“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”: Exploring the Possibilities of 0.00001% of the Marvel Universe

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

Drama! Excitement! Danger! Peaceful forest walks!

Six episodes into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (not to be confused with, say, Law & Order: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), we’re seeing little improvements here and there as the writers make up their minds how the camaraderie and rivalries should work between the characters. The series began as an awkward hodgepodge of our man Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen (Mulan, ER‘s early seasons), and some extras on loan from the CW, who together felt not nearly scruffy enough to headline a Joss Whedon TV project.

I’m warming a little more to the show as the weeks progress. I’m no longer wishing for Skye the fake-hobo hacker to be dismissed and dropped off at her van down by the river. I’m no longer letting the mystery of Coulson’s alleged clinical death undermine my attention. I’ve stopped nitpicking at how Agent Ward looks 25 but we’re expected to believe he has the acumen and respectability of a 50-year-old war veteran. And I can’t remember the last time I was distracted by an underbudgeted special effect.

One major disappointment still looms: while it’s nice to see them playing with elements of the Marvel movie universe — what’s stopping them from exploring more deeply into the actual Marvel Universe?

(Fair warning: one bit later in this article is a mild spoiler for tonight’s new episode.)

So, about that Marvel Universe…

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