Monday, January 12, 2015

AGENT CARTER: Crazy talk =)

Here it mostly is — a brain dump of crazy talk notions inspired by a couple of random words here and there in the pilot of AGENT CARTER last week! *not* a summary or critique of the episode but yes, full of *** spoilers *** ! Enjoy the madness!

Leet Brannis?

What kind of name is that?! Pretty frickin conspicuous, no? Well, anagrammatically, I like SILENT BRANE, and SILBERTANNE certainly has its dark connection to the era, but a google will reveal that it's a deep callback to Marvel Comics of the 1940s. Fraindeer Games's character is named for the leader of a gang of jewel thieves who went up against the Whizzer in an issue of ALL-WINNERS. I wonder who on the CARTER staff had that awesome bit of Marvel minutiae in his/her pocket. So, okay, an impressive callback.

But who's to say that's all it is or does? I mean, look at that frickin name! My first thought was to try to parse it as leetspeak/hax0r, but after a few minutes of trying character substitutions, I couldn't come up w anything sensible. Maybe there's a date or coordinates in "BRANNIS" but it seems unlikely. Character substitutions got me more slashes than numbers. Seems like a dead end. Still, I'd love to be wrong, tho, and have this choice of name/codename be a sign of knowledge, contact, or an origin in the future (our present, in which leetspeak exists).
My next thought was that it's an anagram. But at the level that military intelligence, secret agents, and industrial spies play, it doesn't seem like a credible hidden clue or message (except maybe for us, the audience). So, it got me to SILENT BRANE and SILBERTANNE, but I dismissed it in favor of a funner possibility…

Attempting to imagine Leet Brannis is Le'et Bran'nis, of the Shi'Ar, or Lee-T Bran-Nis of the Kree, or perhaps (pretty pretty please) Leet Brannis of Atlantis! =)

Agents of Leviathan.

Okay, SBD (Silent But Deadly, aka the guy in the green suit, the assassin on Leet's trail) works for Leviathan. Leet *used to* work for Leviathan. Both exhibit the scarring of an apparent laryngotomy. In the course of a fight w Agent Carter, SBD survived a fall out a building window onto a city street or alley from several stories up. So, maybe he's more than your average voice-box-less Earthican? Still, he's not invincible, as we see later that his left arm is broken.

Leviathan sent Brannis to rob Howard Stark's vault, presumably to deliver its contents to them. However, Leet has double-crossed them. Or at least has opted to make a bit more on the side for himself, choosing to put at least one bad baby (Molecular Nitramene/implosion grenade tech) up for sale. Can't remember exactly when, but at one point Leet humbly describes himself as a simple businessman just trying to make his mark, also mentioning that he's not a killer, but does business with them. He's afraid of Leviathan, but not so afraid that he won't challenge them. Apparently, he believes that Agent Carter and the SSR are capable of protecting him from Leviathan, as he asks her for just that. Unfortunately, Carter and the SSR don't get the chance, as SBD catches up to them and forces events that lead to Leet's death. The last thing Brannis tells Carter is in the form of a drawing he scratches in the dirt—what appears to be a heart, intersected horizontally by a wavy line. I *swear* this is familiar to me, but I canNOT remember how/why. His artificial voice box smashed, Leet can't explain what it means before he dies, but we're meant to believe that this is connected to what he left unspoken earlier: the one thing that Leviathan is interested in.

More than a laryngotomy?

Okay, so our Leviathan agents have lost their voices. They have access to some unusual tech, including the Fringe typewriter adapter, and likely whatever machinery it took to reach Howard Stark's vault. Maybe they're a little more resilient than the average human, too.

What if that scar was the physical sign of a much more involved procedure? Something that together with the vocoder device GAVE Leet and SBD voices they never had before? What if they'd been altered more significantly, to help them draw oxygen from the air, when most of their lives they'd been drawing it from ocean water? Throw in a full body skin bleaching treatment and I'm talking about modifying Atlanteans to pass for and survive (and communicate) as surface world humans!

Think about it. Code name: Leviathan—a giant sea beasty! With the industrial age and war production of the surface world, the oceans would be significantly affected by artificial pollution for the first time in history. World War 2 sea battles could have been responsible for untold undersea collateral damage. And the two atomic bombs that ended the war in the Pacific? An undersea civilization with advanced (or even comparable/parallel) technology is not going to miss those.

Yeah, it may be crazy talk, but I love the possibilities in it. We don't have to bring Namor in. Maybe Attuma. Start Atlantis with a true warlord in charge. Maybe bring Namor in as a moderate, ready to talk or negotiate? Although… When does atomic bomb testing in the Pacific begin? Perhaps that is the cover for a crippling attack on an Atlantean civilization that had negotiated a peace, but the surface world found too threatening. Secret history!

