Friday, May 9, 2014

Agent Carter

Please forgive any typos. I literally wrote this while eating breakfast this morning before work. I'll proofread it later today and correct anything I find. :)

If you follow me on any social media site, you undoubtedly noticed my intense excitement last night. Yesterday, Marvel announced Agents of SHIELD would be getting a second season AND that we would be getting an entirely new show entitled: Agent Carter.

I love Agents of SHIELD, I really do, but it was this second announcement that had me flailing. It's come to my attention that not everyone may understand why, they may not truly comprehend the awesomeness of an Agent Carter show, or even understand what it would be about. So, let me explain.

What is it?

On every Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) DVD (so Thor, Captain America, the Avengers, Iron Man 3, and Thor: The Dark World), Marvel has released a short film. They call these short films One-Shots. If you have not seen them, you must go find someone with the DVDs (and/or blu-rays) and watch them now. 

The first two One-Shots where entitled The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer and were both about Agent Phil Coulson. It was through these One-Shots that fans learned of Agent Coulson's sheer awesomeness. And it's mostly these One-Shots that caused fans to latch onto his character (that and his smirk when dealing with Tony Stark) and start the #coulsonlives movement. This movement--an outright denial of the events that occurred to Coulson in the Avengers--is the reason why Agent Coulson is alive in MCU canon today. This insane popularity of a mere secondary character is what led us to have the Agents of SHIELD show we now all know and love. 
Agent Peggy Carter

But not all of the One-Shots are about Coulson. If you watch the Iron Man 3 DVD, there is a Marvel One-Shot entitled "Agent Carter." It's a short film about Peggy Carter after the war. She's still trying to work for the SSR, but because it's post-war time and she's a woman, her superiors refuse to take her seriously. They view her as nothing more than Captain America's grieving girlfriend who should be pitied but not actually trusted as a real agent. 

The short deals with a sequence of events where Peggy Carter shows them how truly wrong they are, and ends with Howard Stark calling to inform her she will be founding SHIELD with him. 

AND THAT is what our Agent Carter television show will most likely be about. Hayley Atwell, the actress who plays Peggy Carter, is on board to reprise her character of Peggy Carter. Dominic Cooper, who played Howard Stark in Captain America and in the short, is thrilled about the idea. And I'm betting we'll see at least a handfull of the Howling Commandos. (I would bet at least Dum Dum Dugan.)
Howard Stark & Dum Dum Dugan
This will be a show about Carter and Stark founding SHIELD. Imagine the shenigans (you always have shenanigans any time a Stark is involved). Imagine the missions and adventures! IMAGINE THE INEVITABLE BETRAYALS. SERIOUSLY. JUST THINK ABOUT THE LATEST MARVEL MOVIE AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT THIS SERIES.

Basically in short, this will be an action adventure spy show, like Agents of SHIELD but set in the late 1940s/early 1950s. So all those fun gadgets we had in the last episode of Agents of SHIELD? Expect more of that.

Why should you care?

Clearly you should care because it's going to be GREAT TELEVISION. But more than that, you should care because this is a female led Marvel property written and produced by females. 

Look, I'm not here to argue representation with you. That's a matter for a different post on a different day. What I am here to tell you is that Marvel and other big Hollywood names are often scared to produce stories led by women.

That probably seems silly to you--what with the popularity of The Hunger Games and the like--but it's long standing Hollywood "fact" that movies led by females don't do well. Neither are we here to talk about how this fact is mostly bogus--just look at the Alien and Terminator franchises--but needless to say Hollywood believes this to be true whether it is or not. And this is why we have yet to get a female superhero movie, from either Marvel or DC. 
So  many ladies, yet so few movies
Since I'm not here to argue the importance of representation to you, you may wonder why I even bring this up. The answer: representation or not, because of this "fact" we are missing out on some truly fantastic movies. You are being deprived, dear readers. You are being deprived of Wonder Woman. You are being deprived of a Black Widow movie. You are being deprived of Captain Marvel. You are being deprived of some truly great, awesome, and complex characters that aren't being given movies merely because of their gender.

Captain Marvel
I want a movie about an Air Force colonel who accidentally gains the powers of an alien race and becomes a superhero. I want the story of the child who is trained and brainwashed by the country that was supposed to protect her. I WANT THE STORY OF AN AMAZONIAN PRINCESS WHO COMES TO OUR COUNTRY AND KICKS BUTT. 

Granted, this probably won't lead directly to a Wonder Woman movie, since that's DC comics' problem. BUT if the Agent Carter television show does amazingly well, it will give Marvel the confidence that viewers will watch their stuff even if the stories are led by a mere female. (sarcasm, sarcasm of course.) And then Marvel might give us the Black Widow movie we deserve. It might give us the Captain Marvel movie we desperately need.

If Marvel starts producing female-led movies that do well, we could change the face of Hollywood.

And that is something you should care about.

Have more questions about Agent Carter? Let me know! I'll answer what I can!