Even though the majority of tonight’s episode has already been shown through various teasers and previews over these last few months, there’s still a lot that we hadn’t seen, and it all left me wanting more.
As S.H.I.E.L.D. opens, we find ourselves in a post- Battle of New York world. Superheroes are idolised, and an accepted part of “the new world,” as Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) puts it. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is back, after faking his death and taking a few months in “Tahiti”, but it seems there’s a bit more to Coulson’s “death”.
One of the elements that I appreciated most is the sense that SHIELD has existed for a while, that it has a history. Fans come into this world already accepting concepts like the Hulk, Stark tech, and super soldiers. A world where alien races and deviant gods live side by side with super spies. There is no world building needed, which is an impressive feat, and frees up the writers to get right into the action and the character building.
The cast is made up of all-new characters to go along with the popular Phil Coulson. Avengers film alumnus Maria Hill, played by How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders puts in an appearance also, but the rest of the cast are new characters without a comic book background. Some comic fans might of wanted the characters from the old comics but I guess they didn’t want to introduce characters with story expectations.
Whedon’s cleverness and wit run strong throughout Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and while there are a couple of moments that don’t quite work, in terms of humour, for the most part, this is an crowd-pleasing pilot. If you were looking for the scale of the Marvel movies then you’ll be disappointed; this is a high budget TV series, but it is a TV series. S.H.I.E.L.D. quickly hit the right notes to firmly show how it exists on the ground level of the Marvel universe. This was a fun, highly entertaining pilot. 7.5/10