Warning: Possible Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s The Avengers, and possibly a few comics. You have been warned.
A full trailer for Marvel and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series premiered this week. The series – starting fall 2013 – features Agent Phil Coulson of the Marvel movie fame (reprised by actor Clark Gregg) and some younger S.H.I.E.L.D. agents dealing with various super-powered incidents. The series also stars Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, and – at least in one episode – J. August Richards playing a maybe-but-not-confirmed Luke Cage.
From this trailer, we’ve learned two key points of the series in its relation to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe – the Marvel films made in line with Marvel’s The Avengers.
- Agent Coulson is alive after is questionable fate in Marvel’s The Avengers.
- This series takes place AFTER Marvel’s The Avengers.
I’ve heard the argument lately that Coulson’s rise from the supposed dead has taken the wind from the sails of the series and it’s dramatic potential. The argument is that Coulson’s not-death has rendered real-death meaningless, that all fan-favorite characters have the same immortality as the main titular ones. Sure, Iron Man or Captain America won’t die, but neither will their comrade in arms of lesser fame whose death gives them their final push to beat the bad guy and save the day. If they can’t die, then what about the damsel in distress, or the cute kid sidekick, or even the big bad itself everyone fawns over (looking at you, three-peat Loki).
What dramatic suspense is there when anyone with enough fan following gets a pass from the Grim Reaper?
Maybe I’ve been reading comics for too long (LIES!), but a character returning from death alone isn’t enough to faze me out of the story. We comic fans have gone through this time and time again. Superman, Jean Gray, all the X-Men, Jason Todd, Batman, Captain America, Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Bart Allen, Norman Osborn, Spider clones, and more than I can count. DC’s 2009-2010 Blackest Night crossover comic and event is a huge joke on the premise of comic book characters returning from the dead.
Some returns from the dead are good, and some aren’t. It all depends on the story. Is it well written? Does the return make sense? Is the emotional impact still valid? If it’s still a good story, and if the original death story maintains its emotional impact, then bring it on.
Admittedly, the premise is a difficult one to pull off, but it can be done. For example, I really enjoy the (currently on Netflix) DC animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood (NOT the original comic version). The return from death is also a premise that shouldn’t be used too often, just as overplaying any story trope can kill that trope’s effectiveness.
Now let’s return to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson. Given some of the suspicious aspects of the character’s ending in Marvel’s The Avengers, and my faith in Whedon’s storytelling, I don’t expect to be disappointed in the explanation of Coulson’s coming to be in this series. As long as it’s written and pull off well enough, I look forward to the everyman Agent Coulson character returning. Plus, I wouldn’t put it past Whedon to bring him back just to kill him again.
In the end though, anything’s better than a Superboy Prime reality punch…
Was there a character whose return from the dead you thought was handled well? Handled poorly? Why?
Are you looking forward to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this fall? Why or why now?
Recommended Viewing: Max Landis’ The Death and Rebirth of Superman
And yet again I missed a week. I didn’t actually buy anything last week, so oh well. At least I’ve had my last two twitter spree posts to keep you entertained. But now, it’s all about the comics, and with not getting last week’s books until this week, there are a lot of them. What did you pick up that I should check out?
I finally missed a week. Didn’t even make it to the big 1-0. Oh well. Now I get to put more titles in one post, including this week’s Pick of the Week. Did I miss something these past two weeks? Do you have a book you want to talk about? Talk about it in the comments.
Ouch. SEVEN BOOKS THIS WEEK. My wallet is hurt. A bunch of good Marvel books came out this week (including a much-needed second printing). I keep wanting to cut back on books, and I do in a way (Superman and Wonder Woman are out of the list), but then I keep picking up new books. Comment on my list and tell me how you manage your monthly titles.
Our latest snowpoclypse in Nashville Wednesday evening delayed my weekly comic trip, but I did manage to pick up my books last night for a late Pull List post Did the weather keep you from your weeklies, or did you find some gems in the stands? Tell me about it in the comments.
I’m off to Ohayocon in a couple of hours, hopefully to find an interesting story to tell. Before that though, I grabbed some comics. Sadly not the sold-out Fantastic Four #587, the end of the storyline “Three” that sees the death of one of the team members (Look around the internet. Marvel spoiled it for everyone.). Alas, that’s what second printings are for. Anyway, enough about me. What all are you reading?