Marvel’s Agent Carter – Who Is Madame Masque?


Season two of Marvel’s Agent Carter is ramping things up just three episodes in, maybe to fit in with their new Hollywoodland setting. Whatever the reason, it’s jumping headfirst into the supervillain this season with Whitney Frost, known to comic book fans as Madame Masque.

But who exactly is Madame Masque, and what should we expect out of her arc this season?

In the comics, she was born as Giulietta Nefaria and given to Byron Frost and his wife so she could lead a respectable life. She became a socialite, engaged to a politician, the world on a string until the Frosts died and her birth father came back into the picture, wanting her to lead the Maggia (the crime syndicate) on the East Coast. Her fiancee didn’t want to hinder his career, so he left her, and Whitney ran the Maggia, even taking over for her father when he landed in jail.

After an attack against Stark industries, she escaped in a plane that ended up crashing. As a result, her faces became disfigured and scarred, so she hid her face behind a golden mask, creating the alias of Madame Masque.

Agent Carter is giving us a 1940s version of Madame Masque, and it’s cool to see the parts of her background that they’re keeping, including a significant other as a politician and being a socialite (in the most Forties way possible).

In the comics, she also fell in love with Tony Stark. While that is impossible for this version in Agent Carter, it’s pretty easy to see Howard Stark at least giving her a look over before Peggy reprimands him and reminds him how evil she is.

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So what exactly are Madame Masque’s powers? Well, in the comics, she doesn’t really have superpowers. She’s skilled in hand-to-hand combat, martial arts, and a fantastic markswoman. She’s quite good at heading up organizations, too, so it’s no surprise that the television portrayal of her shows her tugging her husband’s strings and inadvertently controlling the council he’s on. Oh, and she’s believed to be criminally insane.

[Editor’s note: In the first arc of the current Invincible Iron Man series, Frost showed off a wide range of mystical powers she’d never demonstrated before, possibly due to demonic possession. It remains to be seen if those will stick with her, though.]

The Zero Matter housed inside her television counterpart seems to have given her a bit of a superpower that will more than draw attention to herself if it isn’t kept in check. It’s pretty easy to assume that it will also push her to the brink of insanity.

What should we expect from this version of Whitney Frost? First, she’s going to be vastly different from the comic books, mostly because of the Zero Matter in her. She’s also brilliantly smart and will definitely give Peggy a run for her money.

The producers on Agent Carter have said that she won’t be wearing that golden mask anytime soon. But we will get a nod to it. She’s not going to be able to hide that zero matter scar forever. I think I would be fine even if it was just a masquerade ball party or a scene in the movie she’s filming.

The producers have also stated that this season will show Peggy losing her faith in humanity. It’s easy to see how Whitney Frost could play into that part of things. She has the rest of the world fooled into believing she’s just another Hollywood star, another pretty face, and who would believe Peggy if she tried to tell them otherwise?

Next: Interview with Agent Carter Composer Christopher Lennertz

The fun twist to this version of Madame Masque lies in the Zero Matter. That’s going to make Whitney Frost so much fun to watch.