“With great power comes . . . a lot of weird crap.”
I’m a Marvel nerd. A pretty big one, too. Well, actually, I’m just an everything nerd, but I really like The Avengers. By association, I couldn’t wait for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I saw the trailer when I went to the theater to see Red 2, and nearly screamed. In the theater. Yeah, I’m a nerd.
Imagine how thrilled I was when the pilot exceeded my wildest expectations.
First of all, the show is hilarious and unpredictable. The moment Agent Coulson is revealed is a perfect example of this. An agent says he is at Level Six and knows Coulson was killed in action before New York. Coulson emerges from the dark and says “Welcome to Level Seven.” Followed by “It was a dark corner, I couldn’t resist.” Another comedic moment comes when Skye, a sort of villain sort of anti-hero sort of we’re not really sure yet, is recording a message for S.H.I.E.L.D. from The Rising Tide, when the van door opens in the middle of her recording. “What’s up?” is her response. My response? “I love this show.”
This is also a little different from many shows and films in this genre. Almost by definition, superhero stories tend to promote a vigilantism attitude, sometimes even promoting opposition to government or law enforcement by portraying them as corrupt. This show has a different take. The government agency is a good thing, pursuing the good of the people.
Or are they?
There’s an inherent premise through the agency in protecting the people from what “they aren’t ready to hear.” What they’re doing is a good thing, if you define a good thing as shielding the people from truth. Doesn’t sound so positive anymore, does it?
The show has other redeeming qualities, however. The pilot shows a hero with newly granted abilities who changes into a vigilante and then unto a fully-grown villain. S.H.I.E.L.D. is aiming to save this man, as well as those around him. That is helpful to the extent that they are doing a good work, even if I don’t agree with their mission to keep the truth from the public. It also counteracts the subtle rebellion message of many films, shows, and books in the genre, which we often forget are contrary to the principle of Romans 13.
It may be too early to know exactly where the show is going, but it certainly has a good start. Skye became my favorite character within about ten minutes of the show. Her addition at the end as a permanent member of the team will be invaluable to the show. With the intriguing characters of Coulson, Skye, and Grant I have a feeling that the show is going to go places. I don’t think I could be sad about that if I wanted to be.