By Tara Bennett
The first two episodes of Marvel’s Agent Carter aired last Tuesday, transforming Captain America’s Peggy Carter from a side character into a full fledge action hero. It is recommended TV viewing if you’re interested in Marvel, but also if you love 1940s spy dramas. Here are the top five reasons why you should tune in and watch Agent Carter each week.
Not only is Agent Carter a television show adapted from a comic book series, it’s also a historical drama and an espionage story rolled into one show. Also name one other female-led action/adventure show on TV right now.
2. Marvel continuity
Unlike Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter has time on its side. AoS, despite many tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is hindered by the chance of spoilers and the high cost of having Avengers drop in for cameos. Agent Carter has freedom to expand the universe as we know it because of its 1940s setting. It can flesh out details, provide backstory and make the canon richer. There are still several connections to the present films including Iron Man’s father Howard Stark and his butler Jarvis, and to AoS via Peggy becoming a founding member of SHIELD. Rumor has it Agent Carter will also be connected to the upcoming Ant-Man film.
3. The Cast
Atwell is no doubt the shining star of the show, but Agent Carter isn’t being carried on her narrow shoulders alone. We also have Dominic Cooper reprising his role from Captain America as Howard Stark, along with butler Edwin Jarvis played by James D’Arcy. His dry British wit is perfect here, as he long-sufferingly acts as Peggy’s sidekick.
Also of note is the return of Chad Michael Murray, of One Tree Hill fame, who acts as blowhard Agent Jack Thompson. He is Peggy’s office nemesis and is the golden boy of the SSR. However, his inability to see Peggy as anything more than “just a woman” may be his greatest weakness.
4. Agent Carter breaks the mold
Yay for ladies! Considering how rarely the Marvel franchise gives the spotlight to women, this is a step in the right direction. The show also takes a look at sexism in the workplace, with Peggy having to do her ass-kicking in secret because the men she works with don’t take her seriously.
5. Peggy is not a superhero
At least not in the sense where you need big muscles, awesome powers and a spandex costume to get the job done. Peggy’s strength lies in her intelligence and tenacity. There’s also something very satisfying about watching an average person fight the bad guys without years of martial arts training (I’m looking at you, Bruce Wayne).