We just get more and more excited about the return of Agent Carter. And what’s building our anticipation is the news that long-time Marvel villainess Madame Masque will be Peggy arch-nemesis in the show’s second season.
Originally an Iron Man foe (and occasional love interest), Madame Masque most recently played a major role in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s excellent Hawkeye comic run, where she developed an impressive enmity for Kate Bishop, the second Hawkeye after Clint Barton. In the comic-verse, Masque is a former debutante named Whitney Frost who became one of the criminal masterminds leading Marvel’s version of the Mafia (called the Maggia); she wears a golden mask after her face is scarred (it’s since been healed, but she’s continued wearing the mask).
Madame Masque didn’t debut in the comics until 1969, but of course Agent Carter season 2 is set in 1940s Hollywood—as such, executive producer Tara Butters says Masque will be a glamorous movie star with a secret life as the evil Madame Masque. From an interview with /Film:
Tara: I think we’ve changed the look of her a bit obviously. We’ve made her an actress, which is very Hedy Lamar. She was a ‘40s siren actress who was also a scientific genius, so that’s part of what we’re mining with this character. [...]
Is it significant that the villain is a woman?
Tara: For me it is, because I feel like that is something that… as much as there are not enough female heroes just on television, I feel like having a female villain is just as equally powerful.
As much as I’ve dreamed of somehow seeing a live-action MCU version of the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye series, I have zero problems with Madame Masque being repurposed to battle Agent Carter. Besides, I think Hawkeye’s weird farmstead in Age of Ultron ruined my chances of ever seeing Pizza Dog on-screen anyways.
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