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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Agent's of Shield Sucks!

Agent's of Shield Sucks! 

Yes this title is click bait, sorry for that but lets have a serious discussion on the Sucky-ness and awesomess of Agents of SHIELD.  I am a huge, MASSIVE, fanatical fan of Agents of SHIELD and of the Marvel Universe in general.  There is not an episode or a TV program that Marvel can make that is so lousy that I won't watch it.  But things can always be better.

Marvels Agent of Shield speculation HUB

Update: July 2016
Over the past few months I have been thinking a lot about Agents of SHIELD where its been, and where its going.  The show is getting ready to kick off its 4th Season and I feel quite strongly that some adjustments need to be made for the show to get a 5th Season.  Lets face it the show has done well, but has never been the massive home-run that ABC has hoped for.  With a 4th Season they will have enough episodes for syndication and it would be easy to wrap things up.  ABC could then move onto other Marvel projects that may have more potential.  There are some signs that ABC is planning to do exactly this.   The Agents of SHIELD show was on the vanguard of a group of  Marvel Espionage style shows the others being Agent Carter and Most Wanted.  Agent Carter has been canceled despite very positive reviews, and Most Wanted was canned before hitting production despite being heavily set up by Agents of SHIELD itself.  What happened at ABC?  ABC had a leadership change, and the new leadership looked over at what Marvel is doing at Netflix and what DC is doing on the CW and said.......I WANT TO DO THAT.  This is actually kind of obvious but let me state something.


You are not going to watch a Marvel show for bureaucratic political intrigue other shows like Scandal do that better.  Those shows will always do it better because they are less hamstrung by outside forces.

I am not saying all comics, shows or films are about superheroes mind you.  I am simply saying that the Marvel brand itself is about Super Heroes.  Marvel does not have nearly the amount of cool indie style comic stories that DC/Vertigo have created over the years.  They really are about massively powered people saving the world.

SHIELD in the comics has been around for a long time but they have had few self sustained Blockbuster comic runs.  Even with the show running alongside it the comic is not breaking into top 10 sales territory.  Why?  Because they are not super heroes.  Moreover, SHIELD itself has often been used as a metaphor for big brother and over reaching government as in they are often used as villains.  The primary place I read about SHIELD was in the comics of Iron Man and Spider-Man who both had run ins with quasi government agency.  That said I think I have more comics that feature a Spider-Man villain like the Vulture than I have comics with SHIELD in them.  I could be wrong on that it'd be an interesting analysis.  That is not to say SHIELD is bad but that as a concept it needs the support of other Marvel Characters / Ideas to support it. This is where ABC/Marvel have dropped the ball.  Agents of SHIELD is a barren landscape as far as  Marvel characters go.

I am going to list the traditional comic characters that have appeared in 3 seasons of the show:
  • Absorbing Man - Reoccuring villain
  • Quake - Main character
  • John Garrett - Big bad season one
  • Hive - Big bad season three
  • Lash - Villain season three
  • Blackout - Villain season one
  • Deathlok - Season one and two
  • Kraken - Season two - Not in comic form though
  • Lorelei - Season one
  • Mockingbird - Main character season one and two
  • Yoyo - Season three
  • Hellfire - Season three
  • Mr Hyde / Cal  -Season two
  • Angar the Screamer - Season two
Big Name Cameos:
  • Nick Fury - Season 1
  • Mariah Hill - Season 1
  • Sif - Season 1 and 2

In comparison shows like Daredevil and Flash features numerous major heroes and villains all appearing in their first season.  Of the characters above I'd say the biggest names are Mockingbird and Deathlok.  Both of these characters have been a part of some of the best and highest rated episodes.  These characters are not used enough though.

Most of the other characters are complete unknowns who were in single story arcs in comics.  They are not D listers they are no listers.

The biggest problem I see with Agents of SHIELD is that the sandbox its allowed to play in is both too small and disjointed.  If you use Deathlok get Deathlok villains, if you use Mockingbird can you you use Hawkeye? Manthing?  If you use Secret Warriors can you use all of the characters?  What about the New Warriors?

By far the biggest place the show has fallen victim to in this is with the Inhumans.  The Inhumans have primarily existed for 60 plus years as villains/allies of the Fantastic Four and occasional players in the Cosmic Marvel political landscape.  For whatever reason the show began to march down the path of introducing Inhumans to the MCU.  I really thought this was part of a larger play from the entire Marvel organization.  There were even signs that comics like Inhuman were being created to give the show a sandbox of characters to play in (Lash is from that comic).  The show though continually ran into a wall for two reasons.

1) Attempts to use the Inhumans as Mutants never quite worked in comic or show form.
2) The show was seemingly blocked from using the most popular Inhuman characters.
3) The film universe has pushed back the Inhuman film to......likely never

If you can not use the Inhuman Royal family in your show, then why bother with Inhumans?

