As we discussed at length during this week’s Major Spoilers Podcast, Marvel Studios and Netflix have entered into an agreement to deliver no fewer than FOUR live-action Marvel series, including Daredevil, Power Man and Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones.  Though this news has me excited (and the box-office receipts for the Thor sequel seem promising), I found my hopes a bit diminished the next night as I watched the latest episode of ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.’  Though the series has a compelling lead in Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, each successive episode feels more and more like a standard TV action/procedural, like ’24’ with the occasional mention of super-powers.  The focus on standard-issue television magical hacker Skye (her lost parents, her romantic tension, her adoption of Coulson as father-figure) overshadows she proceedings with the trappings of a vintage soap opera, leaving ‘Agents of SHIELD’ as a story primarily about the one character who doesn’t fit the title description.  This, in turn, begs a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) finds that it doesn’t help that our big action hero is a plasticine Ken-doll cipher, but that’s a different complaint, asking: What changes/improvements do you think would make ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’ as awesome as its big-screen counterparts?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

CASUAL 60: That Grand, Green Graveyard Groove!

Next post

SOLICITATIONS: Marvel Comics for February 2014


  1. Arbor Day
    November 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm — Reply

    Reasonable Answer: A lot more C and D list marvel character cameos. Victoria Hand this week was neat, but where’s the Wrecking Crew or Stilt man?

    Insane, Ridiculous Answer: Fitz turns out to be a bad guy maybe HAMMER or Hydra, kills Simmons and May/Ward. Coulson becomes increasingly erratic and disillusioned with SHIELD. Akela Amadour returns further cyberized and changes her name to Misty Knight. Tahiti turns out to be the Weapon Plus Program, Coulson’s cure turns on him and he gets cancer, eventually devolving into Deadpool. And the Agents of Shield break off from their association with SHIELD and become Hero’s for Hire.

  2. November 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm — Reply

    I’d actually love “24 with superpowers”, but that would require an ongoing storyline and so far the only overarching arc we have is a) Centipede, which so far has been somewhat overwhelming and b) Little Orphan Annie meets Hacker.

    I do like the wonder and grandeur of the show – while I’ve like to see them go deeper in the Marvel universe and what it means to be a fly on the wall, I don’t want them to lose that sense of wonder and scale seen so far.

  3. November 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm — Reply

    The thing is what we have in agents of sheild right now is just holding pattern. It is the middle two issues of a six issue arc, it is filler.

    It needs to have a goal it needs to have direction more than just the one, and sometimes two episode plots that drop a tiny hint at whatever the real plot is going to be. Like Blue said it needs that strong overarching thread and so far that is just not there, the episodes are to separate.

    Also some real heroes out of the books would be great.

  4. Mike
    November 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    I was really ready to wait for this show to improve, but every week I keep being disappointed. Still hoping though. That being said, the thing that stuck out first in my mind that needs to be changed is the musical scoring. There’s no real heart to the music, and really, a lot of it sounds suspiciously like canned action scores right out of No Ordinary Family.
    The second thing is that instead of building any kind of drama throughout the episodes, or any kind of character development beyond the typical tropes you’d see on a mediocre show, the show continues to devolve into standard mission-per-show themes. The characters seem cardboard cut-out to me; no depth, no lasting quirks or any kind of mystery I can bring myself to care about for any of them, beyond the heavy-handed “it’s a magical place” that gets thrown around every week.
    Admittedly, there are exceptions that keep my interest and keep stringing me along, like Coulson’s conversation with the firefighter, which definitely brought some life to the character and made him seem more of a three-dimensional personality, but for the most part, all the characters’ acting seems forced and awkward.
    Bottom line: I was expecting Firefly-level awesomeness, but every week I keep getting, as above, No Ordinary Family watered-down overly kid-friendly mediocrity.

  5. randolph defreese
    November 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm — Reply

    use adult agents.i really dont like Agent Colson and Ming Na babysitting kids.

  6. Frank
    November 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm — Reply

    Show the Marvel Universe, not just the fringes. Intertwine the movies and the show more.
    As Arbor Day said, show C and D listers, but add B-listers, maybe Wonderman or a early version of the Vision.
    — Have a version of Starks J.A.R.V.I.S as the AI on the plane.
    — Since it is on the Fox Network, ask 20th Century Fox pretty please for the use of a few mutants.
    — Have a few of the Morlocks appear.

    • November 15, 2013 at 2:54 am — Reply

      Actually it is aired on (and produced in part by) ABC, not FOX.

      But since Disney owns both ABC and Marvel, I’m hoping they can bend the rules a bit to include mutants, although it will probably not be anyone tied to the X-books and just be the idea of mutants in general.

  7. November 15, 2013 at 9:14 am — Reply

    These are not in order
    1) Better Characters – They are getting better but the so far most are not likeable.
    2) More Action Scenes – Shows like Nikita and Arrow trump this show in action and I’m sure they have worse budgets.
    3) SHIELD Uniforms – Why is this team not wearing shield uniforms or even suits?
    4) SHIELD training – Why aren’t these agents trained in basic combat? They don’t all have to be super soldiers but they should all (including the geeks) know how to act in a firefight.
    5) Marvel Universe – Actually being in the Marvel Universe besides just mentioning the Avengers (I’m so tired of the vast library of Marvel characters and stories not being used.)
    6) Less Drama – Dramatic TV shows are so fake. The drama is forced because characters never have more than a couple minutes to talk to each other before the show goes to a new scene. It’s lame. Most people will not wait weeks to talk things out. Hopefully now that the “OMG Skye is a traitor!” the drama will be less of an issue.
    7) Better Writing – I’m sorry but a big gun gets shot into space but something that can make the earth implode gets put in a vault? Why doesn’t Colston use the flying car? Especially when they were rescuing their people in the last show.

  8. Mark
    November 15, 2013 at 10:27 am — Reply

    1 Give me some one other than Clark Gregg to give a damn about!
    2 It seems to be afraid of the Marvel Universe. at this time the show could be a wacky part of the NCIS world not THE MU and it’s not what we signed up for.

  9. November 15, 2013 at 11:44 am — Reply

    i guess I’m watching a different show.. I’ve enjoyed the slow pace and teaser type glimpses into the MU. The characterizations are simple yes,but I like them all so far. Peace. :)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *