Now Geek This: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Hello, and welcome to the first installment of Now Geek This, my column that will be covering all that is geek in television and cinema.  I thought it would be perfect to start my column with an article about Marvels’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which debuted last night. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, airing on the ABC network on Tuesdays at 8:00PM, revolves around a group of agents selected by agent Phil Coulson to investigate strange happenings around the globe in a post Avengers world.

The pilot episode of the show deals with the formation of Agent Coulson’s squad and does a good job of introducing each character while also showing a glimpse of the world of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. After the group is formed and introduced to each other, they are sent on their first mission.  In Los Angeles, a man named Michael Petersen is discovered using strange, superhuman powers to save a woman from an exploding building.  As the story progresses, we learn that Mike is a factory worker, down on his luck after losing his job as a result of suffering an injury that is never specified.  Mike was given a strange piece of technology that gives him extraordinary powers such as super strength.  Coulson’s group of agents is sent to investigate the scene of the explosion to determine the cause, and to find the man dubbed the hooded hero by onlookers who observed the rescue. Coulson enlists the aid of a computer hacker named Skye, one of the key witnesses to the superhuman rescue, to locate and contain Mike Petersen before he does any harm to anyone.

As the episode began, I was happy to see several references to past Marvel movies like Avengers and Iron Man letting the viewer know that this show is in continuity with the movie universe.  As we were introduced to Michael Petersen and his powers, I immediately began to feel like I was watching an episode of the show Heroes with an added Marvel touch.  When Phil Coulson began to put his squad together and we were introduced to some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, I was then reminded of the early days of the show Fringe.  Personally, I enjoyed both of those shows, so I was happy to be reminded of them.

Although the story of the pilot was not necessarily original, certainly not to anyone that has ever read a comic book, I think it is the characters that will make this show great.  The return of fan favorite Phil Coulson immediately made this show better every time he was on screen.  Clark Gregg is astounding as the agent who happens to be a fanboy himself, and I have loved his character since the first moment he began to get under Tony Stark’s skin.  From his first moment in the show, stepping out of a shadowed corner and making a joke about a burnt out light bulb, to his handling of an enraged Mike Petersen at the conclusion of the episode, it is easy to see that Phil Coulson is the heart and humor of this show.

One of my favorite moments of the show is when Agent Coulson and Agent Grant Ward were interrogating Skye to find out what she knew about Michael Petersen.  Failing to pull any information out of the skeptical woman, Coulson decides to use a powerful truth serum.  The amusing twist to the scene is that Coulson uses the serum on Ward, his own agent, to gain the trust of the conspiracy weary Skye.  It is wonderful to have Phil Coulson return to duty after his “death” in the Avengers.  Coulson’s explanation for his return was that he had faked his death and had spent the following months recovering in Tahiti, but it was quickly revealed in a side conversation between Maria Hill and a S.H.I.E.L.D. doctor that there was more to the story and that Phil Coulson could never learn the truth of his return from death.  I suspect that the truth behind Coulson’s return will be a story line for a future episode.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must inform you that I tried to stay away from learning too much about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before the debut of the show.  I avoided reading any rumors or articles about the show as much as possible, and only allowed myself to watch the commercials for the show during the summer.  The reason behind this was simply that I did not want to have anything spoiled for me in advance, and I’m glad that I did.  I found some pleasant surprises in the show that brought a smile to my face as a long time Marvel fan.  I actually let out a squeal of delight when Coulson activated the flying function on his classic car Lola and launched into the sky in classic S.H.I.E.L.D. style.

In the end, the story line of the show may not be the most original, but I believe it is the characters that will make this show great.  I am also excited to see how deep into the Marvel universe the show will dig.  Honestly, I might not like this show as much if I weren’t such a Marvel fan, but I am, so I am willing to give Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a chance to wow me.  Besides, a show starring Agent Phil Coulson as it’s main character is worth watching in my opinion.

That’s all for this week’s episode of Now Geek This. What excitement will our next episode bring?  Tune in here to find out.