Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Ep 1 – Pilot Review

27 Sep
S.H.I.E.L.D Assembles!

S.H.I.E.L.D Assembles!

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe collided for the first time with its small screen counterpart tonight as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D came crashing through our telly boxes and boy it did not disappoint!

Action packed from the get go, the shadowy government agency which has connected the big screen Marvel films together finally got some room to grow and explore. There was plenty here to tie in to the movies with some cool references to Captain America: The First Avenger and some nifty shout outs to the wider Marvel Universe (Journey into Mystery, Stark Industries and a sneaky Spider-Man half quote) plus a Men in Black II homage which gave me a chuckle.

The pilot served its purpose well, both reminding us of the Shield we know and love whilst teasing themes and plot lines to come throughout the season. One aspect of this show will undoubtedly be about regular joes dealing with life in a post Battle of New York world. In the same way that a post Avengers world has heavily influenced our own culture and thrown superheroes and the comic book community further into the mainstream, the denizens of the MCU are going to face existential questions about their place in the cosmos knowing there are aliens, gods and monsters out there in the big bad world.


Our first hero deals with these directly, being influenced by events from the most recent Marvel outing Iron Man 3. It’s nice to see their first hero be black though minus Mike & Agent May there was a distinct lack of ethnic representation (Where on earth was Agent Sitwell?) Mike Peterson is a great first choice and J. August Richards does a great job desperately trying to be the hero despite factors beyond his control.

The other main theme as a series will be Agent Coulson trying to turn his team of agents into heroes and teaching them that all the superpowers in the world mean nothing and that the true hero is within. That team however is a mostly unremarkable one, with some being utterly unlikeable and unmemorable (Fitz & Simmons seem there literally for the one pun) though Brett Dalton as Agent Ward was a better fit than he first appeared. The less said about Skye the better. Hey Skye the 90’s called, they want their “cute hacker girl” trope back. As nice as it is to look at attractive or ruggedly handsome actors for an hour I would much prefer to see some older, average looking or “non hollywood” faces round out the team.


A nice cameo from Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill seemed to make up for some of the weaker characters as did Ming-Na Wen’s calm and collected Melinda May. If any of the shows cast gets a chance to appear in a future MCU film or vice versa I’d hope Melinda May & Natasha Romanoff get some screen time together.

Joss & Jed Whedon have done well to keep a cinematic feel, helped by a great score by Bear McCreary (Bear also scores The Walking Dead) The hand off as writer from brother to brother will hopefully go smoothly enough that big brother Joss won’t have to step back in anytime soon.

Verdict: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is the perfect companion to the MCU and a great distraction whilst waiting for the next big blockbuster. Joss Whedon sets a new corner of the Marvel U loose while keeping the much loved Coulson comedy and some familiar faces (Ron Glass or Book Shepherd to any Browncoats out there). The big question still remains. What happened to Coulson? Life Model Decoy? Android? Clone? Skrull?! We’ll just have to keep tuning in to find out.




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