Monday, 6 June 2016

Why Canceling Agent Carter was a Mistake

If you follow me on Twitter it's likely that you will have seen that I have a slight obsession with Peggy Carter. Peggy is a character in the Marvel Universe, born in 1921 and is most associated with Captain America as they fought together in World War 2. In the films, Peggy is first seen in Captain America: The First Avenger and is portrayed by Hayley Attwell.

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You may be wondering right now, 'Jemima, what's the point of this? Who cares about some random character?'

Well, I care about her. I care about her a lot.

Not only is Peggy Carter fabulously British and have great taste in lipstick, she is one fiercely strong female character. Strong female characters are ridiculously valuable to me and to many other people I know.


We learn a lot about Peggy through both the films, comics and her own TV show which I will come back to later. She is one of the founders of SHIELD, she probably lied about her age in order to join the army, she has a family and finds love after Steve dies, she kicks sexism's arse and is traditionally feminine while doing so (seriously, can we just appreciate Peggy's dresses, hair and make-up for a second. Thank you).

As a young girl there aren't many superheroes you can identify with in order to look up to. We constantly hear about little boys being inspired by the heroes they see in comics and in films. But where are the girls? Believe me, I love superhero films and am a huge fan of Marvel in particular, however, when I look at the casting and the main characters in most all of these films they are almost exclusively male. Thinking about the most recent Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War, there were only 2 female superheroes: Black Widow and Scarlett Witch. (By the way where's Black Widow's film?! It's about time we had one.)

2 female superheroes. Come on guys we need to do better than that!

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In July 2015 ABC launched Agent Carter, a TV series where Peggy Carter was the lead. Set in 1946, a year after the war where Peggy is thrown into the American workplace of the SSR. Here she is no longer a commanding officer, but is just a woman battling a shamelessly sexist city. She handles the everyday jibes thrown at her and carries on with her life, eventually becoming a double agent for Howard Stark.


Throughout the show she sticks up for herself and doesn't rely on anyone else, even though she should learn to accept help when she actually needs it. In both series she says many things that stand up to the sexist natures of those around her, but at the end of the first series I think there's a line that stuck with people a lot: "I know my own value. Anyone else's opinion doesn't really matter."

The thing about Peggy Carter is that she isn't a superhero. She has no extraordinary powers or abilities, she just whacks someone around the head and has done with it. She is a hero plain and simple and I am utterly disappointed in the ABC for canceling a show that, for once, has a female hero in pride of place.






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