Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

SHIELD

Today, those in attendance at the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel at San Diego Comic Con got to preview the pilot for the highly anticipated show. I was in attendance and needless to say, the pilot was AWESOME.

Review, including light spoilers, after the jump.

“They’re giants. We’re the things they step on.”

Agents picks up after the Avengers film, after the Battle of New York. There’s a new status quo now, with the general public having knowledge of superheroes. People are understandably scared, especially one Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) a man who has lost his job and is struggling to provide for himself and his son. Possessing super strength, he saves a woman from a burning building, bringing himself to the attention of both the media and S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s approached by Skye (Chloe Bennet) who is trying to both expose S.H.I.E.L.D. and protect those that she thinks S.H.I.E.L.D. may ultimately be after.

At the same time, Level 6 Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is recruited to take on The Rising Tide and given new clearance, which includes the knowledge that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) did not die before the Battle of New York.

The pilot itself is a lot of fun. Written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, and directed by Joss, it has that pop that so many Whedon shows do without dissolving into the trademark Whedon-speak. Still, it’s funny, poppy and never seems to drag. My personal favorites are the two scientists of the newly formed team, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) whose technospeak banter is a constant source of comic relief without actually feeling like the comic relief. Rounding out the main cast is Ming Na as the mysterious Agent Melinda May, brought in from level 3, where it appears she’s relegated herself to menial tasks instead of field work.

The show itself appears to fit almost seamlessly into the Marvel film continuity, making reference to all of the MCU films and tossing in a few familiar faces. Marvel has succeeded in rounding out an already rich world of heroes with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It feels like it fits within the currently established universe while also feeling like a stronger set piece. The emphasis here is on the people, not the heroes, on the ones who have begun to feel insignificant in the knowledge that heroes like Thor and the Hulk exist. It reminds me of the speech Nick Fury gave in the Avengers film, and how everyone’s way of thinking has changed. We’re getting to see that with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the potential for stories here is nearly limitless.

SHIELD panel

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres Tuesday, September 24th at 8pm on ABC.

 

About Angel

A 30 year old everything-nerd living in the southern United States. I devour films and British television like it's my job. My first love is Marvel and the X-Men, but Batman and all of his little helper birds are quickly weaseling their way in.
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