A few months ago, while I was picking up my weekly batch of comics at my local shop, the guy at the register asked me if I wanted to add any upcoming titles to my subscriptions. I scanned the list of publishers and titles on the counter briefly, and noticed that, under the Marvel heading, was a book called Captain America: Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.—listed at $7.99. When I asked why that one was so pricey—most comics run $3.99–$4.99—he assured me that it was a lengthy one-shot rather than a super-expensive ongoing series. Intrigued, I decided to request one. With the new Agent Carter TV show only growing in hype, I figured it would be some sort of tie-in or backstory for the Peggy the MCU has led us to love.
If you watch anime, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a recap episode. These are episodes tossed into a show when there isn’t enough production money to make an entirely new episode, and instead tie together footage from earlier episodes under a flimsy frame story, all the while pretending to be something new and worth watching. I was unpleasantly surprised to discover I’d dropped the price of a new manga on the comic book version of a recap episode.
The cumbersomely titled Captain America: Peggy Carter, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., rather than being any sort of tie-in to Hayley Atwell’s Marvel Cinematic Universe character, actually collects several issues of old Captain America comics that featured the Marvel-616 universe iteration of Agent Carter. It clocks in at a little over a hundred pages, so the price is arguably comparable to other books this size, but it’s the content, not the size, that left me frustrated. Continue reading