Was this a direct response to the fans?
We all love Agent Carter here on Vingle. Here are some of the reactions from last night's community talk to give you an idea of how excited we all were:
The second season is definitely living up to our expectations.
Which is no small feat; the first season was very well-received and only had a few major complaints against it. One of them of course, was the almost entirely white cast. Any historian will tell you that New York City in the 40s and 50s was an incredibly diverse place, so it's a little ridiculous for a show made in 2015 to only cast white actors in a show set there. Fans pointed this out, citing the current failure on the part of Hollywood to represent the full, rich experiences of nonwhite people. So it's very encouraging to see that the show-runners of Agent Carter were listening.
*Spoilers contained in the discussion below*
In the first episode, we met Jason Wilkes. He's an enthusiastic scientist, flirty, and seems like the only person in LA who isn't up to something shady. He's also African-American- and the first season regular to be nonwhite. And while it's clear that his race is only one part of his identity, it's also not irrelevant. Unlike other shows which aim for colorblindness, Agent Carter acknowledges that there are systemic and social boundaries placed on this character that others don't have to deal with.
"Sparks fly and adventure ensues."
We didn't learn much about the character, but we do know that it was a struggle to find a job in his field. We also know that he and Peggy have to meet at a specific bar- anywhere else and they would have gotten odd looks. This season takes place in 1947, when interracial marriage was still illegal in California. By pairing these two characters together, she show is directly addressing the issue of race in the context of the series.
And it's not just to make Peggy look good, either.
When she and Jason are out together, a store owner asks if she's okay, giving very judgmental looks to Jason standing behind her. Peggy reacts with outrage, but Jason brings up a very good point. Is she going to punch everyone in LA? That wouldn't do him any favors- nor would it resolve the problem. His persecution is not an opportunity for her to swoop in and save the day. Remember back in season one when she essentially told Souza to back off and let her handle their coworkers' sexism in her own way? This puts Peggy and Jason on equal footing, even though the discrimination they face is very different.
Peggy has always been about kicking down barriers.
The above panel, featuring a romantic moment between Peggy Carter and Gabe Jones (of the Howling Commandos) was released in 1974 and is the first interracial kiss in Marvel's history (though not as explicit as Killraven which came in 1975). So whether it's in response to the fans or simply carrying on the tradition of the books, Agent Carter isn't going to shy away from this delicate issue. How does everyone else feel about the season 2 premiere?