Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe has become well-known for the interconnecting storylines and threads throughout each film and television series under its umbrella. Marvel’s upcoming project, the ABC series Agent Carter, is already connected to the MCU by continuing the story of Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) who first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) will be featured in the upcoming series as well; he was also introduced in The First Avenger and is, of course, the father to Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) a.k.a. Iron Man. A new casting announcement has revealed that Agent Carter will include more ties to the MCU by further delving into a relationship first mentioned in Iron Man 2 -- that of Howard Stark and Anton Vanko, the father of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Mickey Rourke).
Marvel announced that Costa Ronin (The Americans) will play Anton Vanko on ABC’s Agent Carter. In Iron Man 2, Anton (played by Eugene Lazarev) revealed his history with Howard Stark to Ivan: they created the arc reactor, a renewable energy source, together, but after a falling out (and Anton’s deportation to Siberia), Howard received all the credit.
Though we saw the aftermath of Anton and Howard’s falling out in Iron Man 2 -- Ivan set out to prove Howard wasn’t the sole creator of the arc reactor technology that Tony went on to modify and use as a power source for his Iron Man suit -- viewers know little about what actually happened to cause such a rift between the two men.
According to Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, we will learn more about what happened:
"Fans have wanted to learn more about Anton Vanko since he was first mentioned in 'Iron Man 2' and we're happy to deliver with Costa's terrific performance in 'Marvel's Agents Carter.'”
As the most recent plot synopsis and preview for Agent Carter exhibit, Peggy will be working to track down some of Howard’s new inventions before they falls into the wrong hands. With the announcement that Anton will be appearing, it’s possible the arc reactor could be one of those inventions. Additionally, Agent Carter could explore more of the working relationship between Anton and Howard as well as how they developed the arc reactor technology.
It may be difficult for Agent Carter to delve too deeply into these events since the show’s first season will only run eight episodes while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on its midseason break. But, for fans who have been interested in the backstory behind Ivan’s faceoff with Iron Man in Iron Man 2, they’re sure to find some added insight through Ronin’s appearance on Agent Carter.
Agent Carter premieres Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 @9pm on ABC.