You Broke My Heart, Peggy.

Agent Carter 2

Some mighty intriguing viewing available right now, with more to come: Season Four of Veronica Mars, and soon Batwoman, Stumptown and the edgy new Nancy Drew reboot, for instance. Everything I’ve read about the ones about to debut tells me I’m bound to get hooked from their first episodes in each case.

But I’ll do so warily.

Agent Carter 3

I’m still smarting from ABC’s cancellation of Agent Carter. Never quite got over it, to be honest. I know…it’s been a while, let it go.

Hayley Atwell’s terrific work in the first Captain America film, bittersweet unfulfilled romance and all, sort of groomed her for the BBC’s Restless role that followed (and if you’ve never seen her turn in that as a British spy in the early days of WWII, do look for it). So she was well equipped to return to being a 1940’s era operative, and I confess that I absolutely adored Atwell in the role of Peggy Carter and the Agent Carter show in general, completely hooked from the first season’s premiere, and still a fan in season two, despite the series’ move to a west coast setting and its more sci-fi flavored story arc.

But the show’s cancellation was a hard lesson learned: Don’t get hooked. Shows come and go. Comics series inexplicably vanish after a few issues with storylines left unresolved. Novel sequels fail to materialize. I guess that’s what DVD boxed sets are for, though I still haven’t finished connecting all the cables to a new TV I bought and the DVD-R remains dormant.

Oh Peggy…you broke my heart when you went away…

Agent Carter 1

Stumptown

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One way for rabid readers to keep from going broke is to learn to love their public library. I have. The one closest to me is a charming and well-designed facility, though all that décor apparently left no funds for books. But the next library over is an enormous two-story treasure trove, and its graphic novel section could outdo many comics shops. That’s where I came across writer Greg Rucka and artist Matthew Southworth’s great contemporary hard-boiled series, Stumptown.

Stumptown 1

Dex Parios is my favorite kind of ‘stiletto gumshoe’: Wonderfully flawed. Army vet and inveterate gambler, Dex is both bad-ass and wise-ass, and occasionally a bit of a screw-up. It makes for a lethal combo.

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Sounds like near-future small screen options won’t be short of intriguing girlz-with-guns and lethal ladies, even though I’m still processing the sad news that Netflix cancelled the amazing Jessica Jones series with Krysten Ritter.

Cobie Smulders

ABC just announced a new Stumptown series by Jason Richman and Ruben Flesicher. Hard-boiled Dex Parios will be played by Canadian actress Jacoba Francisca Maria Smulders, better known as Cobie Smulders. Marvel universe fans know Cobie as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill from the Avengers. TV channel surfers know her as Robin Scherbatsky from syndicated-everywhere How I Met Your Mother sitcom reruns. Seems like a good casting decision to me, and I’m betting she can bring Dex Parios’ hard-boiled grit and glimpses of vulnerability to life on screen just fine. Looking forward to this one. And still enjoying Rucka and Southworth’s comics.

Stumptown Hardcover

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