At D23 this past weekend, Marvel presented a surprise exclusive screening of the upcoming television show Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Jeff Loeb, executive producer of the show and Head of Marvel’s television department, came out to introduce the screener of the pilot episode and granted the entire audience S.H.I.E.L.D. Access Level 7 clearance to view that which has been seen by a select few audiences. Spoiler Alert should you read on.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is the first live action television program that fits in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor, Iron Man and Captain America all exist in the same world as the characters of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and while are never seen, their presence is felt. The cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are Ming-Na Wen (Eureka, ER) as legendary field agent Melinda May; Brett Dalton as the man of action Agent Grant Ward; Chloe Bennet (Nashville) is civilian hacker Skye; and Iain De Castecker and Elizabeth Henstridge play science agents Fitz and Simmons, respectively. Leading the team is none other than Agent Phil Coulson himself Clark Gregg (Iron Man, Marvel’s The Avengers). Making a special appearances are Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Marvel’s The Avengers) as Agent Maria Hill and J. August Richards (Joss Whedon’s Angel) as Michael Peterson, a superhuman trying to find his place in the world.
The pilot episode is very much an introduction to the characters and the type of adventures we should expect from the series. It also lets us know that yes, Agent Coulson is very much alive. How? You’ll just have to watch to find out.
If the quality of the pilot episode is any indication of the series as a whole, there is a wealth of potential for this Marvel Television Series. Even though this is the first episode, every actor has brought their A-game and already begun to play well off of each other. To complement the acting are amazing special effects. Never have I seen such amazing effects in a television show. And though these agents lack the super powers of The Avengers, they still kick butt.
I am not saying that to be nice, I mean it. I don’t know where Grant Ward and Ming-Na Wen got their fight training, but they look like they go for a few rounds with Scarlett Johanson’s Black Widow and definitely give her a run for her money. Furthermore, because Joss Whedon directed this pilot and is an executive producer on the show, we get not only amazing story telling, great action, witty dialogue, but we also get a resonant moral. In a world that now has gods and giants, the regular human now has a higher standard to live up to, and these characters will meet that standard with unflinching courage.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot airs on ABC on Tuesday September 24th at 8pm this Fall.