The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently one of the highest-grossing film franchises. With movies like Iron Man, The Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s not really surprising. Founded in 1939, Marvel Comics has had a long and winding history. From the verge of bankruptcy in 1996, they sprung back and now are known for making some of the most popular entertainment on both the big and small screen.
One of the big things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is how well tied together everything is. There are bits of story lines that can be found present from one movie to another, even if the characters are all different. It can cause quite a bit of excitement among the comic book fans to see small easter eggs or references that only people who have been immersing themselves in the comic book universe for years could find.
And the television series – Marvel’s Agent Carter and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – that are part of the MCU are also quite good at tying into the movies as supplemental stories. You don’t have to know everything about the movies to enjoy the television shows, and vice versa. But you have the ability to understand so much more about the bigger picture of the storyline if you’re familiar with more than just one portion of the franchise
Marvel’s Agent Carter takes place in 1946, three years after the first Captain America movie. Going into the show we know that the war is over, Peggy Carter still loves and misses Captain America, that she is working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), and that Howard Stark has been framed for selling some of the weapons he’s invented. Since the SSR believes that Stark is behind the sale of his weapons, especially since he has gone on the run, Carter must work work secretly with Stark’s butler (Jarvis) to clear Stark’s name and find the real villains in this story.
Agent Carter is a wonderful mix of period piece, mystery, scifi and drama. It can offer something entertaining to any viewer – whether you like big action fight scenes, trying to unravel the mystery before the the big reveal, or development of relationships (not just romantic!) between characters who need to depend on each other.
There were a few familiar faces for those who are intimate with the MCU. Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) were both introduced to viewers in Captain America: The First Avenger. We also get to see Toby Jones make an appearance after the ending credits of the final episode, reprising his role as Arnim Zola. Each of these characters has continued to develop in the same strain that we see them previously – there’s been solid and consistent character development in the transition from the big screen to the small screen for these three.
Other notable members of the cast include Chad Michael Murray, who fans would know from One Tree Hill, and Joss Whedon alumni Enver Gjokaj. I’ve personally been watching Gjokaj’s career since he was a regular on Dollhouse, and each time I see him I am thoroughly impressed with this man’s talent. I have fingers crossed that he’ll go quite far.
Peggy Carter As A Lead
Peggy Carter is a great choice for a female-led Marvel story, and it has made me really happy that Marvel decided to make a series based on her. I mean, a superhero movie with a female lead would be amazing, but I’ll take what I can get. And when what I can get is a period piece with a kick-ass female who doesn’t fit into the traditional feminine roles of that time, I’m all over it.
Carter works best for this type of story for a number of reasons, in my opinion.
First – we already know her. It’s not going to take a lot of back story to introduce us to her, and we can jump right into the story itself. This was definitely important since the first season of this show only had eight episodes. There wasn’t time to build into the meat of the story.
Second – Carter is one of the more relatable characters in the MCU. She’s your every day woman, without having super powers to fall back on. She’s just like us, only in an amazing and wonderful alternate universe where super powers aren’t unheard of. As much as I have loved most of what has been in the MCU, as much as it’s had the kick-ass characters I wish I could be, it’s Peggy Carter who is more realistic and relatable that these other characters.
Third – being a woman working in a mostly male-dominated field in that period of time gave us different dimensions of the struggles that Carter had to face. Not only was she having to fight bad guys and try to keep herself out of trouble, but we also had to see the dynamics of her being constantly overlooked by her coworkers and politicians, because of the fact that she was female. We got to see how she dealt with going from being the hot shot of the field to the person delegated to get coffee and lunch orders for the men in her office. We got to see how underestimated she always was, and not just how she fought to prove that perception wrong, but also how she used that perception to her own benefit.
So What’s Next?
At this point, it’s still unknown whether there will be a second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Personally, as much as I absolutely loved it, it closed in a way that isn’t a cliffhanger. It could work solely as a chapter in SHIELD’s history… but it also had an easter egg after the credits of the last episode that teases us about a potential storyline for another season.
What do you think?
Did you get the opportunity to watch Marvel’s Agent Carter? What were your thoughts on the choice to make a full television series on Agent Carter? Would you watch a second season?
Promotional image from ABC