Oh oh oh! Maybe it wasn't a legit surface world government or coalition, but Hydra! Working thru its many heads, or is it legs? No, heads. Whichever. you know what I mean.

Something Leet said… Fight the Future?

"You're not going to like the future, such as it is…" Interesting choice of words. Cryptic… Big Picture-y… One reading is that he believes that Leviathan's "coming" specifically will bring some kind of ominous doom, if not for everyone, then at least for Agent Carter and her side/kind (America? the SSR? the Good Guys?). Another reading is that Leet actually knows what the future is/will be like, and that Agent Carter won't like it.

Of course my comic book brain wants to read everything possible into THAT. =)

Perhaps Leet is from the future, and Leviathan is based there, sending agents back in time to ensure that certain events in the past lead to a Leviathan-favorable future. But Leet turns out to be a non-believer and opportunist, and once he finds himself in 1940s America, he realizes that he could set himself up very comfortably for the rest of his life in this past. His profiteering ends up derailing Leviathan's apparent plan to exclusively control Stark's bad babies and discredit the man, and perhaps destroy his legacy, in the process.

Such a plot, originating in the future, would point to present-day enemies of Tony Stark, no? And, by identity and association, Iron Man, the Avengers, and perhaps SHIELD. That is a pretty tantalizing idea, especially given that AGENT CARTER is currently airing in AGENTS OF SHIELD's time slot until they return to finish season 2. *I* think that it would be great if the wrap-up to CARTER in the 40s leaves/connects to a legacy that the present day agents of SHIELD are dealing with.

Some reminders to myself… To the best of my AOS recollection, at the time of AGENT CARTER…
  1. Whitehall is locked away.
  2. Hydra is playing dead (Zola is working for deep dark SSR).
  3. The Obelisk and blue boy are in storage w the Ark of the Covenant.
Some more reminders to myself… To the best of my AOS recollection, as of the mid-season finale of AGENTS, the following hot items are in play…
  1. A hidden subterranean city below Puerto Rico.
  2. Kree tech and genetics.
  3. Inhumanity (terrigenesis triggered by the Obelisk in the hidden city chamber).
And, a wonderful wild card that I'm kind of happy and amazed has been kept in play in AGENT CARTER…

Vita-radiation! As far as I can recall, we have no stories as to its origin/discovery. What if its origin is extraterrestrial? Perhaps that fact is unknown even to its discoverer (was it Erskine)? Maybe a patron who knew of its ET origin gifted a scientist or several scientists w the opportunity to work with it? In any case, I'm glad this wild card is in play. It gives me some comic booky hope that we'll see something superpowered in Carter's case files. If not fully realized in that era, then maybe later in the MCU.

Do we know how old the MCU's Nick Fury is? =)

Keep on keepin on~

Thursday, January 08, 2015

AGENT CARTER: Who is Leet Brannis?

The Internette tells me that Leet Brannis is a name pulled from ALL-WINNERS in the 40s, the leader of a gang of thieves who faced the Whizzer back in the day. Okay, that's all fine and good as a callback, but in the world of AGENT OF CARTER, what else/more could Fraindeer Games's* Leet Brannis be about?

Well, me being me, of course I've got a couple of poppy Marvel Comics-y crazy talk ideas about Leet Brannis, but I haven't got those turds properly polished just yet. However, along the way, I ended up internet-anagram-solving my way to this one frickin dark, but apparently contemporary connection that I'm gonna share right now…

Anagrammatically," Leet Brannis" equals "Silbertanne," which translates to "Silver Fir" in German. Operation Silbertanne was the codename for a series of executions during the German occupation of the Netherlands, Nazi reprisals for attacks made on Dutch collaborators. Triggermen posed as resistance members, clothed as civilians and using British weapons.

Could Leet have been part of the operation and wished to (somehow, perhaps impossibly) make amends? Or known of it but was powerless to stop it? Or perhaps he chose this name/codename as a morbid reminder of a vicious enterprise whose victims (his own family?) he felt he would be avenging?

Pretty frickin dark, right? Would certainly offer some heavy backstory very quickly.

My escapist fantasy mind has still got my fingers crossed for a connection that's more otherworldly and science fictional. We shall see…

Keep on keepin on~

P.S. Who thinks that Sousa pulled the one photo that caught Carter's face at Spider's club? Nice to see another Doll cross over into the MCU.

P.P.S. Some other anagrams of "Leet Brannis":

Lesbian Rent
Blaster Nine
Al Bernstein
Silent Brane

I really like Silent Brane, which to me unscientifically implies a soundless dimension or 'verse, but haven't let myself drop down that rabbit hole… yet. =)

Please let me know if you dig up any fun connections in those directions, tho—thx!

* My first lasting impression of James Frain was made on screening the wonderful ridiculous action caper REINDEER GAMES. =)