The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe authors Paul Terry and Tara Bennett have revealed if Agent Carter and Agent of Shield are canon to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A contentious debate between MCU fans for years has been if Agent Carter and Agents of Shield, two shows that directly spun off of Marvel Studios films, were in fact canon. Agent Carter and Agents of Shield aired prior to Disney Plus’ bevy of MCU series, and the studio has distanced themselves from the two shows, as well as the Marvel projects that debuted on Netflix. That still hasn’t stopped fans from theorizing if the events of Agents of Shield or Agent Carter directly influenced films like Avengers.
It turns out that fans may finally have the answer that they’ve been searching for for years, and it might not be what they expected. The recently released The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe details the rise of the MCU, and features never-before-known details and insights into the world’s biggest franchise. Seeing as the book is being treated by Marvel Studios as the definitive telling of the studio’s story, it’s safe to say that what’s printed amounts to the closest shade of the truth. That being said, the book makes it very clear that its prime focus lies in the films the MCU has crafted – not the shows, and therefore cannot explicitly define the nature of a show.
When it came to Agent Carter, the book states that the Hayley Atwell-led prequel series is, in fact, canon.
“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.”
Things get a bit dicey when Agents of Shield is brought into the fold. The book implies that Agents of Shield is not canon, which led to several fans debating with co-writer Tara D. Bennet on Twitter. In her various interactions with fans, Bennet made it clear that the book does not explicitly state the nature of Agents of Shield. The author also stated that its best fans read the book to understand why she and co-writer Paul Terry came to the conclusion that the Clark Gregg-led show could be considered not canon.
Tara D. Bennet has since deleted a number of tweets and instead released a statement that clarified her and her book’s stance and made it clear that nuance is key in a situation like this.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if Agents of Shield is canonical or not as something as trivial as its existence within the larger franchise shouldn’t deprive anyone of enjoying the show as Bennet stated. And with the multiverse at the center of the MCU now, pretty much anything can be folded into the canon.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD starred Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward. The series was co-created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who also serve as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb. The series was produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television for ABC.
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