The new ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered last night as part of ABC’s new fall line up and Marvel’s stellar attempt at bringing the Marvel U to the masses. The show is based in the same universe as the Marvel Films of recent history, only it follows the S.H.I.E.L.D team (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) and how they prepare to deal with a new world in which we know Gods exist, technology surpasses imagination, and freak accidents by the dozen are creating new people with powers beyond that of any mortal man.
The show begins with a bit of espionage which leads to the recruitment of a few key team members. Maria Hill vets the latest hopefull Brett Dalton the roguish super spy when from out of the shadows (apparently a bulb was out) walks the long thought dead Agent Phil Coulson (can’t be a spoiler alert, we’ve all known for months). The explanation for Coulsons return from the dead makes sense I guess, but it is kind of simplistic and a little too easy. I almost sense a red herring, otherwise I may call “lazy writing” which isn’t Whedon’s style. I’ll call a prediction right now, Coulson is a Life Model Decoy or he actually has powers himself. A little Immortality maybe? We’ll find out I guess.
Later we meet the pilot Melinda May (who apparently has a dark past), and the quirky two man version of Bond’s Q Agents, Fitz and Simmons. “Fitz-Simmons” CSI the scenes with super tech and invent the crazy weapons they use to save the day without super powers. Agent May displays some intense talent and I will say that Whedon has a flair for subtle detail in both his action and his writing. When Coulson says his two or three lightly amusing lines they are more clever than actually whimsical. The action is similar to any action anywhere, except that extra attention when Dalton smashing a glass into his opponents really driving it home.
The episode mainly centers around J. August Richardson who plays the confused and down on his luck father/super powered man as he struggles to adjust to dealing with the frustrations of life while being jacked up on super human powers. Skye, the super hacker who tries to befriend the “Hooded Hero”, tries to help Richardson’s character and S.H.I.E.L.D for the greater good and may have ended up earning herself a spot on the team. Only a hint at possible long term baddies is suggested as the introductory ep mostly does just that, introducing with a light challenge to bring them all together and in the darkness bind them.
In the end it was a good episode. Almost lack luster if you aren’t just high on the geek multitude the simple idea and possibilities this series represents. I can imagine some people being all, “meh”, and others being all, “whoo-hoo”. I wasn’t over-awed by the pilot, but I did like certain aspects and I was high on it’s geek aura. With out letting my nerd-boner do the thinking for the for the big head I can honestly say this show has strong potential. I think it has strong potential for tie-ins with the upcoming Marvel ventures. I think the series itself can build on it’s characters and especially it’s universe to create what could be epic in scale by the time it is over. I hope it succeeds in bringing out the comic world the way Superhero movies have over the past ten years. It’s been the season of the geek for a while now and I really feel like this could keep the momentum going.
Feel free to disagree with me on twitter @werewolforigin or @8daysageek or in the comments section below. Geek Out!