I will just get right to it, Marvel’s Agent Carter is a lot of fun. The show’s espionage theme, mixed with the period, a dash of humor, and with the Marvel magic added as a garnish, proves to be an amazing recipe for destination television. Now I just have to console myself that I only get to enjoy the show for seven weeks.
For the uninitiated, the series is spun out of a Marvel short film that showcased what Captain America’s old-flame, Peggy Carter, did after the war. Well let’s just say, that she is able to kick some butt. But while the one-shot showed us the end of her career at the Strategic Scientific Reserve, the series takes us to a time prior, when she was still struggling to prove her worth. She is also struggling with the fact that her past and future partner, Howard Stark, is currently being investigated for selling his weapons technology to the enemy.
I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but I will say that there is a central mystery to the show that I find exciting. What are the bad guys after? What is their plan? Why do they do what they do? These are all questions that the show has set up nicely. Unlike Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the series is not starting with one and done stories, but is instead going straight into the 7-week arc that will comprise the shows first season. Is it too early to start a renewal campaign?
The show is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and since we know a little bit about what happens to Peggy Carter from the one-shot and Captain America: The Winter Soldier we have a slight idea of where the main character is headed. But what we don’t know is how she got there. How does she become one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D.? How does she come to lead the Howling Commandos into the HYDRA base, which we saw in the season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? While I doubt we will get answers to these questions this season, it will be neat to see how we get from where we are today, to where we know Peggy ends up.
The show is very different in tone that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The period has a way of lightening up the mood. Also, while Coulson is the source of comic relief in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series, several characters convey humor in Agent Carter. This brings us to the nice surprise that is Edwin Jarvis, portrayed by James D’arcy. This character tries to balance his desire to be helpful, with his inherent need for order and punctuality, which often conflicts with humorous results.
The other main difference between the two shows is that S.H.I.E.L.D. is about a team, while Carter is about an individual. While she may have friends and allies, this is a solo story. This allows us to give us time to focus on Carter’s journey instead of bouncing around an entire team of special agents.
But the supporting cast is still excellent. In addition to the aforementioned Jarvis, Carter’s teammates struggle with belittling our heroine while having to acknowledge her assistance. The villains mix cold war espionage with a little bit of James Bond-esque camp which also fits the show’s tone. The sets, costumes, and characterizations all fit the period perfectly. I remember being disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see more 40’s adventures after Cap became frozen, but Marvel has found a way through the magic of television
However the true standout of the series is Agent Carter herself, Hayley Atwell. She is able to master and disguises and accents that the mission requires. Ms. Atwell’s acting ability sells the show, and I look forward to seeing her further portrayl of Agent Carter, but the aliases Agent Carter must assume as well.
While I love Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agents Carter is a nice breath of fresh air during the winter hiatus. It is great to see Marvel tackle yet another genre through the medium of television. I look forward on them taking me on a seven-week journey.
FanBoy is a Disney dweeb who has worked at Disneyland and Walt Disney World