On the heat of The Avengers‘ magnificent success in May, onward comes the inevitable television adaptation to capitalize on the film’s success. (I don’t mean to belittle Disney’s attempt at branching two media over one concurrent story. It may be the smartest move the company could have done.) With the CW adapting Arrow and looking to merge other superheroes, plus running Smallville for a decade, for ABC to make a statement seems easy.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres some time after the Battle of New York. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), alive in all his comedic glory, operates a clandestine team aimed at finding and maintaining new superheroes. A fire high up in an apartment building forces Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) to unleash his power and save someone, where he’s discovered by Skye, a computer hacker. Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. is battling a mysterious organization called Rising Tide, who has nefarious intentions themselves.
Early on, the episode grabbed my attention. Multiple comedic instances and a cool fighting scene involving new agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) easily reel you in. Ward himself is one character to watch: out of the world of espionage to the newfound world of superheroes and villains. He doesn’t adjust very well, leading to some of the funnier moments. Never seen truth serum used so…diabolically.
Even though pilots normally don’t give much in the way of characters, this S.H.I.E.L.D. team has worked together for some time. A veteran S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Melinda May (Ming-Na) and the adorable pairing of Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) round out the crew. Seeing how these characters collaborate over the season should be fun to watch.
One more thing to note: Cobie Smulders guest stars as Maria Hill! I hope she stays on for more episodes.
Overall, the first episode did well to establish the tone of the series. Following the massively budgeted precursor film, this is small-time silver screen superhero fun. (That’s a tongue twister.) I’ll stick with the series for now.
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