It’s clear that the show Agent Carter has a unique fan base. People all over the world have become one massive community celebrating their love for Peggy (played by Hayley Atwell) and her universe. One thing that brought them together is cosplay.
In London there is a group called Stucky and Peg Legs, which is run by dance teacher Colbert and student Nicole, both 21, who through mutual love of the show, became really good friends.
They formed in October 2015 when Colbert bumped into Captain America and Bucky cosplayers, asking if they wanted to join her at a marvel meet. On the way, they also met more Peggy’s as well as a Howard Stark – this is where Colbert met Nicole. After spending three hours together, they decided they wanted to do it again.
The name of the group was created that same day through wordplay of the character’s names which starting as a joke at first, but because they loved it so much, they stuck with it. “We were like oh, we sound like a 40s jazz band” said Colbert and Nicole.
Since that first meet up, the numbers have expanded dramatically, and they hold each cosplay meet at every MCM Expo in London. “I don’t know what I would do without these guys, it’s really weird” says Nicole. The pair formed an almost sisterly bond from mutual love of the show and all things vintage.
During Comic Con, the group always aim to meet at a certain point for what Colbert described as “in character shenanigans”. By aiming it around a big Marvel meet, they see more photographers and potentially more cosplayers.
During their meet ups, they do a variety of photoshoots in different Peggt outfits. “Most of the time we take lots of silly photos. We will think what can we do with a lot of Peggys? I know, let’s chase Captain America or let’s pick up Howard and pretend to throw him in the water. You might as well have those funnier photos”.
Whilst some of her outfits and accessories are recreated by different companies, a lot of what she wears is not easily found. Nicole and Colbert have obtained various items she wears relying on sources such as eBay, vintage shops and social media, where fans work together in sharing sources and patterns. When it comes to sourcing the costumes, there’s a lot of work that goes into creating the perfect Agent Carter replica.
Colbert explained that she uses a lot of 80’s clothes because they are quite similar in style, they’re affordable and can be altered for accuracy. The community work together in getting companies on board in creating things they want. Glasses company Old Focals was able to create Peggy’s red sunglasses from high demand.
When talking about the show’s cancellation, both ladies expressed their sadness and how shocked and disappointed they were when they heard the announcement. It had a huge impact on their lives. Nicole says “it’s hard to put into words. I suppose i’ve always been the really shy one that didn’t have a lot of confidence and was kind of always the outsider of the friendship groups”.
Agent Carter has given her confidence to be the person that she is today. “It’s weird that a TV show has had such a positive impact on my life. I can’t just laugh it off as just a TV show, I can’t dismiss it as a silly thing because it’s really changed me”.
When someone brings up the show, Nicole gets excited about what it represents. It gives her the feeling of self worth. “That show was my self-conscious saying you need to cut the crap”.
Colbert fell in love with the character and everything the show represented straight away. “I really love old movies, but Katherine Hepburn never got to be the detective in any of those movies”. Her love for old movies started early on, “I saw Casablanca when I was seven, which is a hard thing to talk to your friends about the next day at school”.
That passion for old movies evolved from there, accept everyone around her didn’t understand the interest. “I used to think all adults knew what black and white movies were and it wasn’t until I got to secondary school that I found out that it was just my parents”.
Being a detective film enthusiast, it had inspired her own idea for a film involving a female lead detective beating men up to swing music. “It got to that scene in season one where she is beating up the guys in the diner to Peggy Lee and I started crying because for me, this is the happiest I will ever be”.
Agent Carter has become more than a TV show, it’s become a movement. It has given fans a strong female heroine to admire with the power of showing them they can do, and be who they want. It’s one of the first shows of its kind that is female led without being overly romanced. Instead, focusing mainly on issues of the time that still occur today, which include sexism and racism.
It carries a lot of empowering messages for women. Nicole emphasised that when watching the show, you can’t afford to miss anything. “If you miss a line you won’t understand what’s going on. If you miss the joke or you miss the statement that they’e making or miss a line, you miss the context completely”. Colbert highlighted that it addressed feminist issues in a non-aggressive way and showed a happier representation of the time, “a lot of vintage shows are afraid to be funny”.
It created a community of strong, kind and empowering young women with passion for the show running in their veins
Cosplayers around the world
Jessica, 26 from Italy – Angie Cosplayer
“The show is proof that women face many adversities because of men, yet they accomplish great things”.
Alana, 22 from New York – Peggy and Captain America Cosplayer
“Peggy Carter appeared at a time in my life where I was really low and going through a lot of personal things”.