The latest in Marvel’s One-Shot series of companion shorts, to be included on the DVD and Blu-Ray of Iron Man 3 out in September 2013, features Captain America’s main squeeze Agent Peggy Carter. Total Film was lucky enough to be part of the very first audience to see the short entitled Marvel’s One-Shot: Agent Carter.
Below is a breakdown of the action - beware of spoilers.
We open with the scene in Captain America: The First Avenger where Steve Rogers bids his final farewell to Peggy Carter as his plane disappears out of sight.
Cut to: one year later. Agent Carter is working in data analysis and code breaking for Agent Flynn (Bradley Whitford) in the midst of an old-boys network, where she’s patronised and under-used. Meanwhile the agents are in pursuit of ‘Zodiac’ but fail to call on Peggy for help – she’s gone three months without an assignment.
One night, Flynn and the boys are going out for drinks, leaving Peggy to clean up the office when the hotline goes. The caller (voiced by Shane Black) directs her to the location of ‘Zodiac’ and suggests she draft 3-5 agents.
Instead Agent Carter goes alone, carrying a tricked out briefcase with her. At her location, she beats the crap out of two goons throwing one through the window in the first of her kick-ass action scenes.
The third guard-goon she handcuffs to a pipe and tells him to scream for help. When two further heavies arrive she ambushes them in her second butt-kicking bonanza. Finally she locates the room where ‘Zodiac’ is – throwing in a smoke bomb to lay out what she thinks is the final guard before finding the vial marked with a strange symbol that is ‘Zodiac’. Only there’s one last heavy – the biggest yet, decked out in a gas mask. The two battle until Peggy looks finally beaten when, at the last moment, she slips a knife from her briefcase and stabs him. Mission accomplished.
Back at the office and Agent Flynn disciplines Carter for insubordination until the phone rings. It’s Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). Stark says the mission was more a notch in Carter’s belt than a feather in her cap and informs Flynn that Carter is to run S.H.I.E.L.D. with him.
Flynn is to inform Carter and ‘let her know you’re honoured to bring her the news’. Carter rebukes his offer to carry her things out of the office.
Cut to credits and one final gag. Stark sits by a swimming pool wearing a robe which we see Tony wearing in Iron Man 2. Next to him is Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough). They discuss bikinis – Dum Dum asks Howard if he invented them and he says no, it was the French.
Atwell makes a perfect femme fatale-cum-special agent, and this '40s noir-style short looks great and packs some euphoric action moments (which raised whoops from the first-look audience). Carter is a brilliant heroine who could likely carry her own movie. Whether there’s a space for expansion, or whether they’d consider a retro S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off or not, it seems clear that Marvel’s got a ready-made female superhero waiting in its ranks.