To me Marvel began pushing the Inhumans to be replacement Mutants in the comics and in Agents of SHIELD but realized midway through that the Inhumans can never be the X-Men and began to pull the plug on the idea.  Unfortunately, Agents of SHIELD had already marched too far along the Inhuman introduction path and became stuck.

The film side of the universe has almost entirely ignored what the Agents do as well.  I thought that Civil War was the perfect place to bring up the threats being caused by a sudden increase in super powered Inhumans roaming the streets.  Instead, the film focused almost entirely on the events of previous films.  I am not sure if a single character crossed over from the show to the film.

If you want to continue to have Marvel universe TV shows Marvel needs to do one of two things:
A) Create a separate TV Marvel Universe
B) Have the TV/Film divisions play nice
C) Give the shows enough of a sandbox to create a new show.  THIS IS MARVEL THERE ARE TONS OF CHARACTERS and STORIES.

Netflix has gone the route of C and been AWESOME.  Agents of SHIELD has tried B and has been good but has always felt hamstrung.  It is now DO or DIE time for the show.


I have hope for season 4 and it comes in the form of a big flaming skull.  The show has seemingly redirected itself away from the Inhumans and toward a big name Super Hero in Ghost Rider.  It is not the big name Ghost Rider most people know its Robbie Reyes not Johnny Blaze but that is ok with me.  The important thing is that people actually know who Ghost Rider is and will be excited to see him.  HE IS A MARVEL CHARACTER.  In my opinion he is the biggest character they have included since Deathlok.

More over the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider had a lot of battles with Mr Hyde  who is on the show as Skye/Daisy's/Quakes father as Cal.  Cal to me is still the high point as far as villains on the show so bringing him back would be great.  It seems at least that there should be a sandbox of characters to use here that is good enough to tell some great MARVEL stories.

Additionally, the show hinted at some Squadron Supreme concepts in its finale.  The Squadron Supreme like the Secret Warriors may be too limited to base an entire season on but it could still be fun and help make that sandbox a little bit bigger.

My fingers are crossed.

Original Post:
Watch out, give me some space and prepare for some serious HATE......Agents of Shield Sucks!!!! The actors can't act, the writers can't write, the special effects are......what special effects? and to top it all off there are no super heroes and it is suppose to be a Marvel show?  It sucks.  O yeah and they include comedy in the shows, and lightheartedness, why can't they take this stuff seriously.

Hulk mad like Nerds
Serious, serious adult discussion time.  I really enjoy this show, I look forward to it every week.  Could it be better,...yes.  Is there room for improvement...yes.  Does this justify the insane level hate directed at it week to week...No way.  To a degree I even foresaw this conflict coming when I first heard about the show.  Marvel is going to put its stamp on a show that has no major comic characters after the huge titanic movie that was the Avengers?  It seemed like bad timing.  In all my years of comic fandom I don't know if I have ever purchased a single Shield comic.  I do like some of the art from the old Nick Fury comics drawn by Jim Steranko, but sadly that is about it.  People's expectations are going to be at an all time high and you are going to give them ordinary people?  That said, I was also excited to see a weekly tv show in the Marvel Universe.  That alone is enough to at least get me interested.

My expectations for the Show

When I started watching the show, I had already adjusted my expectations.  I was not expecting to see super heroes, I was expecting to see fairly regular humans fighting the small fights, in the shadows of the juggernauts.  My excitement was also tied to the thought of simply uncovering small hints of what Marvel may have in store for us.

My expectations were also based on what I knew of the Whedon's previous shows.  I watched Buffy, I watched Firefly and I enjoyed both shows.  In each show you have a group of lovable characters, filled with flaws, thrust into extraordinary situations with huge, heaping doses of cheesy lighted-hearted banter.  It is a mixture of drama, humor, action, and pure escapism.  The moment I flipped on Agent's of Shield I expected a new cheesy but fun Scooby gang.

Other Peoples Expectation for the Show:

Totally Unrealistic

Because of the difference of expectations I have enjoyed the show quite a lot.  I would say its easily in my top 5 favorite shows I watch each week.  Other people though immediately stopped watching it after a few episodes when they came to the realization that mainstream characters may not show up much, or at all.  Unfortunately, a lot of these people may have missed some of the awesomeness that the show unleashed in the last 6 episodes.

To some the show is not going anywhere.  My counter, it is leading directly from I3 into Captain America 2.  I think its effect on what happens in Cap2 and Avengers 2 will be fairly profound.
More over they have provided a little sandbox for Marvel to subtly begin adding a roster of obscure villains and heroes that may not have otherwise found the light of day.  They have already created a version of Deathlok with an origin story that in my opinion is better than all of his previous incarnations.

The characters of the gang have also matured and grown on me.  I care about them and want to see them survive and hopefully even thrive.  While, other people dislike them because they are not superheroes, I never had this baggage.  I expected and found the Marvel Scooby gang.

What do you think of the show?  Do you think it is getting better or worse?  Why do you think so many people seem to hate the show?

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Marvels Agent of Shield speculation HUB
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