There’s nothing quite like a great superhero movie, and for years, Marvel has been setting the bar high. With the wildly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel has brought their comics to life with vibrancy and cutting-edge effects. We got to know some of the lesser-known characters (such as Agent Phil Coulson) through the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and now we get an another deeper look through ABC’s miniseries Agent Carter. We were all heartbroken to lose sight of Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) when Captain America’s plane crashed in Captain America: The First Avenger, and Agent Carter resumes a year later. She continues working at the SSR where fellow agents Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) and Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) are looking for Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), who is suspected of treason by way of selling nitramine weapons to enemies. Peggy knows Howard to be a good man (as evidenced by “flashbacks” to stock footage from Captain America: The First Avenger), so when he asks her to clear his name, she makes helping him her personal mission.
Peggy is a kickass character. She’s bold, witty, sexy, and strong, which are great traits for a secret agent. Her flawless red lipstick (by Besame Cosmetics) and perfectly tailored, navy skirt suit make her an American patriotic vision, which is funny considering that she’s also British. Peggy’s roommate outs her for not dating much, and the audience can have a heartfelt moment to realize it’s because she’s lost the only love she could have had: Steve Rogers. She relates with her diner waitress (Lyndsey Fonseca) who suffers through waiting on a harassing and sexist customer, and sticks up for her by threatening him. You could say Peggy is the kind of woman whose dedication and determination are the foundation that propel her to always remain in-control, but not all-powerful. She is a feminist hero in an oppressive culture that makes you aspire to be greater and overcome your own obstacles.
In addition to the SSR agents, Howard’s butler Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) teams up with Peggy as a sort of chauffeur meets unwanted-sidekick. Their newfound friendship is my favorite dynamic of the show, as they are both quick witted and reluctant to need each other. Jarvis lays down his boundaries with Peggy, but is also willing to put himself in dangerous situations to help her help Howard. I hope that their friendship builds through the series, as it would be great for Peggy to have a man she can rely on personally without being romantic. Speaking of which, there is some romantic tension between Agent Sousa and Peggy, but it’s unlikely they will ever have that storyline explored. Peggy is too defined as an independent spirit to fall back on an office romance (plus, things didn’t turn out so well the last time she was interested in a co-worker).
A man in a green suit seems to be our current villain, and he has no reservations in killing those in the way of him obtaining the nitramine for his bosses. With Peggy making his tasks more difficult, it’s clear that the man will not stop until he kills her, too. Mysterious Leet Brannis is in possession of the nitramine, and it’s up to Peggy to secure the nitramine while trying to reveal the identity of the man in the green suit. All the while, the SSR is close behind her trail and still believes Howard to be a traitor.
The show is already proving to be intriguing and incorporates tons of MCU elements (including references to technology and the introduction of characters like Jarvis). It’s clear that creators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are keeping everything canon with their previous MCU work on the Captain America movies, as well as Thor: The Dark World. The 1940s backdrop also serves as a character, and the writers have done a great job of applying today’s culture to the setting. Agent Carter has great potential to set the bar for female-fronted Marvel entertainment. With A.K.A. Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter also set to hit Netflix this year, maybe Marvel will finally consider the idea of a Black Widow film.
Marvel’s Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC