The Cool Ship Watches… Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

CoulsonWe at the Cool Ship love all things comic book. Last night, a number of us watched “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Here are our thoughts:

Colleen —

After months of breathless anticipation and subsequent lightheadedness, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered.

First, points to them for not overplaying the Coulson not-death. It’s referenced, but not constantly shoved in our faces. (Whereas with me, if I cut myself and, for the rest of the week, I demand subservience from those around me BECAUSE I HAVE SUFFERED, PEOPLE!) There is a bit between Shepherd Book and Robin referring to a larger mystery surrounding Coulson’s return from the white light. Let’s all pretend that we we don’t already know he’s a life model decoy or an android and enjoy the slow reveal. But Coulson is turning out to be more than just a wry avatar for the unpowered in a superhero world. He gets to show depth and compassion not previously shown in the cinematic universe. I want to get to know him better.

There is a lot of characterization happening here. Joss Whedon, he of juggling the massive Buffyverse fame, ably introduces each character without making it seem like a roll call. There are also the self-aware nuggets that made Firefly, Buffy, The Avengers fun to watch. There’s even a few tiny comic references (“Are you ready for our journey into mystery?” Journey into Mystery is the recently cancelled comic that had the first appearance of Thor.).

It looks like it’ll become a procedural in the Marvel universe. Sort of a Fringe, but hopefully with fewer instances of Mike yelling at the TV. I fully expect that once this hits its Joss-free stride that there will be some reduction in quality. However, since the only other show I’m watching consistently is the Headless Horseman waving an AK-47 Sleepy Hollow, I think I’ll stick with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

MING-NA WENTJ —

Overall, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a good time. It didn’t have the slow start I expect from many Whedon shows (like Dollhouse), and it quickly got into the action while giving me a good idea of what the characters are like. I like most of the characters, except for Agent Ward, who I found to have very few redeeming qualities in the context of the episode. He’s just straight boring. I hope they give him more to do. I’m also looking forward to seeing more Ming-Na. I thought her arc about “being afraid of combat” was resolved a little to quickly and neatly.

I also hope that the technobabble from Agents Fitz and Simmons doesn’t get out of hand. I really don’t want this turning into CSI: Comic Books.

WardLike, Colleen, I’m worried about the post-Whedon drop in quality, especially if Jeph Loeb is involved. I really saw some drops in quality after he was involved with Smallville and Heroes, and I REALLY want this show to succeed.

All-in-all, I enjoyed this episode. It didn’t feel like it was low budget, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Gabrielle —

Phil Coulson is the coolest. Hands down. He’s also totally a robot.

It’s something I’ve been harping on since ole Phil wheezed his last around the giant spear thing sticking out of his chest. Sure, Joss has a disturbing penchant for slaughtering beloved characters, but when news of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. broke (particularly the bit about Clark Gregg’s casting), my favorite theory became Coulson would be reborn as The Vision.
SkyeWe got a hint that all is not as it seems with Coulson from Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill and Shepherd Book (I don’t care what his name is in this show. He’s Shepherd Book.). My guess is Tahiti is not an actual fond memory of relaxation and recovery. Rather, it’s an implanted memory fed to Coulson to hide from the titular S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that he’s a LDM (Life Decoy Model).
Search your feelings. You know it to be true.
I loved Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s got a solid cast of quirky characters, and the show has a pleasant blend of action, humor, and heart. It’s earned a place on my overfull DVR. How about yours?

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