If you only watch Marvel films and television shows, things can be very confusing when you start to read the comics they're based on. The people behind the mask of your favorite superheroes aren't who you expect them to be. Characters you cherish are vastly different than the way they're written in the movies. The comic book history of Marvel is long, complicated, and even contradictory. But that's why I'm here to help. On Marvel's Agent Carter which premieres Jan. 6, we'll see a mix of new and old faces. One of those new faces is Edwin Jarvis, played by James D'Arcy. That last name is quite familiar. Is Agent Carter's Jarvis in anyway related to Iron Man's? Sort of.
In the comics, Edwin Jarvis is the Brooklyn-born and raised butler to the Stark family. He's loyal, caring, and willing to lay his life on the line for the Stark family. He later becomes the caretaker for the Avengers' mansion. When the name Jarvis comes up, most people think of the artificial intelligence that assists Tony Stark during day-to-day life and his adventures as Iron Man. Marvel is very keen on creating strong links between their cinematic, television, and comic book universes. That's why they're retconning Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to not be Magneto's kids and align them with their portrayal in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is what makes mainstream comics confusing as hell. But making the link between Edwin Jarvis in Agent Carter and J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man series thankfully doesn't require a twisting of the canon.
As seen in previews for the series, Edwin Jarvis will appear as Howard Stark's butler and become an ally for Peggy on Agent Carter. This Jarvis will be seen as the inspiration for Tony Stark's in Iron Man, which makes sense. Edwin Jarvis probably had a hand in taking care of Tony in his childhood.
Besides one being a flesh and blood human being and the other very obviously not being among the living in the traditional sense, how else do the two Jarvis compare? Well, the power dynamics are going to be at least somewhat different, but all versions of the character share a sense of loyalty to the Stark family and willingness to do what is asked of them.
For comparison sake, take a look at Edwin Jarvis in this clip from Agent Carter:
And now a bit of J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man:
With the two-hour premiere of Agent Carter hinging on Peggy clearing good friend Howard Stark's name, it stands to reason we'll be seeing quite a bit of Edwin Jarvis. Whether he'll become a fleshed out character or simply a resourceful ally isn't clear, so we'll just have to watch Agent Carter to find out.