Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had its triumphant television premiere tonight. It’s going to be an interesting ride, judging by the pilot episode. While on the surface it appears to be a well-produced science-fiction series with lots of action and special effects, underneath it is a winking deconstruction of genre TV, with a cracking sense of humour and a solid anchor in Clark Gregg as the enigmatic Agent Coulson.
It is also quite obvious that there are no dopes running the Marvel empire. It’s pretty amazing to be witness to what the comics giant has pulled off over the last five years. Comic book hero movies had been through a rough patch leading up to Marvel Studio’s experiment called the Marvel Cinematic Universe; a string of mega-budget movies based around individual major characters from Marvel Comic’s Avengers series, issue #1 of which hit the stands in 1963. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, these would culminate in 2012’s The Avengers movie, featuring the group assembled together to ward off an invasion of creatures from another plane of existence. The experiment has been a grand success; it cost over a billion dollars to pull off the first six movies, but has raked in billions more in revenue and continues to spin off more films.
Now Marvel has set its sights on the small screen with AoS, and from what we’ve seen so far, they very well might have the biggest hit of this season on their hands. Of course, to further prove their brilliance, an ad featuring the next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: The Dark World, aired during the show. What’s the deal with all this perfect comic, movie and television synergy? It’s simply Marvelous.