SDCC: AGENT CARTER Showrunners Reveal Season 2 Villains, CLOAK & DAGGER Connection
Meredith already brought you the meat and potatoes of the Agent Carter season two panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but I caught this particular nugget that came from showrunners Tara Butters and Michelle Fazakas doing press:
The antagonists, I would say, exist in the Marvel comics, a version of them. And there’s even a group called the Secret Empire. And I can also tell you, and this is somewhat of a spoiler, there’s a thing called Darkforce, that comes from the comic book universe, which also created Blackout on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it comes out of the Doctor Strange universe as well. That’s going to show up, causing problems for people.
That's two huge elements dropped in like five sentences!
First up: the Secret Empire. They're a long-time Marvel Comic secret sociey that began as an off-shoot of Hydra and eventually became their own thing on the side The Secret Empire has one truly dynamite storyline, where they attempted to ruin Captain America's reputation and where it was discovered they had infiltrated the government all the way up to the White House. In a shocking page we discovered that the Secret Empire mole was (obliquely depicted as) President Nixon, and he shot himself in front of Cap!
The Secret Empire has popped up a lot in the years since, but never with that same kind of effect. I mean, they had a guy in the White House in the 70s, but more recently they were involved in the scramble to take over the Kingpin's crime empire. Gabe Jones, member of the Howling Commandoes, once infiltrated the Secret Empire.
They make a fine villain group for Agent Carter, especially considering their original origins were to obfuscate Hydra's activities and allow them to work under SHIELD's nose. More than that, they're generic enough villain group - their members just have numbers, not even cool code names - that you could easily set up a whole season of threats surrounding them.
But there's more in that quote! Fazekas namedrops the Darkforce. Darkforce showed up in Agents of SHIELD, but was used so haphazardly I didn't know if it was truly being integrated into the MCU or if someone on the writing staff came across it on Wikipedia. Basically Darkforce comes from the Darkforce Dimension, another reality composed only of this negative energy into which users can tap. Each user wields the Darkforce in a slightly different way, and it seems as if the Darkforce is inherently corrupting (and may even be sentient). The most famous user of the Darkforce is Cloak of the duo Cloak and Dagger - he likes to throw enemies into the Darkforce Dimension to fuck them up.
I'm intrigued by Fazekas bringing in Doctor Strange; I'll be honest and say that I don't associate Strange with the Darkforce that completely. Obviously he's run into most of the extradimensional threats, but the Darkforce Dimension has largely been used by mutants and teleporters. Is Fazekas giving us a hint about the upcoming Doctor Strange movie?
How will Darkforce play into Agents of SHIELD? Maybe The Shroud, a blind supervillain with the image of Kali burned on his face, would be a good fit for the show. He's fun and pulpy, and was in fact created as a kind of mash-up of Batman and The Question from DC Comics. One thing is certain: if Darkforce is involved then Agents of SHIELD is finally getting some legit supervillains.
Finally: an interest in the Darkforce Dimension from Marvel TV tells me they have a Cloak & Dagger series being cooked up. It makes perfect sense - Cloak and Dagger are street kids who were used as test subjects for a new synthetic heroin that gave them powers - he could use the Darkforce, while she could throw daggers of light and heal people. They make for a great TV team-up, and I wouldn't be shocked if this was the secret ABC project Marvel has had stewing for a while.