I love Marvel’s new stance on equality and diversity. I’ve been picking up and slowly reading A-Force and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for a few months. I went to my local comic book store, noticed there was a major Marvel sale, and picked up some cool looking new comics. I’m going to focus on two one-shot issues I was super pumped about: Agent Carter and Don’t Call Her the Cavalry. Both were written as part of a celebration of 50 years of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The story is set in 1966. Agent Carter is helping Dugan determine whether Lady Sif will make a good S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. Or is she? When their ship is attacked, everything goes awry in ways Peggy never could have expected.
The art is fine, the story is alright. I wish that Marvel would adopt a more Haley Atwell-looking Carter, but I understand that the original Carter was blonde with blue eyes. However, I’ve never read ANY Peggy Carter before. The Peggy I love is Atwell’s version. She’s the Carter that women cosplay in droves. AND if they were going back to her original looks, why does my variant cover show her in her most famous outfit from the TV series, Agent Carter? It makes more sense to have Peggy look Atwell-esque, to bring fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the comics.
Speaking of my variant cover, John Tyler Christopher created a Peggy action figure with stats. Given my options, I chose this one because I thought it was a cool concept. When I got home, I looked more closely at Peggy’s stats. My stomach dropped when I discovered that this issue was published with Peggy being 5’5″ and 101 lbs. I am 5’1″ and I weigh 110. People call me skinny. HOW IS PEGGY FOUR INCHES TALLER THAN ME AND TEN POUNDS LIGHTER!?! This may seem like a small nit to pick, but I’m fairly comfortable with my weight and this gave me pause. Plenty of women are not totally comfortable with how they look, and that number on the scale is a huge factor. This also tells us some things: 1. John Tyler Christopher thinks it’s reasonable for a woman to be 5’5″ and weigh 101 lbs. 2. Christopher was willing to put a woman’s height and weight on a comic book cover, but not Google average weights of women who are that height (114-149 lbs, by the way. It took me all of 30 seconds to discover that). 3. Either no women were involved in the process of editing this cover, or suggestions were not taken. Whatever the case, this got released and is hugely disappointing.
The thing I love best about one-shots is that you can sit and read them in one go. There’s no need for thorough background knowledge. I love comics, but when I see that little asterisk that leads to a box on the bottom of the page saying, “*Read issue 5 of this other comic we publish to understand what they’re talking about!,” it drives me crazy. Agent Carter asks readers to pick up another book for one throw out line, and frankly, it’s not worth it.
Don’t Call Her the Cavalry
This Agent May story was perfection. It was short, sweet, had action, and humor. There’s one of those references that makes me so happy Disney bought Marvel, but I won’t spoil it. This is definitely for fans of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D television show. However, the spoilers were minuscule if you haven’t seen the show.
This was a great stand alone story that showed how young operatives look up to Agent May. The best part? As it’s told from May’s perspective, it lets readers get inside the head of an otherwise closed book.
I can’t say I adored this art, but I didn’t hate it either. I did have difficulty choosing between covers because the variants available to me were all stunning.
I was so surprised at how polar my reactions to these two issues were. My recommendation is to read Don’t Call Her the Cavalry and leave Agent Carter on the shelf.
Have you picked up any of Marvel’s 50th Anniversary one-shots? Let me know which was your favorite in the comments!