Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


I’m surprised that we’re living in a day in age that a S.H.I.E.L.D. primetime TV show is on the horizon. And it's probably going to be very good for that matter. I mean, S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been an important part of the Marvel Universe. Nick Fury, Dum Dum and all sorts of guys always showed up whenever the writers needed some kind of plot hook or filler it seemed, like "how do we get hero X to location Y?"

But growing up, S.H.I.E.L.D. always seemed to feature more prominently in Captain America than anything else. I mean sure, they showed up in Avengers and even X-Men on occasion, but Cap’s comic--which had more to do with soldiering and guns than superpowers (at least, at times)--is where they kind of fit best. S.H.I.E.L.D. did get its own comic run on occasion. And I’m wondering if characters from these series might make appearances (although I’d be hesitant to tell you I’d even know/remember them if they did show up). Those series were cool too.

What do I expect from a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show though?

Well, hopes are high that it could be a lot of fun. There’s plenty of potential for intrigue as we get a look at how the guys who work behind the scenes to ensure that the Marvel Universe heroes ARE heroes. Whether that means semi-policing superpowered beings, teaching and training emerging superheroes or even doing the dirty work that a hero shouldn’t have to do because it would ruin their reputation and disintegrate the public’s trust in superheroes.

A good S.H.I.E.L.D. show should tease us with lots of moral ambiguity. From the outside looking in, S.H.I.E.L.D. may do some shady stuff. On the inside, however, you should be left wondering if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ends don’t sometimes justify their means. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel like there’s something heroic about S.H.I.E.L.D. and its agents. These guys are unsung heroes. They’re the heroes you don’t see in the public spotlight; the guys who do the nasty work for you so that you don’t have to.

One way to look at them is that they’re martyrs doing a lot of good and an occasional necessary evil. They’re likely to nurture a lot of Marvel Universe heroes into something great too. And we’ve got to give them that. That being said, here are my hopes and concerns for the show:

While I'm stoked that Agent Coulson lives so to speak, I don't expect this show to be very closely tied into the Avengers property or the mainstay of the Marvel movie continuity in general. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I suspect the producers will work hard to come up with original plotlines of the show and/or dig up really obscure Marvel stories to retell. They’re going to want the show to stand on its own two feet. And no one is going to go sell Avengers 2 under the presumption that you must have watched the first two seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D. So maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t expect the God of Thunder to make an appearance or for a flying fleet of Stark Iron Man suits to break out or anything like that. I don’t think S.H.I.E.L.D. will take on an army of Latverian Doombots or anything.

Could important Marvel figures make an appearance? Luke Cage and Iron Fist? The Punisher? I’ve heard rumors about projects involving Cloak and Dagger for example…maybe. But then again, Marvel might not want to commit to putting these guys on the small screen as opposed to the big one. I mean, I think it would be cool if they DID. Maybe some of these characters would do better here than they would otherwise. It might actually be a good business move. A show that kind of tours you around the Marvel universe, highlighting different features of it. So maybe. But only maybe and unlikely.

What I do think would be cool is if they were willing to at least make the setting of the Marvel Universe the setting of the Marvel Universe. What I mean is, while I don’t think they can cast the X-Men into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it would be cool if there were mutants in it and all of the many various societal issues that mutants raise. It would be cool if Latveria was a European country that the UN was very worried about. It would be cool if there was a strange, prehistoric Savage Land near the Antarctic and an unbelievably technologically advanced African nation known was Wakanda.

It might be seasons of the show off. If they could get there I would be happy. We’ll see.

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