Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) has divided some Marvel fans after casting Peggy Carter instead of Sam Wilson in the movie’s Captain America cameo. But that has never stopped them from speculating what could be next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Current rumors suggest that Marvel Studios may be developing a series based around the most divisive cameo from Doctor Strange 2 – Captain Carter, the super-soldier variant of Peggy Carter played by Hayley Atwell.
Hayley Atwell first appeared in the MCU in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) as Peggy Carter, the love interest of Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans). Marvel fans initially loved the character, and she starred in a Marvel One-Shot called Agent Carter in 2013.
The One-Shot served as back door pilot to her own series on Disney-owned ABC, Agent Carter, which aired from 2015-to 2016, lasting two seasons. Its status as MCU cannon was much debated like its predecessor Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, since it was developed by Marvel Television and not Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios. But her costar James D’Arcy reprised his role as Edwin Jarvis in Avengers: Endgame (2019). The whole series is currently available on Disney+.
Hayley Atwell returned as an older version of Peggy Carter in both Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2016) and Ant-Man (2015) and even had a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) when Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) was controlling Steve’s mind. Marvel fans thought the character was done in MCU until she was reunited with Steve Rogers in his divisive ending in Endgame.
Who is Captain Carter?
Hayley Atwell also voiced a variant of Peggy Carter in the first episode of Marvel’s animated series What If…? titled “What If…Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?”. The episode was a retelling of Captain America: The First Avenger with the small change that Peggy took the super-soldier serum and became lost in time instead of Steve.
The official description of the Marvel original series reads:
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) would eventually recruit Captain Carter to become one of the Guardians of the Multiverse in the Season 1 finale. While some fans loved Captain Carter and Marvel Comics started a series based on another version of the character, some fans took issue with how Marvel promoted the character. Her recent cameo appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness reignited tensions among fans.
Why do fans hate Peggy Carter?
Some fans have had issues with Peggy Carter since her first appearance. Peggy Carter in the MCU notably bears little resemblance to her Marvel Comic book counterpart. Margaret “Peggy” Carter first appeared in Tales of Suspense #77 (1966) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby but was named as an actual character by Steve Englehart in Captain America #162 (16).
Peggy Carter in Marvel Comics is a wealthy blonde woman from Richmond, Virginia. Peggy had joined the French Resistance as a field agent codenamed Agent 13, where she met and fell in love with Steve Rogers. Later she would join SHIELD, though she is not a founding member of the spy agency like in the MCU.
Marvel Comic book readers have said that Hayley Atwell’s version of Peggy Carter in the MCU has more in common with another character. Cynthia Glass/Agent X is another love interest of Steve Rogers introduced in Adventures of Captain America #1 (1991) by Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire.
Cindy Glass was revealed to be a Nazi spy and double agent. However, she aided Steve Rogers in his battle with the Red Skull and sacrificed her life to save him just four issues after she was initially introduced. The evidence many have provided to say that Glass inspired Peggy is that she has brown hair. Much of Peggy’s MCU personality actually appears to have been inspired by her niece Sharon Carter.
Uncreative Addy shared evidence of the physical resemblance saying:
“mmm yes lets just make put cynthia glass in the mcu and then change her name to peggy carter so no one will know that she was a nazi and THEN make her steves love interest (even tho steve was jewish in the comics) and just make steve “ooh white man being america’s gold star”.”
🤨🤨 mmm yes lets just make put cynthia glass in the mcu and then change her name to peggy carter so no one will know that she was a nazi and THEN make her steves love interest (even tho steve was jewish in the comics) and just make steve "ooh white man being america's gold star" pic.twitter.com/6x12MFAkIx
— Addy (heavy moonknight spoilers!!) (@UncreativeAddy) May 18, 2022
Other MCU characters whose comic book counterparts have ties to Hydra do not face similar backlash. Such as Baron Zemo (David Brühl), who in the comics is the leader of Hydra. These same fans were not saying he should be removed from the MCU because of this. Instead, love for his character resulted in Marvel releasing the “Zemo Cut” of him dancing onto Disney+.
Many theorists have claimed the Hydra/Nazi roots still exist in MCU’s Peggy Carter. In The Winter Soldier, it was revealed that SHIELD hired Arnim Zola (Tobey Jones), which eventually led to the Hydra infiltration of SHIELD.
This does seem to ignore the fact that in the MCU SHIELD was founded by more than just Peggy Carter. She worked with Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), the director of the SSR, which had already been infiltrated by Hydra, and notorious genius/moron Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper and John Slattery), who allowed a Leviathan spy to rob his secret vault of weapons.
Why do fans hate Captain Carter?
Fans have more complaints when it comes to the Captain Carter variant. When Captain Carter premiered on August 11, 2021, Marvel Studios switched the official Captain America Twitter page from featuring Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who had just taken it over the page from Steve Rogers 15 weeks earlier after the finale episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on April 23, 2021.
The original plan for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had it premiered in August of 2020, but following delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it premiered over eight months behind schedule. However, What If…? was able to keep its original release date as it did not suffer the same delays, which shrank the gap between the two Marvel series and shortened Sam Wilson’s time on the Twitter page. Sam did regain prominence on the page after the end of What If…? but fans were still offended.
The decision to continually promote Captain Carter in new productions like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and a potential solo series has been seen by fans after favoring Carter over Wilson. While Captain America 4 has been green-lit, Marvel Studios does not have a release date or many updates for it yet.
As AnakinStarlight expresses frustration saying:
“it’s also super weird that as soon as sam wilson became captain america they began pushing captain carter way harder than they are pushing him as captain america just super strange to me”
it’s also super weird that as soon as sam wilson became captain america they began pushing captain carter way harder than they are pushing him as captain america just super strange to me
— rasha ☾• KENOBI ERA (@anakinstarlight) May 17, 2022
There are rumors that Anthony Mackie might cameo in either Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11, 2022, or in the James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) led series Armor Wars. Possibly as a mentor to Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), who is also rumored to appear in both projects.
Why do fans hate Hayley Atwell?
The current discourse has also had fans leveling criticism against Hayley Atwell herself. Rumors have circulated since 2016 that Hayley Atwell is a “bully” and is “difficult.” She originally came under fire for commenting on the portrayal of Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily Van Camp) in Winter Soldier.
Fans have said Hayley Atwell somehow forced Kevin Feige, the Russo Brothers, and all of Marvel Studios to write out Sharon Carter so she could replace her as Steve’s love interest in the MCU. They must believe she is all-powerful since Marvel Studios has struggled with other actresses like Letitia Wright (Shuri from Black Panther) and Evangeline Lily (Hope Van Dyne/Wasp from Ant-Man). They have been causing trouble by expressing anti-vaccination sentiments online.
The comments Hayley Atwell made about Sharon Carter at the Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo in 2016 actually never mention Emily Van Camp or her performance, despite what critics online have suggested. She said:
“Well, first of all [Peggy]’d be turning over in her grave. She’d be like ‘no.’ And she’d inject herself with the blue serum and become a supervillain. She’d break out of her coffin and ground [Sharon]. She’d ground her. Then she’d kick Steve’s ass as well. I just feel that, you know — I wouldn’t want to date my great aunt’s guy. It just feels like it crosses an incestuous boundary. And Peggy just died. That’s even more disrespectful, right? It’s like, ‘don’t touch that. You can’t tap that!’ So on all levels, it’s just a big fat no.”
Many fans at the time of The Winter Soldier also found the timing of Sharon and Steve’s kiss to be odd. Sharon and Steve had a much longer romance in Marvel Comics than he did with Peggy. And many fans still wanted to see them get together in the MCU.
Now it seems for many Marvel fans, enough is enough with Peggy Carter and Captain Carter. Fans like XO_Stevenat have said:
“Gonna boycott Marvel if they will push captain carter”
Gonna boycott Marvel if they will push captain carter
— 𝙅𝙖𝙩 (Percy Jackson u will always be famous) (@xo_stevenat) May 18, 2022
With Joonthors adding:
“i support women’s rights and wrongs but i draw the line on captain carter”
i support women’s rights and wrongs but i draw the line on captain carter
— Iyk (@joonthors) May 17, 2022
The rumored series is said to be live-action. It is not clear if it will follow the Captain Carter from What If…? or the one from Earth-838 at a time before her unfortunate encounter with the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or yet another variant.
Let us know in the comments how you feel about Peggy Carter.
You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the six series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight — on Disney+ anytime.