Marvel's Agent Carter : Season 2
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Marvel's Agent Carter : Season 2

Much the consternation of parents and teachers, many of us enjoyed reading comic books while growing up. They insisted that they would ruin our brains and will complete waste of time. Still, we collected them in secret hiding them under our beds or some other secret location. Now, some of those early comic books of hundreds of thousands of dollars even though we purchase them for a dime. Comic was to become so popular that they are now the dominant driving force in Hollywood. A significant number of records are continually broken by movies made from comic books. Most will agree that Marvel Comics has won as far as success in the Cineplex is concerned. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or commonly referred to as the MCU, and it has earned billions of dollars in revenue as well as many hailed as some of the best examples of film to date. While Malvern’s rival, DC Comics, has achieved no small measure of success in television Marvel still maintains a presence in that medium. Much of the MCU’s success on the small screen has been the result of original programming on the streaming video service, Netflix. There were a couple of programs produced for traditional broadcast television revolving around the MCU’s most important intelligence and law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D., with a series ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, garnering a degree of success. The associate series set just after World War II, following the exploits one of the organization’s best-known operatives, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). First introduced in ‘Captain America: America’s First Avenger,' Agent Carter was immediately a fan favorite representing an intelligent, independent and resourceful young woman during the time that men entirely dominated society. The hosting network, ABC, premiered the series as a midseason replacement allowing only eight episodes of the first season and 10 for the second season, under review here. Despite critical acclaim and viewership began to dwindle the network unceremoniously canceled the series.

The second season opens in the year 1947 the Peggy Carter is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s predecessor the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). During the first season, she showed her impressive value by being more successful in the field than any of the male coworkers. He was requested by Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) of the Los Angeles SSR office temporarily transfer from New York reopened an office in Los Angeles. A woman was found frozen to death despite the city experiencing a heat wave. Your possible scientific aspects of this immediately folded into the SSR’s purview. Upon arriving in Los Angeles Peggy immediately contact her friend and former associate, Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy), the Butler and general majordomo or Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), multimillionaire genius inventor and industrialist. There are many direct lines of continuity to the MCU including the fact that Howard is the father of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), better known as Iron Man. The deceased John woman is unusual for more than just freezing to death in the sweltering heat; a body glows in the dark or probably as a result of exposure to the particle accelerator owned and operated by Isodyne Energy. Upon investigating Peggy discovers that the young woman was Jane Scott, a physicist employed by the company was having an affair with Calvin Chadwick. Underwood (Currie Graham), who is the owner of Iodine. He is also married to aging movie star Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). Ms. Frost is upset because age is starting to show, an attribute that is highly undesirable in Hollywood. She is also a scientific genius far more intelligent than most of the scientists that were from husband’s company. This basis for this character was Hedy Lamarr; the well-known film actress possessed an amazing intelligence and scientific prowess. Peggy gained a contact in one of the businesses working for the company, Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), who also becomes a love interest for Peggy later on in the season. This relationship further demonstrates Peggy’s proclivity for bending or ignoring rules that interfere with our independent spirit. In 1947 a white woman having a relationship with an African-American would be scandalous.

I found the weather most appealing aspects of the series was its commitment to its period. The stylistic perspective the forties was amazingly creative with the strong lines of Art Deco differencing everything from clothing to buildings. Thematically the series is primarily based on the espionage themes that were popular during World War II and immediately afterward. Providing the twist in the expected was achieved by having a woman completely take over all the protagonists almost always associated with a man. Isodyne Energy experimenting and something accidentally discovered while testing atomic weapons. It was called Zero Matter, an unlimited source of energy and transformation. Details such as Whitney Frost becoming infected with the substance turning her into a creature of unimaginable deadly power are more in line with comic books; the dramatic scuffling is direct from those classic spy movies. There is a covert organization, The Nine, determined to subjugate the world. They have infiltrated the upper echelons of the business world and have been making headway into infusing themselves in politics. Peggy meticulously follows clues working already increasingly higher in the evil organization. Each step places her in ever-escalating danger, unable to rely on most of the men in the SSR. Agent Sousa had a crush on Peggy back in New York but now he is happily engaged and the only one trust in Peggy’s abilities and uncanny intuition. Together, Peggy Daniel and Jarvis take on the destruction of an impossibly powerful adversary.

There are many connections made to the MCU beyond just Howard Stark and his son. Providing one of the most intriguing elements is provided by a highly trained assassin, who is one of Peggy’s lethal adversaries, Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan). She represents the stereotype made popular in World War II movies continuing to even greater effect during the Cold War, the sleeper agent. Dottie was trained by a top-secret organization within Russia that trained children, particularly girls, to be deadly in every form of combat. The training facility with the infamous Red Room, known in the other MCU films at the facility that created the Black Widow Program that also trained Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)., introducing the concept of that some young women who were trained in this program and were all considered Black Widows. The character of Dottie enhances the theme of female empowerment by providing another exceptionally strong female antagonist. Dottie and Whitney demonstrate how much put-upon heroine must contend with adversaries worthy of her talents. All of these factors combine in a wonderfully synergistic fashion to create a role model suitable for the girls and young women in the audience. The casting of this critical role was perfect. Ms. Atwell is a young woman with a healthy figure to match her indomitable attitude and prestigious abilities. As a father with a daughter, I highly approve of a character the challenges the size zero model types that overly populate a majority of the television and film roles. When juxtaposed with a male character such as Jarvis the result is one of the most entertaining shows in quite a long time. The banter that does offer some degree of comic relief but more importantly, it establishes a relationship between a man and woman based on mutual respect and admiration. While Peggy is constantly breaking down the overtly prejudicial female stereotype of the time, Jarvis represents a man in a career that is by definition subservient. Jarvis also raises the expectation significantly for a butler by manifesting a staunchly independent personality. Together they are one of the most effective and entertaining teams in the MCU.

It is a shame that the programming executives at ABC were so short sighted in canceling the series before it could fully establish its narrative voice and find a decent fan base. The character development follows the typical progression seen in Marvel, complexed and highly evolved. Another problem with the lack of consideration the studio shows for this series can be seen in its distribution for the home. I had watched the series through video on demand greatly anticipating the Blu-ray release similar to season one. Unfortunately, the only format available at this time is a Region 2 DVD. I have been an advocate of adding a region free player to your home theater systems. I have seen models cable of 3D Blu-ray for around $180. Considering this opens a world of possibilities for extending you film and television collecting there is little if any reason to restrict yourself to the standard single region units. Hopefully, there will be a full Blu-ray edition complete with extras somewhere in the future.

Posted 01/02/2017

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