With just a week to go until its season 2 premiere, excitement is building for the return of Agent Carter. The show’s second season will see Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) travel across the United States, working out of the West Coast to try and solve a mysterious murder involving a glowing body. The new season will see the return of a number of important characters, including Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), and Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan).
Agent Carter debuted as a Marvel One-Shot in 2013, but the short film and character proved to be popular enough to warrant a full season. The character and her series have played an important role in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, from their exploration of the origins of the Black Widow program to the character’s appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now, another connection to the MCU has been revealed, linking Agent Carter to an unexpected Marvel film.
Speaking with CBR, showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters confirmed that Agent Carter season 2 will connect with the forthcoming Doctor Strange film. Carter’s investigation will lead her to a company known as Isodyne Energy, where scientists have discovered a mysterious dark energy that they’re calling Zero Matter.
“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.”
Darkforce is a type of negative energy in the Marvel Universe, drawn from an alternate dimension of pure darkness. True to its name, Darkforce absorbs all forms of light in our dimension, as well as heat and even the lifeforce of those who come into contact with it. For those who may have forgotten, Darkforce appeared in episode 19 of season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., titled ‘The Only Light in the Darkness.‘ The energy was used by the episode’s antagonist Marcus Daniels, a.k.a. Blackout, against Coulson and his team.
The showrunners were quick to point out that just because the Darkforce energy has previously been shown in a certain way, it doesn’t mean they’re beholden to that specific portrayal.
“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…”
The connections between Agent Carter and Doctor Strange will likely be small ones, with Darkforce not expected to play a big role in the upcoming film. As Stephen Strange begins to explore parallel dimensions, simply referencing Darkforce and its source would be a nice way of linking the TV shows to the films — something that hasn’t always been successful. The consistent portrayal of this form of negative energy in the MCU could also pave the way for the introduction of the character Cloak — one of the rumored characters in John Ridley’s long-gestating Marvel television project.
Agent Carter season 2 premieres Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.