieved the powerful Tesseract (or Cosmic Cube, whichever you prefer) from the murky depths of the ocean before Peggy Carter got her new job, and it stayed in his possession for many years. Amazingly, it seems he didn’t do much with it since S.H.I.E.L.D. was still struggling to figure it out almost 70 years later. What happened there? It would be good to find out, and maybe learn if this was the inspiration for that new element that he mapped out for his son to use in Iron Man 2 as well.
11) A little Old-Fashioned:
Coulson was right, we could use a little old-fashioned now. There hasn’t been a show like Agent Carter, set in this time period, since… well, nothing leaps to mind. One of the strengths of the Captain America film was the nostalgic swashbuckling style of it that reminded many of Raiders of the Lost Ark. There’s nothing wrong with playing to that strength too, something the One-Shot managed effortlessly. If they deliver some more old-fashioned action/adventure then we’re happy!