In case you'd forgotten (although I find it quite unlikely), Season 1 of [Marvel's Agent Carter](tag:1119765) was really quite brilliant. Immediately likable and engrossing in a way few new series are, the vast majority of its appeal came courtesy of Hayley Atwell, the Brit who brought the titular agent alive with a portrayal equal parts ingenuity, steel, and retro sex appeal.
And now, finally, she's back. Check out the promo for Season 2, which begins with a double episode this week.
Peggy Carter may have had a wartime dalliance with Captain America and made a series of glorious cameos caked in old lady make-up in Ant-Man and The Winter Soldier, but there's nothing quite like seeing Britain's finest in action. In one scene, she dusts off her fencing skills in style. Black Widow never did that.
But if you're just so stubborn that you need an extra reason to tune into Season 2, try this on for size: Peggy will be doing battle with a female supervillain, and she's ripped straight from the pages of Marvel Comics.
In the comicverse, Whitney Frost was a young socialite who inherited her father's criminal empire, the Maggia. During a mission gone wrong her plane crashed, leaving her face scarred, and thus she adopted the alias Madame Masque.
Seeing as Agent Carter has relocated to the bright lights of Los Angeles for Season 2, Frost has been given a fresh twist: this incarnation of the character is a glamorous Hollywood actress, whose fame acts as a smokescreen for her true intentions.
Here's what the show's exec producer Michele Fazekas has to say about the introduction of the mysterious Ms. Frost:
“She never wears a gold mask, but you’ll see a nod to that. [She and Peggy] are a very good match for each other. Whitney is smart [and] used to people treating her with a certain amount of deference, because she’s a famous actress, and she’s met her match in Peggy."
Wynn Everett will bring Frost to life. Exec producer Tara Butters also spoke on the inspiration behind Frost and the lack of female villains on television:
"We’ve made her an actress, which is very Hedy Lamar. She was a ‘40s siren actress who was also a scientific genius, so that’s part of what we’re mining with this character. I feel like … as much as there are not enough female heroes just on television, I feel like having a female villain is equally powerful."
Although Marvel and DC Comics have featured countless iconic female villains over the decades, few have made the jump to the screen, so this feels like a step toward redressing that imbalance. With any luck we'll get to see Whitney tear those pearls off and kick some serious ass at some point.
James D'Arcy will return for Season 2 as the brilliantly posh Edwin Jarvis, ditto Chad Michael Murray as Agent Jack Thompson, with Dominic Cooper popping up here and there as Howard Stark. Here's an exclusive scene from the first episode, 'The Lady in the Lake', just to whet your appetites even further.
Agent Carter Season 2 premieres Tuesday, Jan 19. on ABC with 'The Lady in the Lake', followed immediately by episode 2, 'A View in the Dark'.