If you’ve seen any of the recent film adaptations of Marvel Comics’ heroes, you’ll have seen S.H.I.E.L.D. They were most obvious in the recent Avengers movie, headed by Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury. Cameos of both Fury and the very popular Agent Coulson character appeared in Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies.
Think of them as a secret service of the marvel Universe. Populated by spies and superheroes, S.H.I.E.L.D. gets involved when the threat level is high and probably super-powered. They pulled together the Avengers in the last movie and are set to appear in a new show from ABC.
Exciting stuff. But I have to wonder how they’ll make this just as impactful and entertaining with the budget of a weekly show, rather than that of a massive Hollywood blockbuster.
(We’ll quickly gloss over the gad-awful Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD movie “starring” David Hasselhoff, while simultaneously pointing to it as an example of what not to do with these characters.)
The guys over at SuperHeroHype have given this some thought and pulled together a list of the things – concepts, characters, story lines – they’re hoping to see in this show. I really hope it gets beyond the pilot stage and we get to enjoy weekly adventures from Marvel.
The tone is the thing, though.
The original S.H.I.E.L.D. in the comics was headed by a gruff, experienced soldier with an eye-patch. Yes, he was white and really didn’t look much like Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the Avengers. The original Nick Fury was definitely more like a James Bond – lots of gadgets, jumping off tall buildings, escaping near death and many and varied love interests. He had flying cars, crazy guns and over-the-top arch-villians. Bow-ties, martinis and women in slinky dresses.
It was a comic of its time. It reflected the contemporary interest in spies and espionage. I hope the new S.H.I.E.L.D. captures some of this and makes frequent references to both the recent movies, but also the long heritage of these characters. These needn’t confuse new viewers, but will keep the fans happy. And could even be used in new stories.
What about a return of Hydra? Will we see some of Fury’s old pals? The Contessa? Dum-Dum Duggan? What about Fury’s “Secret Warriors“, the group of spies-in-training he kept secret from S.H.I.E.L.D?
There’s a rich back-history to this entire concept, so there’s really no need to invent a whole new cadre of characters. It’s all there for the taking and I hope the writers have done their research.
Imagine the backlash from geeks like me if they get it wrong?!