'Agent Carter' cool addition to Marvel's universe.

AuthorWiegand, David

Byline: David Wiegand

Gosh, "Marvel's Agent Carter'' is a heck of a lot of fun, and if that statement feels a bit old-fashioned, well, it fits the sprightly period piece about a female secret agent fighting bad guys and sexism just after World War II.

You'd think Marvel's new show for ABC, premiering Tuesday, was the sequel to "The Interview,'' given how tough it was to track down the screener for the first episode. It wasn't on the ABC press site with other forthcoming pilots, and an email to the network's PR department re-directed me to Marvel itself, which granted me access to the first episode of the show's eight episodes, but only for 24 hours.

It was all as hush-hush as the plot for the show's premiere episode, which finds agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), twiddling her well-manicured thumbs after the war has ended and the men are home from the front, resuming the jobs they left to go fight for freedom. Peggy, who lost the love of her life in the war, works for the super secret organization called the Strategic Scientific Reserve, but although she's a highly intelligent and capable agent, she's pretty much reduced to making coffee by and for "the boys.''

Peggy isn't about to be marginalized because of her gender and comes to the aid of her old pal, rich, eccentric playboy Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), an obvious stand-in for the real-life Howard Hughes. Stark is accused of selling arms to the enemy during the war. Did he do it knowingly? No, he answers. Well, then, did he do it unknowingly?

He wouldn't know, he cracks wise.

All kidding aside, Stark's in trouble and needs Peggy to find out who the real traitors are. As far as her roommate knows, Peggy works at the phone company, but one night, Peggy dons a slinky gold lame dress cut down to there, pops a Veronica Lake wig on her head and worms her way into the office of the suspected middle-man where she plants a wet one on his kisser, knocking him on his considerable assets -- because she's slapped a coat of Mickey Finn lipstick on before smacking him.

The show...

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