For some time Marvel Studios were producing short films to be included with their Blu-Ray/DVD releases. They called them “one-shots” to echo the comic-book terminology of a one-off story, the second to last short film to be produced was Agent Carter. Included with the release of Iron Man 3, Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter was directed by MCU producer Louis D’Esposito and written by Eric Pearson. It starred Hayley Atwell in a role that expanded on her presence in Captain America: The First Avenger and would set the stage for Marvel’s eventual mini-series based off of Agent Carter, soon to premiere this Tuesday on ABC. As I longingly await the first episode of ABC’s Agent Carter, I decided to revisit the Peggy Carter Marvel One-Shot and was reminded why this character is sure to be a hit on television.
Hayley Atwell, the English-born actress, is just so likable. She’s cute as a button, relatable, and has a presence reminiscent of Jennifer Garner as Sidney Bristow on Alias (ironically a series broadcast on ABC.) She’s an every woman and while she’s capable of handling herself in situations that other Marvel characters such as Black Widow would find themselves in, she’s never one-dimensional. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter feels real! She’s a well-thought completely established character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The story takes place before the events of her series and one year after Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter is now a member of the male dominated and sexist SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Left to break codes and analyze data, she’s dismissed as a field agent by her boss Agent Flynn (Bradley Whitford) and is only seen as “Captain America’s old flame.” After the Zodiac is seen crossing the Whitestone Bridge in New York City and a time sensitive message is relayed while the men are out drinking, Peggy Carter intercepts the call and takes on the mission.
Hayley Atwell really shines as Peggy Carter and seems as if she was born to play this character. In much the same way that Chris Evans has brought to life Steve Rogers for generations of fans, Atwell has done the same for Agent Carter. While the Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter probably won’t be as seen as ABC’s upcoming series, the short film running just over 15 minutes is worth buying Iron Man 3 alone. It’s a fun little story that illuminates another corner of the MCU and more than establishes the tone for the mini-series. It’s also a must watch for not just fans of Marvel, but for anyone that loves Hayley Atwell just as much as some of our writers love Tom Hiddleston.
Atwell has said “[Agent Carter could do] everything Captain America can do, but backwards and in high heels.” The Marvel One-Shot certainly showcases that and is another shining example of what Marvel does right when depicting heroes in their universe. Agent Carter is a hero and after debuting in a film that opened four years ago, it’s definitely time for her to get the spotlight.
Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter gets five out of five stars.
Iron Man 3 is available now. ABC’s Agent Carter premieres Tuesday, January 6 at 8 P.M. Check your local listings.