Marvel’s Agent Carter: First Impressions

It is certainly shaping up to be a good 2015 for Marvel fans on the small screen. Agent Carter has kicked off the New Year to good reviews and rightfully so, albeit some soft viewership ratings over the first 2 weeks. Although it is too early yet, positive reviews and good word-of-mouth can hopefully transform Agent Carter from a seven week (8 episode) mini-series to a renewed series in its own right come next Fall.

 agent carter

Agent Carter picks up shortly after the end of World War II with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) now serving as an SSR agent (the forerunner of S.H.I.E.L.D.). What is unique about the show is the unique juxtaposition we see Peggy Carter. In the Captain America: The First Avenger we saw Agent Carter as a leader. Now post-war, Agent Carter is treated by her SSR colleagues as a glorified secretary asking her to do clerical and administrative tasks instead of field work. This reminds me of history class when they discussed how the roles of women in the workforce dramatically changed during WWII when images of Rosie the Riveter were common to afterwards when they were relegated back to “women’s roles.” This theme is explored heavily as an undercurrent throughout the initial story lines and is most evidenced when Peggy rooms at a single women’s boarding house where she is not allowed male visitors above the second floor and encouraged to find a husband. rosie the riveter

Undaunted, we see Agent Carter determined to serve as the cause as she did back in the war with Captain America and Howard Stark. Coincidentally, the series really kicks off with Howard Stark as a fugitive of the United States Government for having his Top Secret stolen and in the hands of nefarious folks. While being pursed by the SSR, Howard seeks help from someone he can rely on, someone he served many missions with back in the War, Peggy Carter.

 carter and jarvis

One of the coolest parts of the show, is the fact that Howard insists that Peggy take on his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy) as her trusted ally. Edwin Jarvis, within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it can be assumed ultimately serves as the inspiration behind Tony Stark’s AI, J.A.R.V.I.S. Within the first 3 episodes, the dynamic between Carter and Jarvis has been one of the show’s strongest points. Personally, I enjoyed both the fact that their friendship and trust in one another has grown with each episode and I liked that you are constantly surprised to see Jarvis, who for all intents and purposes appears on the surface to be a mild-manner butler, rise to the occasion to put his neck on the line for Peggy.

It will be interesting to see how Peggy ultimately exonerates Howard Stark and discovers who or what Leviathan is. From upcoming clips, we do know that we will see the return of Dum Dum Dugan and potentially more of the Howlin’ Commandos who made their MCU debut in Captain America. Also interesting is the prospect of what might come if the series finds a big enough audience. Will the Howlin’ Commandos play a more significant role in the show? What about Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the original Ant-Man and Wasp. In the MCU, we first get a glimpse of an aging Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in Ant-Man as he passes the torch onto Scott Lang. Could there be a story line within Agent Carter where a young Pym invents Pym Particles? The timelines are a tad askew but it is fun to speculate nonetheless.

 Dum-Dum-Dugan-600x248

Marvel seems committed, more than ever, to put out quality television programming in 2015. In addition, to Agent Carter, the creators/writers for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have definitely upped their game with the first half of Season 2. When it returns after its mid-season hiatus, it will be hotly anticipated to see how they follow their Inhumans storyline.

 aos_season2

Subsequently, the creators at Marvel Television (Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television) have also committed to 4 Netflix original series, two of which will appear in 2015: Daredevil premiering April 10 and Jessica Jones likely debuting in Late 2015. Afterwards, Marvel will follow with Luke Cage (Power Man) and Danny Rand (Iron Fist) as Heroes for Hire and ultimately The Defenders which likely consist of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Power Man and Iron Man.

Daredevil release

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