The time has come: After fans watched Hayley Atwell tweet for months about accidentally punching her co-stars in production, Agent Carter‘s 8-episode run kicks off tonight with a 2 hour premiere on ABC, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Picking up where Captain America: The First Avenger left off, Agent Carter centers on Peggy Carter’s work for the Strategic Scientific Reserve and her attempt to help friend Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), who is being framed for dealing weapons to U.S. enemies. More than that, the show will also focus on the difficulty of Carter working in a male-dominated field, particularly in the 1940s when men are returning home from the war. It’s a timely a premise as ever in the comics industry and for Marvel, given the recent flack Kevin Feige caught for the lack of a solo Black Widow movie and the studio’s decision to release a Captain Marvel movie in 2018.
Early reviews of the two-hour premiere are mostly positive, with a broad consensus that Atwell is the jewel in the show’s crown and some slight concerns about the plot’s direction. With only an 8-episode order to start with, however, the show is already on a firmer footing than its sibling, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which arguably suffers from the challenge of fulfilling a 22-episode season and hurts the show’s overall arc.
“A lot of Agent Carter’s kick come from its setting, with its automats and Captain America Adventure Program radio shows. The series takes advantage of the period on the technical side, going all in with the shadowy lighting and softened color-tones. But its greatest asset is Atwell, who takes a character that Marvel Comics has never really done much with before and makes it her own.” – AV Club, Noel Murray
“Who knew the solution to Marvel’s problem was to turn the clock back rather than forward — and turn the spotlight over to a British woman? By setting the story in 1946, this new short-run series immediately gets a snappy, well-tailored, Hollywood-glamour look that separates it from most of TV’s offerings.” – USA Today, Robert Bianco
“The first hour suffers from a few Marvel Inc. tropes. Somebody named Stark invented something dangerous; everyone wants an All-Important Glowing Thing; there’s an implicit promise that nothing will be solved for weeks/years to come.” – Entertainment Weekly, Darren Franich
Along with Atwell and Cooper, Agent Carter features James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson, and Lyndsy Fonesca as Angie Martinelli.
Check back tomorrow for our review of the show’s premiere episode, which was penned by Captain America: The First Avenger writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.