'Agent Carter' renewed: Good timing for the female-led comic book TV show

The news that 'Agent Carter,' the ABC TV show that centers on World War II-era heroine Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), has been renewed comes as some fans decry superhero Black Widow's portrayal in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and female-led superhero movies remain a couple of years away.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
'Agent Carter' star Hayley Atwell speaks on stage during the 'Marvel's Agent Carter' panel at the Disney/ABC Television Group 2015 Winter TCA.

The TV show “Agent Carter,” which centers on Captain America love interest Peggy Carter, was reportedly renewed for a second season by ABC.

ABC also renewed its superhero show “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which is set in the same fictional universe as “Carter” but in the present day. 

As viewers of the 2011 movie “Captain America: The First Avenger” know, Peggy (Hayley Atwell) met and fell in love with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), also known as Captain America. Unfortunately, Rogers was believed to have died when his plane crashed. “Carter” takes place shortly after World War II and follows Peggy as she works for the Strategic Scientific Reserve agency. She may not have superpowers, but still has plenty of other skills she can bring to bear.

“Carter” currently represents one of the few female-led Marvel projects. As we previously reported, a film based on the female Captain Marvel character is being released by Marvel in 2018. In addition, DC Entertainment is reportedly introducing Wonder Woman in its upcoming film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” She’ll get her own movie in 2017.

But as of now, Black Widow (portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel films) is the most prominent female comic-book character on the big screen, and some fans had problems with her storylines in the recently released movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” 

However, critics are almost unanimous in their approval of Peggy Carter. TheWrap writer Jason Hughes wrote:

"Atwell is mesmerizing … There’s a reason Atwell was given her own show, and she proved it time and again on the first two episodes of the series premiere. She’s quickly making a case for being a feminine icon: strong, powerful and in need of rescuing from no one. Well, almost no one. Luckily, she has James D’Arcy’s delightfully in-over-his-head Edwin Jarvis to lend a hand … While fans have been getting excited about the announcements of female-led superhero movies like ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Captain Marvel,’ they should slow down and appreciate that the first female-led superhero project is here.” 

Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Atwell ... has the panache and allure to be the face of the series," while Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara called Peggy “feisty and formidable … Someone needs to figure out how creators Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely managed to combine Rosalind Russell, Lady Mary Crawley, La Femme Nikita and all the gals of ‘The Bletchley Circle’ to produce Atwell's Peggy Carter … Agent Carter [is] Marvel-ous.” 

As fans wait for the upcoming female superhero movies, they’ll still have a female-led superhero story to watch on TV this fall. 

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