Last night was the premiere episode of Joss Whedon’s newest television project, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show will follow a group of non-superpowered people, living in a world with people like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. If you missed the episode, you can watch it on abc.com for free here.
The dialog is exactly what we have come to love and expect from Joss Whedon. The characters talk like actual people, and it was easy to believe the other side of the Marvel universe we hadn’t seen – the normal guys trying to cope with all this new information about things that had only existed in stories.
Another Joss Whedon trademark is gender-neutral characters. The team is split evenly among gender lines, and nothing the characters do indicate whether they’re supposed to be male or female. All the characters are awesome in their respective ways because of their skills and knowledge. The ladies do as much day-saving as the gentlemen.
***Potential spoilers below if you haven’t seen the episode. Highlight to read the areas that appear black.***
The pilot episode is also littered with Marvel references. There are references to the previous Marvel films, mentioning all the major characters except Hawkeye. Then the references go a little deeper, mentioning things related to Marvel comics that have not appeared on the big screen, and even give a big nerdy nod with the character of Michael Peterson. It could just be a coincidence, but one of Marvel’s stranger heroes, Slapstick, had a sidekick/best friend named Mike Peterson, who had no superpowers. Or it could just be that Michael Peterson is just a common name in the Marvel universe. There is an appearance of a SHIELD flying car. The title, Journey into Mystery, is mentioned, which is the comic in which Thor first appeared, as well as a currently ongoing series from Marvel. Phil Coulson’s return is a mystery yet to be explained, however the “he doesn’t know” thing, leads us to believe he is now, or has always has been a life-model decoy. And even Spider-Man’s catch phrase makes it in before the episode is finished.
With the first episode down, we’re excited to see what the next episode holds in store. We’re already invested in the characters, and can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.