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ABC recently premiered Marvel’s Agent Carter, a spin-off of the iconic Captain America franchise that focuses on Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), a character who helped Captain America on his quest to abolish S.H.I.E.L.D. foe Hydra in World War II – and stole his heart in the process.

Unlike another Marvel small-screen series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you need not have seen the Captain America movies or read the comic books (though I encourage you to do so), in order to understand what happens. Agent Carter is also superior to S.H.I.E.L.D. in its ability to stay exciting, as the focus on one character rather than many lends to a more gripping and engrossing storyline.

The series begins in 1946, where Agent Carter is back from the war and eager to use her impressive skill-set and experience at the Strategic Scientific Research to help her country – only to be stopped short by an office full of dominant alpha males who see her as nothing more than a secretary and Captain America’s ex. But when her good friend, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), needs her help to clear his name of treason, Agent Carter finds herself investigating a great threat with the help of Stark’s butler, Jarvis (James D’Arcy), through adventurous espionage.

Despite only being three episodes in, British actor Hayley Atwell’s charming style and allure guarantees an action-packed series she is more than capable of carrying. The period setting makes the program even more enticing, and the 1940s glamour that Atwell exudes provides a stark contrast with her remarkable skills of butt-kicking and tossing bad guys off of high places. Agent Carter does a considerable job in using the era’s unabashed sexism to its advantage; though Peggy isn’t happy with how she is treated (quite the contrary, actually), she refuses to do nothing and complain. In refute, she outsmarts the boys of the SSR and does their jobs, only better. The men at the office, Chief Roger Dooley (Shea Whigham), Agent Jack Thompson (Chad Michael Murray) and Agent Ray Krzeminski (Kyle Bornheimer), may be stereotypical upon first impression, but a more sympathetic Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), who sustained a leg injury from the war, provides a more varied and interesting dynamic in potential character development.

As a Marvel fan, it’s refreshing to see a spin-off where the main character is not only female, but also not a “superhero” in the traditional sense. Considering recent small-screen releases among the ranks of The Flash and Gotham, Peggy Carter is female, does not have super powers, and does not own a cape. She’s just an independent, intelligent, and ambitious woman who isn’t afraid to challenge authority and fight against injustice. Carter shows her co-workers, and audiences, that she’s more than a pretty face; she can kick some serious ass in a floor-length gown and heels when need be. She conveys a rare sense of empowerment to audiences, both male or female – and that’s the superpower that will send Agent Carter soaring through ratings and firmly into a second season.

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