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The Female Perspective: Ode To “Agent Carter”

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s been a few weeks now so I have been able to process my sadness at the fact that after only two (dynamite) seasons, Agent Carter was cancelled by ABC. I’m sure they have their reasons but to them I say, “You ABC people are a bunch of doodie-heads.” I know, I know, this is a family blog nd such strong language shouldn’t be used but I’m darn angry about the loss of Agent Carter so I just don’t care anymore!

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Joking aside, I am annoyed that ABC cancelled it. I wasn’t shocked, Haley Atwell had signed onto another show so it was looking as if Carter’s days were numbered, but I was sad. Agent Carter was really the first TV show to focus on a female character. Unheard of in the Marvel Cinematic (or TV) Universe. It was a story about a woman who battled tremendous grief at the loss of her love Captain America, along with massive waves of sexism as well as the pain of survivor guilt (not just because of the loss of the Captain, but also, as we find out in season two of the show, her brother’s death). Peggy Carter is the hero we ladies always wanted but never got. She didn’t have super powers, she was just wicked smart, incredibly brave and amazingly talented. She was the kind of “superhero” I want to be as an adult. When I was a kid I wanted powers like Wonder Woman or even Batman, I wanted gadgets and seemingly super human strength. With Peggy Carter, it was different. She was the kind of woman that most women aspire to be. Smart, sassy and respected.

“… [T]hat’s what I love about Peggy and why I’m not ready to let her go. She’s easy to relate to: Her spunk, sass, determination, brawler fighting style—all of it is special and everyday at the same time. Peggy is utterly human and completely wonderful, and it’s a state I both aspire to and am inspired by.” – AMY RATCLIFFE for The Nerdist

The fact is, when we first meet Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger we don’t really see her at first. We see a pretty British woman who seems smart and uninterested in Steve Rogers. We’re so focused on the Captain that we don’t see Carter right away. Then, when the poop hits the fan, we see a woman brave enough to stand in the street shooting at a car that is driving right at her. Then she shoots at Rogers’ shield in a fit of anger. It was both a funny moment and also one that is extremely telling of her character. In a world full of men, Carter wants to be seen as tough and above “typical” female emotions, but she likes Steve and doesn’t like seeing him kissing another woman. It’s a wonderfully human response, but in the best, most comedic way.

It’s a moment that makes her memorable. It’s that moment that I wanted to know more about Agent Carter.

Agent Peggy Carter has become a beacon of feminism for the Marvel Universe.
Agent Peggy Carter has become a beacon of feminism for the Marvel Universe.

Both seasons of Agent Carter are excellent, but season two of Agent Carter was hands-down some of the best writing I’ve ever seen on TV. It was a complicated tale of two women going up against each other, trying to find their power in a male-dominated world. One, Peggy Carter, chooses to do it by fighting against the darkness. The other, Whitney Frost, chooses to do it by becoming the darkness.

Peggy and Jarvis, what a wonderfully odd couple.
Peggy and Jarvis, what a wonderfully odd couple.

In the midst of their battle, people get hurt (Mrs. Jarvis almost died for goodness sake!) and Peggy and Jarvis are constantly at odds with one another as he fears that Peggy will do whatever it takes to take down the bad guys, without concern for her life or others, and Peggy desperately wants to keep Jarvis safe, even if it doesn’t always look like that.

Now that I’ve mentioned him, let’s talk about Jarvis a bit, he’s blundering and wonderful comic relief but the chemistry between him and Peggy is electric and wonderful to watch (as is her interactions between her and Stark). I could watch them put together a stereo and be highly entertained. It’s a marvelous dynamic because even though Jarvis helps Peggy in many ways, she ultimately saves him time and time again. Jarvis keeps her grounded in her humanity, he gives her a reason to survive the missions. That push and pull is part of what makes Peggy so compelling to watch. Like so many of her male counterparts, Peggy wants to do what is right and save the world, but at what cost to her life and her humanity? Peggy deserves a third (and fourth, and fifth!) season to work this stuff out. Not to mention, don’t we want to watch her found S.H.I.E.L.D? I know I do!

Bring Peggy BACK!
Bring Peggy BACK!

