Agent Carter

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Title Agent Carter
Network ABC
Premiere January 6, 2015
Purchase Available on Amazon

Agent Carter is an American television series featuring the character of Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) in late 1940s New York City and California.

LGBT Representation

May contain spoilers

Although the series does not have any openly LGBT characters, it has become the focus of a fan campaign to make Peggy bisexual, due to the popularity of the non-canon femslash ship Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli (aka Cartinelli) with fans. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict on the part of actress Lyndsy Fonseca, Angie was only able to appear in a single episode of season two, and although Atwell has expressed her support for the campaign[1][2], it remains to be seen whether Peggy will pursue relationships with Angie or any other female character.

Other fans have noted homoerotic subtext between Peggy and Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan), and the two shared a kiss in season one, but for practical, not romantic reasons (Dottie used Peggy's "Sweet Dreams" lipstick to render Peggy unconscious). For example, one fan notes:

As of the second season of Agent Carter, Dottie Underwood, played by Bridget Regan, has patterned her entire look after Peggy Carter to a degree that suggests a fascination, if not outright obsession. Every time she looks at Peggy, you can see her mind working through scenarios that involve bending her over a table and going to town. Bridget Regan elevates her performance to a level of gay that I previously hadn’t thought possible in a Marvel property.[3]

Bisexual Howard Stark

Other fans have noted that the show arguably outed the character of Howard Stark as bisexual with Howard's line "I know how much Steve [Rogers] meant to you because I know how much he means to me." and Peggy's later statement, "Howard, I know you loved him [Steve]. I loved him, too."

About these two lines, one fan argued:

Both Peggy and Howard draw direct, clear, and deliberate parallels between Peggy’s love for Steve and Howard’s love for Steve. In a culture and climate that was truly open and equal, Howard's bisexuality would be accepted without question (except, maybe, with the caveat of perhaps pansexuality.)

I will argue night and day that Bisexual Howard Stark is canon. If this were two women talking about their shared love for one man, there would be no question. If this were two men talking about their shared love for one woman, there would be no question. If these scenes played out in a way that maintained heteronormativity, it would be no question.[4]

Another fan added:

I think the saddest thing honestly is that if Howard was shown as being SAD of ASHAMED of his FEELINGS for Steve, people would find this interpretation of his feelings as romantic as more believable. If Howard were ashamed and miserable because of his love for Steve, instead of comfortable with those feelings, people would find a bisexual non-heteronormative interpretation more compelling.

"I've never told anyone this Peggy…..” “I never wanted anyone to know but…..” “Can you believe what the papers would say…” with tears in his eyes? “ But I felt the same way -I loved him too!" with hands clenched. If he seemed torn up and in pain about his feelings, would the romance seem more compelling?

But instead, his only guilt is over FAILING Steve. He is perfectly comfortable in LOVING Steve. He says it so easily- “I know how much he means to me.” And Peggy reciprocates that sentiment without hesitation. “You loved him. I loved him too.” There is no angst over the closet, no self loathing over it. Which makes people doubt that it is romantic.

And in a heteronormative society, LGBTQIAP+ people are SUPPOSE to hate ourselves and hate our feelings. And if we DON’T feel ASHAMED of our feelings, are really real? If Howard Stark doesn’t feel ASHAMED of loving Steve Rogers? Can that love REALLY be romantic? If Howard Stark doesn’t HATE HIMSELF ENOUGH for being queer, then maybe he can’t be queer at all.

If we love ourselves, then we are delegitimized. That’s what heteronormativity does to us. [5]


In addition to the popularity of Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli and various canon and non-canon het ships, some fans favor the non-canon slash pairing of Jack Thompson/Daniel Sousa. Howard's potential bisexuality in Agent Carter has also encouraged some Steve Rogers/Howard Stark shippers in the main Captain America fandom.

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