Anyone who follows this blog who also personally knows me is probably thinking “Lauren, this blog has been active for months now. Why has it taken you so long to get around to talking about comic book ladies? It’s only your one true passion, next to hash browns, of course.” My answer for you, my friends, is that I was working up to it (also, honours is hard, and netflix is an enemy to those who need to be productive).
But we are finally here, and what better way to kick off what is sure to be a series of posts about comic book ladies, than with Agent Carter.
Agent Carter is a Marvel television series, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for you cool kids), inspired by Captain America: The First Avenger. Consisting of 8 episodes so far (officially renewed for a second season earlier this year, rejoice!), Agent Carter follows the events after the end of Captain America: The First Avenger and well before the events of the rest of the MCU (Iron Man, Thor, that Hulk movie I hated, etc) through the character of Peggy Carter.
Lemme tell you, even though this show follows an ambitious woman’s struggle to be accepted and respected by her male peers in the 1940s, something that in the past has lent itself to being tiresome, this show is such a breathe of fresh air.
Peggy, played by the classic Hollywood beauty Hayley Atwell, is so not here for your ‘make me a sandwich’ jokes. She’s here to do her bloody job – probably quicker and more efficient than the other agents in the organisation soon to become S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, and I did that without having to look that up, ha!), the intelligence agency run by Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury in the MCU.
Following in the footsteps of her friend and love interest Captain Steve Rogers (beefcake-wrapped-in-a-circus-tent extraordinaire), Peggy is doing all that she can to save the world, and beat the bad guys. She also happens to look fabulous while doing it.
Personally, I feel like this show was a very smart move on Marvel’s part. For many years now, fans have been asking for more female representation in the MCU, and after seeing The Avengers in 2012, there was nothing Marvel fans wanted more than a solo Black Widow movie. Or literally any solo female superhero movie. Citing scheduling conflicts and a full roster of films over the next few years, Marvel said a Black Widow solo film just wasn’t possible at the moment (I will be writing a full, in detail post on this soon, as it is something that really needs its own time, and I want this post to be more “Yay Peggy!” and less “Screw Kevin Feige”).
Choosing to have a miniseries was a great compromise; it gave fans what they wanted without having to alter filming on their blockbuster projects. It also meant that we get a much more in depth story and character explorations. In addition to the angel that is Peggy Carter, we have –
Howard Stark’s exasperated butler is comedy gold. He’s well-meaning, polite, and gets adorably flustered when Peggy calls him away from doing laundry to fight crime. I love him
Tony Stark’s dad, and fan favourite, he steals all of his limited number of scenes. There are also some great callbacks (callforwards?) to some Tony Stark/Iron Man moments. It’s easy to see why Tony is a hot mess when you see what his dad was like.
I was worried he was going to be pegged as the nice-guy-who-just-wants-to-get-the-girl, but once again the show pleasantly surprised me. There is a moment early in the season where it looks like this will happen, but instead, Daniel treats Peggy with the utmost respect without making a move on her, and she responds with the same towards him. This kind of relationship is so refreshing, as I’m sure others like myself are very tired of the “I’m an averagely decent guy, you should love me more than this other dick” storyline that seems to be so common in film and tv.
Jack Thompson (aka that ‘other dick’)
Chad Michael Murray! I don’t really have much else to say. He’s Chad Michael Murray. Pretty self explanatory. I thought he was lost to obscurity forever, so its super exciting to see him in something.
The stand out character for me, though, is Peggy’s BFF Angie.
She’s witty, she’s kickass, and her friendship with Peggy is, particularly later in the season, one of the most satisfying emotional storylines in the show, with the other being Peggy’s love for the late Steve Rogers.
Overall the show does what I was hoping it would do: proving once and for all that Peggy would have made an amazing Captain America, had she been given the chance. As it is, she does great things anyway. I’m so impressed with the series as a whole, and I cannot wait until Season 2 airs!