Agent Carter Blitzes Your Expectations with Misdirection

Bob Chipman | 28 Jan 2015 12:00
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  • Nice reminder at the beginning how fun it is that Peggy's "class" in action-hero terms is bruiser rather than the archetypal acrobat-heroine (she can do "170 one-armed push-ups," Stark helpfully points out.)
  • "Mr. Mink" appears to be an original creation of the show. The Marvel canon does feature a Mink, but she's a villainess - a thinly-veiled analog of Catwoman from the rogues gallery of Marvel's Justice League-spoof team The Squadron Supreme.
  • Not original to the show? Ernst Mueller, the imprisoned German Colonel who in the comics was a minor nemesis of the Howling Commandos - whom Peggy will reunite with next week.
  • So we now know that there's a limited supply of Captain America's blood (and with it, trace elements of Super Soldier Serum) floating around at this point in time. We also know, from the fate of The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk, what abusing it has the potential to do to someone. So... do the math on what might've been involved in that squad of Russians getting "ripped apart," I imagine.


As good as this series has been at misdirection thus far, I'd be lying if I didn't say I've had my eye on Agent Sousa since the first episode - in Marvel Comics logic, anyone walking around with a visible physical impairment that might make them feel inadequate/overcompensating almost definitely has a my-gift/my-curse superpower waiting with their name on it.

More in the context of the show, though, they're working pretty hard to establish that the weight of being bullied by his colleagues and unappreciated by Peggy (in the first episode, she tells him to stop "sticking up" for her as it's not actually helpful); and it can't be helping his disposition that a meathead like Thompson actually is a better investigator (at least so far) than he is. This is a guy heading for a break - and the realization that the woman he can't impress and the mystery-figure he can't catch are one and the same would be the kind of thing that'd do it. But where could that lead?

I had a preferred-theory almost immediately, but I was waiting for any supporting plot points to pop up. With the "Captain America's magic blood" angle now introduced, though, I'm feeling about 50/50 confident on this particular extrapolation re: where Sousa's storyline is going:

There's a recurring heavy in the Marvel Universe named William Burnside, but more commonly known as "The Grand Director" or "50s Cap." A mentally-unstable, psychotically-patriotic man obsessed with the legend of Captain America, he used an incomplete copy of the Super Soldier Serum to transform himself into one of the Cold War-era "replacements" for Steve Rogers... only to go insane and eventually need to be put on ice himself to prevent his assaults on those he deemed "un-American." The first stories about him were mainly used to explain away the embarrassing "Captain America: Commie Smasher" books of the 50s, but he's been revived as a present-day villain several times because, well, Evil Captain America, why wouldn't you use the hell out of that?

Consider: The "ghost" of Steve Rogers looms large not only over Agent Carter but also Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If the big secret bag guy plot (or part of it) in-motion here were to involve trying to make a Captain America of their own, that'd be a tailor-made "ultimate challenge" for Peggy Carter, given how much a need to move on from Steve's death has been part of her arc. I'm not necessarily gambling that Sousa will be suiting up as the MCU "50s Cap" by the end of the series, but I do think he'll be trying to fix his physical shortcomings with tragic results.

Bottom Line: Another solid entry, story really picking up.

Reccomendation: Continues to position itself as one of the most interesting divergences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you're not watching, start.





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