Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 15:44
VIEWED: 17096
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Sunday, September 29, 2013 3:52 PM


Preface statement: It was soooo good to see everyone's favorite Mutant Enemy Grrr/Aaarghing its way across the screen once more. Been too long.

That out of the way, some musings on Joss's S.H.I.E.L.D. and its relationship with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU for short.)

First off, I've noted a few people on this board confessing disappointment that the pilot episode lacked the scope of "The Avengers." My gut reaction has to be, "Well, duh." (No offense). The film was a multi-multi-megabuck production with a heavy handful of big-name stars, THX-sound, and 3D effects. The biggest name the TV show has is Clark Gregg, and while Phil Coulson is a fan favorite, in the films he's basically a spear carrier. (OK, technically the spear went in his back and out his chest, but still...) While the show's production values look damn good, there's just no way something on the small screen is ever going to match the scope of even the meanest of the MCU's theatrical productions.

And frankly, I think that's all to the good; because I suspect Joss is planning to make a virtue out of necessity. The first theme of the show, made rather blatantly in the Pilot, is "What value is a normal human in a world of Gods and Monsters?"

This is interesting to me because the MCU is not the Marvel Comics Universe. The mainstream Marvel Universe is a world where the public has has multiple generations to acclimate to the idea of superhuman beings and all that go with it. A world where the tradition of masked/costumed vigilantes goes back at least to the American old west, where government sponsored superheroes were active as far back as the First World War, and the modern "Age of Marvels" was benchmarked by the Sub-Mariner flooding New York with a tidal wave in 1939. Where the Fall of Berlin in 1945 was attended by literally dozens of long-underwear types, and the 1950's were thick with attacks by dozens of Kaiju-type monsters with too many consonants in their names. The average Joe-Sixpack has gotten used to the idea that there are normals, and Marvels, and that's just the way it is.

In the MCU, on the other hand, while there was a "False Dawn" of superheroics in the 1940's with Captain America -- which was probably dismissed, (with some justification) as wartime propaganda by most -- the thread of history was more or less congruent with our own world until Tony Stark built the Iron Man Mk I powered armor in a cave with a box of scraps! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Which was no more than three or four years ago, MCU time. Sure, there were undoubtedly numerous conflicts between The SSR/S.H.I.E.L.D. and underground organizations like HYDRA and Zodiac before then, but they kept it off the map and out of the headlines. Then the Battle of New York (and to a lesser extent the "Breaking of Harlem" the year before) ended the Masquerade and put paid to the Sunnydale Effect. The genie is out of the bottle, the world has been made strange,and what worth is a non-super in such a reality?

That's the question Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.gets to answer. While the feature films will handle the big ticket events, huge roaring slices of Alternate History written with lightning, Joss has the chance to show us the smaller stories, and tell us more what it would be like to live in such a world.

Knowing Joss's demonstrated skill at such storytelling, I'm looking forward to it.


Thursday, June 12, 2014 3:44 PM


I must say I have enjoyed Agents Of Shield up to this point and look forward to the next season and what it will bring forward. I am pleased and amazed how the show and Marvel films interact together like a continuation of the movie but through the eyes of Shield. As the show went on I find my self going to see Marvel films not for the films themselves but to see how AOS was going to merge it with the show. None was more of an impact on the series and the Marvel film universe then Captain America 2 Winter Soldier. The twist and turn of the series made me want more as the season finally came and went. Now I can't wait till season 2.

Keep Life Shiny






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