Agent Carter promotional television show poster
Wonder Woman 1st appearance cover
The Time PeriodWonder Woman was a product of World War II. It is a time when women were not afforded the same rights as men, and were just beginning to find their voice. During our current er,a where there is growing awareness of women not being depicted in entertainment as well as they could be, the post World War era seems to be a perfect time upon which to hearken back and show a woman overcoming overwhelming adversity and showing their ability to do whatever a man can do.
Agent Carter poster by Marvel
The LookAlthough Hayley Atwell who plays Peggy Carter is missing the crystalline signature blue eyes, one can't help but notice the unmistakable 'beauty of Aphrodite' which she embodies. Not to mention the traditional Wonder Woman statuesque-ness and dark tresses.
Screen capture from Agent Carter working in office.
The Dual IdentityThis is where we really start to come around full circle. In the 1979 Lynda Carter television show Wonder Woman, she utilized her secret identity of Diana Prince to do reconnaissance work under cover, while fighting crime with a much stronger arm later as Wonder Woman. Showing the ability of the character to balance both raw power and grace, Agent Carter does nearly the same exact thing through her mild mannered secretarial endeavors in the office.
Screen capture from Agent Carter
The Strength and PowerAs stated before Marston believed that womens' power was being dismissed in society. Wonder Woman showed that women can be just as strong as the most powerful of men. Agent Carter does the same thing. However, there is one thing that makes this show and character special...Carter shows her physical and mental prowess WITHOUT SUPERPOWERS! Hereby making her more relate-able to modern day audiences, and basically saying that women can kick ass and take names regardless of genetics.
The VisitorWonder Woman was a stranger from a strange land. Agent Carter although in America, is obviously not American due to her accent. While this has yet to be addressed, there are some clues which elude to her not being a native as she navigates her way around the countryside. I'm sure more will be revealed soon.
Compassionate moment: Screenshot from Agent Carter
The CompassionTo me, this is where it all comes together. This is the huge blaring pink elephant that has been in the room, and no one's wanted to mention it. It is that DC Comics has missed the compassion that makes Wonder Woman, well...Wonder Woman! In the Justice League cartoon she was hyper aggressive. In the Adrianne Palicki version she was an absolute bitch. In Justice League: War animated film she was basically a jock who was obsessed with fighting. In the previous Azarello run of the comic book, the Amazons were turned into butchers. The current New 52 run by the Finches have her depicted as a pissed off "...punch-first, ask-questions later" type. Last but not least, the upcoming Zack Snyder film has her donning a Xena: Warrior Princess-esque like battle armor. With all that being said, DC Comics seems to have missed the memo: Compassion and Kindness is what makes Wonder Woman special and unique. Remember what Marston said? The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman." I'm proud to say that this sixth and final point, Agent Carter has absolutely mastered. We have seen her ask questions and then kick ass. We have seen Peggy's compassion for human loss. We have seen Carter's ability to be vulnerable. We have even already begun to see Agent Carter's compassion for others. To me this is the icing on the cake and the proof that DC is missing the huge mark that Marvel is hitting dead on.
Marvel's promotional photo of Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter
As you can see, Marvel has already created a Wonder Woman-like character for the modern era. However, the question is this: Will DC, the actual owners of Wonder Woman, rise to the occasion with the new Gal Gadot character, or will they just allow another angry woman to be presented by Zack Snyder? I guess only time will tell.
Brian J. Patterson is an actor, writer and producer that splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. His home is a shrine to comic books...but mostly Wonder Woman.
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