Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. an examination of the first episode by: GF Willmetts (article).

**NB:There might be spoilers or suspicions so watch the episode before reading on.**


It’s very weird watching Marvel’s own brand hitting the TV market. Part of me thinks it’s well overdue, although if they plan to dominate the TV channels, I hope they’ll do it on a series by series basis or they could exhaust the regular audience let alone the comicbook fan with the brand name.

With ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, apart from the reappearance of Coulson, a lot of it is window-dressing. S.H.I.E.L.D. (I’m going to drop the dots from this point) has all the trappings of the comicbook in terms of technology and transport but no one you would recognise from the comicbooks. Granted, they would have to explain how DumDum Dungan would have stayed as young as Nick Fury, but there’s not even a hint of Jasper Sitwell, Clay Quartermain or even Countess Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine or even lip service to them. It also seems unlikely that we will come across Hydra or A.I.M. any time soon as well. If you’re doing Marvel, you would think they would use more things associated with Marvel.

I hope this isn’t going to be a spoiler but the hint was pasted too hard to miss that this Phil Coulson is a Life Model Decoy or LMD. How much of a copy he is because he doesn’t know and any additional abilities only time will tell.

From a name-dropping perspective, I suspect you’ll be listening out for old Marvel titles being used in the dialogue, especially as we have ‘Journey Into Mystery’ this time around. I wonder how long before someone mutters, ‘Don’t yield, back SHIELD!’

You do learn from this story that this is the period of the rise of the super-human on this Earth and SHIELD has to come out of the shadows and see just what these people are going to do.

Michael Peterson has many of the abilities that we would associate with a certain Luke Cage, although he’s not and there’s some sort of organisation called Centipede, although whether this is also the name of the device that empowers him is anyone’s guess.

The story jumps right into the action and I suspect, short of looking them up on the Net, you’re going to take a while to learn the SHIELD agents names as it’s a hefty-sized team. I have nothing against that. It makes sense as the title is ‘Agents’, but I suspect it’ll take a while for them all to become distinctive. Typical of director/co-scriptwriter Joss Whedon, he’s brought in a couple actors he’s worked with on TV before from ‘Angel’ and ‘Firefly’. No doubt we’ll see more over the period.

Even for the non-comicbook fan, this series is going to look like a super-action espionage group, not requiring much in the way of background knowledge to follow. The extra touches will appeal to comicbook fan and remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If anything, my problem is it’s still pretty much generic. With a few tweaks, it could quite easily be set in the DC Universe. Hopefully, there will be more things to strengthen the Marvel identity.

Will I watch it again? Don’t be silly. I want to see what happens next.

© GF Willmetts 2013



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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