With What If...?, Marvel Studios brought Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter back into the spotlight. The creatives behind the show went and crafted a tale that sent the character on a far different path, one that led her to getting the Super Soldier Serum and becoming Captain Carter.
Marvel's first animated show introduced a lot, but Captain Carter remains one of the fan-favorite elements of the project.
That wasn't the first time Agent Carter got some much-deserved spotlight. Back in 2015, a show called Agent Carter aired, which explored Peggy Carter's personal life after Captain America: The First Avenger and the journey she went on to become one of the founders of SHIELD.
The thing is, though, it isn't confirmed if the show is still within the proper MCU canon. With the Disney+ shows airing and all the Marvel Entertainment shows canceled, Marvel Studios seems to have been distancing itself from the projects that came before.
The topic of those previous shows' canonicity has been a hot debate amongst fans, one that never had any clear answers. Well, now, there's more wood to add to the fire: Agent Carter may have just been confirmed unquestionably canon.
Agent Carter Confirmed Canon?
The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe recently hit stores, and it contains hundreds of pages of new information regarding the creation of the world that Marvel fans adore.
In the book, there's a section within its 2015 chapter that brings up the release of Agent Carter, the show on ABC that starred Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.
The book mentioned how the show had "canon storytelling" that eventually "dovetail[ed] back into future films:"
"Launched on January 6, the series debuted on the ABC midseason slate. Notably, Agent Carter marked the first time an MCU-originated character would transition from the big screen to the small screen, with canon storytelling that would eventually dovetail back into future films."
A show revolving around Peggy Carter had been trying to get off the ground for years but "had been difficult to push through on the theatrical side, due to impasses with Marvel Entertainment in New York."
If Carter Is Canon, What of the Others?
Seeing as this book has gone through a litany of Marvel Studios executive approval and is self-regarded to be a "fully authorized" telling of the studio's work, this would seem to confirm that Agent Carter is indeed canon to the current MCU.
The situation, however, isn't so black and white. It was revealed that back when the rights to characters like Ghost Rider, Daredevil, and Blade reverted to Marvel Studios, the movies were not able to use them even if they wanted to. Instead, Marvel Entertainment, who ran the TV projects, had full control over them.
In turn, this means that all of the continuity built throughout the shows potentially had zero approval from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Now that the Marvel Entertainment TV empire is dead, why would Feige paint himself in a corner by forcing the MCU to adhere to things he had no control over?
At the end of the day, it will likely all be on a case-by-case basis. Feige will almost certainly cherry-pick what aspects of the continuity and characters he will want to use––in this case, it would seem Agent Carter is among them.
Also a likely candidate? Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock, a portrayal that Feige has publicly praised. The character is rumored for several appearances in the MCU's future, with the former actor said to be back in the saddle.
Though, it is worth noting that despite this book saying what it does about Agent Carter, there have been questionable signs as of late, like how Hayley Atwell's Legends episode completely ignored her previous show and how her short film (which the show was based on) was removed from Disney+.
Hopefully, whatever happens, it will be the best outcome for the fans.
The next Marvel Studios project is Eternals, which will hit theaters worldwide on November 5, 2021.