Marvel Cinematic Universe has crept into the medium of TV with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (@AgentsofSHIELD). Headed up by Joss Whedon, this is Marvel’s attempt to create a side story to the main Marvel movies, which will provide small-scale action not found in the flagship Marvel movies. While the pilot doesn’t have a lot of time to establish its characters, it creates an interesting enough universe that will make you stick around for at least a couple more episodes.
The pilot episode is centered around the return of Agent Coulson (played by Clark Gregg) and his new plan to assemble a new ragtag group of operatives, all the while figuring out the identity of a vigilante: “The Hooded Hero”. The members of said team include the stereotypical lone wolf specialist Ward (Brett Dalton), a pair of British engineers, Leo Fritz and Jemma Simmons adorably nicknamed “FitzSimmons” (played by Iain De Caestecker and Jemma Simmons respectively), and the seasoned pilot Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). By far, the standout character of the episode was Skye, an off-the-grid computer hacker (played by Chloe Bennett). Skye will win you over very quickly with her wit and charm. She probably will become the fan favorite of the show going forward.
With a high budget pilot, comes high-budget visuals and this show does not disappoint. Thankfully, even with the limitations of just being on TV, the VFX are extremely good and are only surpassed by HBO’s own Game of Thrones. The sleek and sexy aesthetic of The Avengers is back in full-force and really helps connect the movies to the show. Camerawork is spot-on, in particular the scene with the flying scanners. The Whedonesque dialogue is there, but unfortunately it’s a little stiff and some of the jokes fall flat. That being said, a mediocre script for Whedon is still much better than the average show on cable television.
As a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comic books in general, I get giddy at the possibility of the show introducing smaller Marvel characters to the universe like Luke Cage or Iron Fist. This show would be the perfect platform to ease them into the universe and allow them to build a dedicated fan base with intention of introducing them later in a future Marvel movie installment, or better yet: their own movie.
While the pilot has a few minor issues, it has a massive amount of potential to be a formidable addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and just an all-around damn good addition to TV. Come for the witty banter and action, stay for the cool Marvel references and future storylines.