I don’t usually get too upset over the cancellation of TV shows, the exceptions being Firefly and Constantine, but now I have to sadly add Agent Carter to that list. It’s a big loss for women and for TV viewers to lose such a smartly written, engaging show. There’s been a lot of talk lately of Netflix picking up the show as well as Atwell herself saying she would do “whatever it takes” to bring Agent Carter back to the small screen, fingers crossed people!

Here’s hoping Netflix picks it up!

Did you enjoy Agent Carter? How do you feel about the shows cancellation? Should Netflix bring it back? Sound off in the comments!

 

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The Female Perspective: Where Are My Dang Toys?!?!?

Welcome! This blog is written by author J.L. Metcalf and will chat about comics, movies, garden gnomes, ghosts or even books and daily life. It is a place where I offer my ladylike perspective on anything and everything my brain can think of. 


As with all my blog posts, they are born from reading I do on the internet (a magical tool for writers, let me tell ya). Today, as I was alternately staring out at the blizzard and perusing Facebook, I came across an article that sparked my inspiration and I had to share with my peeps. It’s about the distinct lack of female character toys. Say what, you ask? I am talking about Black Widow, Gamora, even Agent Carter to a certain extent. They barely exist in the collector world and it annoys the heck out of me.

Black Widow has been in more movies than The Hulk and yet, her action figure came out after his.
Black Widow has been in more movies than The Hulk and yet, her action figure came out after his.

I am sure there are those who will argue with me about the fact that, there have been Black Widow toys, and yes, there have…sort of….

Despite being introduced in Iron Man 2, it would take until The Avengers for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to get an action figure: even then, she was shortpacked in the third wave of figures that came out months after the movie hit, with the prime first wave spots going to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk. It took until The Winter Soldier last year for Widow to show up in both Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite 6-inch line and Funko’s wildly popular range of Marvel Pop Vinyls for the first time, a whopping four years after the character first appeared. Fast forward to Age of Ultron today and she’s once again seemingly missing — she doesn’t show up at all in the new action figure playsets. She’s not in the first set of Pop Vinyls, and neither is Scarlet Witch, another prominent female member of the cast. She appears in one of the six new Lego sets for the film (Cap’s in three, Iron Man is in four). She doesn’t appear in the team shots on the boxes of merchandise (to be fair, neither does Hawkeye. Poor Hawkeye.). Hell, the first action figure we’ve seen for her for AoU specifically is Diamond Select. ~ James Whitbrook for iO9

So, you see, they do create the toys, they simply wait EONS to ship them out and they never ship them out with the so-called, “main-cast”. This highlights an issue within the movie comic world (ironically the toys are released quick as bunnies for the comic books), they still think they are marketing these movies to BOYS only. Come on guys, WAKE THE HECK UP! The audience for Guardians of the Galaxy was largely female. San Diego Comic Con had a 40% female attendee rate. WOMEN ARE WATCHING & ENJOYING THIS STUFF TOO and what’s more, people’s daughters are watching these movies. They are seeing these phenomenal, kick-butt women characters and yet, they don’t get them as toys. They have the option of the male cast but these girls don’t want that, they want to play with the toy of the character they identify with. The one they want to be.

Peggy Carter may not be a household name, but she's been in a couple movies now AND has her own show, maybe a figure will be on it's way soon.
Peggy Carter may not be a household name, but she’s been in a couple movies now AND has her own show, maybe a figure will be on it’s way soon.

I remember, when I was young comic book, Star Wars nerd, I had about ten different Princess Leia toys at my disposal. I would get every Leia they made as they came out. I always noticed though that my brother got all sorts of different characters, Luke, Han, Chewy and yet, I only received Leia (and one memorable year, I received Boba Fett). That was a weird thing my folks did and I don’t blame them, they were conforming to gender rules in the 70’s and 80’s, I loved my Leia figures. I wish I still had them! At least I was lucky enough to be able to GET the toy of the one female character in Star Wars. Today, young girls have tons of female characters to look up to and yet, they get no toys. What the heck!?!?! It’s an unfair disparity that needs to change and the guys who handle these decisions (should they ever read my blog) need to know that women dig this stuff too. A LOT of women. It’s time to start acting like it.

I loved my Princess Leia action figures, this was one of my all-time personal faves.
I loved my Princess Leia action figures, this was one of my all-time personal faves.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!