Those who watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. know how great the series has become in its second season, and while Coulson has been part of the Marvel comic universe for a while, it was only a matter of time before Marvel introduced the rest of the Agents in the comics. Marvel’s final comic release of 2014 did exactly that with the new S.H.I.E.L.D. comic written by Mark Waid.
The result is actually a bit surreal to read. Where in the show the Agents will see some lower-tier characters from the comics introduced, they’re now part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comics. The comic comes from the idea that it’s not limited by a television show budget, so that allows the Agents to interact with characters they never could in the show. With Marvel’s attitude toward the Fantastic Four right now, it was a bit jarring to even see a reference to The Thing in this issue.
Easily the best part of the book is the origin it gives to Coulson, showing that he is truly a huge Marvel fanboy who spent his entire life studying everything about all of the superheroes. Like most of us did, he studied the powers and weaknesses of everyone and can tell you how Quicksilver could kill the Hulk if they ever fought. All of that is in the first half of the book, and I honestly wouldn’t have mind if the entire book was just character stuff like that.
But as Marvel wants to show that this isn’t the ABC series that’s limited by a television budget, the Agents have to face off against a giant threat of Asgardian proportions, and thats where the book sort of lost me. While we see May, Fitz, and Simmons in the book I was hoping it’d be more than just Coulson leading people against a giant supervillain. Fitz does use his knowledge to help save the day, and as a result is one step closer to getting his helper monkey, but the urge to put the Agents into bigger situations than normal took away from the characters we’re used to seeing every week on the show.
The next issue is Ms. Marvel, which will again put the Agents in the path of an Inhuman, so hopefully we get a slightly smaller point of view. I’m fine with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. dealing with things they can’t on a TV show budget, as long as it maintains the characters we expect to see. Have the Agents dealing with the threat, not some D-list heroes disguised as Agents like in this issue.
If you’re a big fan of the show, the $4.99 issue has just enough to not make you feel like you didn’t waste your money. More causal fans may want to read a friend’s copy.