One of the coolest things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the shared continuity between the movies, shorts, and shows. This allows for the possibility of crossovers in a number of places. Though we may not see too many references to the characters found on TV (or Netflix) in the House of Ideas’ films in the future due to Marvel Studios escaping the umbrella of Marvel Entertainment (no matter how inevitable Kevin Feige says it is), we’ve seen it go the other way plenty of times. And it looks like that trend won’t be stopping for now as everyone’s favorite SSR agent will allude to some elements of a certain Sorcerer Supreme’s storyline.
While speaking to Comic Book Resources recently, ‘Agent Carter’ showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters revealed that the upcoming season will feature ties to the upcoming Phase Three film ‘Doctor Strange’. But before you get excited about the idea of Benedict Cumberbatch popping up alongside Hayley Attwell in 1940s Los Angeles, the connection is actually a little less tangible than that:
“Basically, Isodyne is a company that we invented based in part on real life companies like Radiodyne or General Atomic or the beginnings of the Jet Propulsion Lab — all of which were in L.A. in the ’40s, and were developing the space program and were developing nukes. That’s what Isodyne is, and what you’ll learn is they were involved in the nuclear testing out in the desert when they were testing the, at the time they were calling it the atom bomb — and one of these tests didn’t go as expected. You’ll learn more about that in Season 2, but they stumble upon what people in the Marvel Universe will know as Darkforce, but because they’ve never seen it before they just name it Zero Matter. That’s our tie-in to the ‘Doctor Strange’ universe, and also to ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ because you’ve seen it in ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ as well.”
For those who may need a refresher course, Darkforce appeared during the first season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ in the episode titled ‘The Only Light in the Darkness’. This was where we finally met Agent Coulson’s beloved cellist, Audrey, but the villain Blackout used the mysterious cosmic radiation to absorb any kind of energy and fire off energy blasts. However, Fazekas explains that it won’t work exactly the same way whenever it pops up in the MCU:
“The cool thing about what we learned as we researched Darkforce over the course of Marvel comic book history is, it affects people in different ways. It’s created a bunch of superheroes, it’s created a bunch of villains, and it has all these different properties. It could be a liquid, it could be a gas, it could be a solid, it could give you powers, it could kill you. It has a lot of different applications, which was cool for us. We were able to select what we liked and sort of make our own rules as to what it does, how it operates, and who it affects in our world.”
So who does it affect in the world of ‘Agent Carter’? As previously mentioned, Darkforce has created a number of heroes and villains in the pages of Marvel Comics such as Dagger’s partner Cloak, former Great Lakes Avenger Doorman, smuggler and crime boss Mr. Negative, and the embodiment of evil energy Blackheart. Could the creative team behind Peggy Carter’s latest mission be introducing another big bad in addition to Madame Masque to wield this Zero Matter? Or could the season’s antagonists be searching for it for their own nefarious reasons? We’ll find out when the show returns to ABC on January 19th. As for how this will all affect Dr. Stephen Strange in Scott Derrickson’s first foray into the MCU, we’ll have to wait until November for those answers.