Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season One Declassified by Troy Benjamin (book review).

A key problem is Marvel doesn’t issue review books, no doubt seeing themselves so big that they’re fanbase will get wind of anything they put in print. No doubt this applies to the comicbooks although I’m less sure about their TV books and only discovered the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Seasons’ books accidentally last year.

‘SHIELD’ is popular and I should have thought to check but, even so, the fact that the books are still out there and in first editions does suggest that it’s been missed by the TV series fans who might not necessarily know about them. The fact that I’m reviewing the first season volume and you all run off to get them could curtail me reading or getting them all. Such is the life of a reviewer.

Anyway, what we have here is a look at the first season of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ from the selection of cast to going out on the wave of the early Marvel films and the popularity of Phil Coulson as played by Clark Gregg. You also get a brief history of the comicbook version as first created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the mid-1960s and the developments and changes over the years.

The main focus of this book is a look at pre-production paintings and the creation of the SHIELD aeroplane before a brief resume of each of the 22 episodes and where ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ fits in before 18th episode, necessitating throwing a lot of things out the window when S.H.I.E.L.D. is shown to be under HYDRA’s control. It would have been interesting to have seen something about their plans had this not happened. If anything, the episode briefs are really small. It might reduce the amount of spoilers but if you’ve bought this book, it wouldn’t be because you missed watching it.

Oddly, the photos per episode have too many of the cast staring into the camera than action. You do get more in the pre-production in the following pages but it does cause a problem if you’ve got a picture/text memory. You also got regular boxes showing chief production members putting their jobs next to names you see in the credits, assuming you can read them on screen.

After the episodes, we get a look at the costumes and technology in more detail which makes up for the poor photo choice earlier. As this is the first book, 6 years ago, it probably means the later books will also follow a similar look.

GF Willmetts

May 2020

(pub: Marvel, 2014. 240 page illustrated oblong slipcase hardback. Price: I pulled my copy for about £12.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-7851-8998-5)

check out website: www.marvel.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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