OK, we now have two episodes of Marvels ABC Agents of SHIELD under our belt, and well, While we’re still not completely sold on the series, we are starting to warm up to it. As we’ve already discussed, while we are glad that Marvel is getting a greater exposure to the mass media marketplace, this version of SHIELD isn’t quite the SHIELD that we recall from our early days reading Marvel Comics. That SHIELD was more of a wicked-cool Matrix style espionage-like cross between Man From U.N.C.L.E. and James Bond while this current incarnation seems more like is Heroes, meets Fringe by way of CSI and The Unit — not to say that all that is necessarily a bad thing, it is just a different thing, and will take some getting used to, that’s all.
This SHIELD takes place after The Battle of New York, (what we are calling the Avengers movie), and with the world being a much different place, a revived agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) has been tapped by Col. Fury (Samuel L. Jackson — who makes a cameo in the second episode) to build an elite team of agents to deal the growing threat of supra-normal beings and object of unknown powers. In the first episode they take on the treat of a mysterious organization who are empowering individuals with great powers but no responsibilities who go off the deep end exploding and killing people. Coulson’s team is tagged with stopping them and in the process recruit a proto-anarchist Skye (Chloe Bennet) onto their team
In episode we follow the team to Peru where they find n unstable device of great power that some being fought over by some rebels as well as government forces. During the course of the episode not only do we learn some very interesting aspects of Agent Coulson’s past (humanizing him just a bit more), but the disparate individuals of the team (an enhanced-ability strongman/combat specialist Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), a pair of scientists Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) as well as a combat-trained pilot Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). As stated, we are reserving judgment on the series as we watch it develop.
We do have a word of advice for executive producer, Joss Whedon, in that he had better make this show be more about espionage and global threats and less about gathering up superheroes. Oh sure, there can be mad scientists, X-Files-level conspiracy theories, and even Warehouse 13-style weirdness, but this is, first and foremost SHIELD, which means it is about, not so much “national” security, but International (ne: global) security. SHIELD works best when it is up against nasty organizations bent on global takeover (Hydra, AIM, Sons of the Serpent, Heck perhaps they could even work in some of Doctor Doom’s Latverian spooks).
In the final analysis, we really do want this series to succeed, as it will (hopefully) serve as not only a launching pad for other Marvel media projects, but as a way station for those of us with nothing to do between Wednesday comicbook pickups and the next movie.
Robert J. Sodaro has been writing professionally for some 30+ years. He came of age not only watching TV, but reading comicbooks and going to the movies. Subscribe to receive regular articles and reviews about TV programs.