A common criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it doesn't have many strong female characters. One of the exceptions is Hayley Atwell's starring role in Agent Carter, where we've seen the continuing adventures of Steve Rogers's love back in the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D. Unfortunately, we now know that Peggy Carter's days of adventuring are coming to an end: ABC won't be renewing the series for a third season.
It's not exactly a surprise. Back in February, Hayley Atwell signed up for another ABC show, Conviction. Fans were immediately concerned that Atwell's schedule would be too busy for her to star in both shows at once, although Atwell signaled that she was willing to give it a shot. Meanwhile, Agent Carter's ratings hadn't been particularly good for some time. Although critics felt Season 2 was an improvement on Season 1, the series just wasn't getting the traction.
Perhaps the oddest thing of all about all this is the timing. The chronological story of Peggy Carter was brought to an end in Captain America: Civil War, out in cinemas now.
The cancellation is a sharp reminder that even Marvel shows can be cancelled. Given the sheer number of series Marvel Entertainment is working on — you can check out a complete list here — this is an important caution not to take anything for granted. If a show doesn't get the viewers, it may well get pulled.
This may not be unexpected, but the demise of Agent Carter really is a sad thing for Marvel. Peggy Carter was one of the few dynamic females in the MCU, and, until Jessica Jones, had been the only Marvel production with a female lead. Better still, Hayley Atwell's portrayal of the character had been a firm fan favorite. It's truly sad to see Agent Carter go, but at least the series lasted two seasons — and the quality level of Season 2 was notably better than Season 1's. Unfortunately, given that Season 2 ended with something of a cliffhanger, this leaves a dangling plot thread unresolved in the MCU. Plus, am I the only one who really wants to meet the man Peggy Carter married?
Despite this bad news, Marvel fans can still look forward to two other females who will be kicking butt in the near future with the recently confirmed Black Widow solo movie and Kevin Feige's (accidental) reveal about Captain Marvel.
We're yet to be told the DVD release date for Agent Carter Season 2, so fans will at least be able to revisit the show when that comes out. Until then, let's hope some of Marvel's other TV ideas pay off!