I’m a huge fan of the Marvel universe in all its forms, but I’m especially enamored with their movies. After IRON MAN reignited the superhero genre for Marvel they’ve been pumping out solid live action comic book films ever since. Their vision is far reaching (check out their cinematic universe game plan) and execution solid. Even the fumbles made money (i.e. The Hulk). As a movie studio their eye for detail and consideration for the fans has been top notch. They are the bar by which all other superhero films are measured.
Yet with such an impressive pedigree they completely screwed over loyal fans by using their fandom against them. I’m talking about Agents of SHIELD, the uneven TV show that was loved by Marvel fans who were patiently waiting for the series to find its footing. We were very happy to see Coulson again and stuck around for the awesome storylines we knew this series would eventually tell. The jaw dropping plots finally did appear, but only by ruining an amazing sequel, CAPTAIN AMERICA 2: THE WINTER SOLDIER.
Before I go any further, please be aware that there are major spoilers after the break. I would hate for you to also have a fine feature film destroyed by this television series. In the spirit of TL;DR – Don’t watch Agents of SHIELD episode 17 “Turn, Turn, Turn” or anything afterwards if you haven’t seen CAPTAIN AMERICA 2.
As much as I loved the concept behind Agents of SHIELD it didn’t have the polish necessary to fulfill its potential. Plots were uneven as was the acting and production values. It was only my love of Agent Coulson’s character that kept me tuning in.
Slowly, I noticed the disparate story threads coming together and then they dropped the 17th episode, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and as the saying goes, that’s when shit got real.
HYDRA had been infiltrating SHIELD since the moment they were defeated in WWII, wisely choosing to hide in the shadows and feed off of SHIELD’s growth like a parasite. It was a rollercoaster of an episode with amazing revelations and incredible twists. The action was non-stop while the stakes couldn’t have been higher. I loved that episode and the ones that followed. It felt like Agents of SHIELD had finally found the foundation it needed.
After the joy faded I started getting worried. How much had the show chosen to reveal? When they had an episode that intersected with THOR: THE DARK WORLD they only made a passing reference to the movie, nothing was spoiled, but HYRDA coming back felt larger… a lot larger.
When I finally saw CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 all of my worst fears were confirmed. The entire plot, the key players, and even the epic final battle were revealed in Agents of SHIELD. I watched the film completely numb. The joy I expected from indulging in another one of Marvel’s spectacular films was instead replaced by a seething anger and disappointment. I couldn’t believe they were ignorant to the fact that a television show had given away the entirety of one of their blockbuster movies.
I didn’t care about a single minute of the film. The big “bad guy” reveal meant absolutely nothing. Captain America kicking ass was nice choreography, but otherwise hollow. Even the post credits scenes failed to illicit any emotion in me. It just didn’t matter.
What made matters worse was the impossible timeframe anyone had to enjoy both properties. CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 came out on April 4th, 2014. Agents of SHIELD episode 17 came out on April 8th, 2014. There were only four days before the TV show shat all over the film. FOUR FUCKING DAYS.
It feels as if Marvel didn’t give a shit about a fan unless they were contributing to the opening box office. One weekend was all you got, fuck you for being slow, and screw the fans waiting for the Blu-ray or VOD.
I’m an avid movie fan who is painstakingly cautious when it comes to spoilers, especially for movies I want to see. I avoid trailers, behind-the-scenes photos, and any manner of marketing. Just release the film and take my money. In this case, I felt like my loyalty to Marvel was completely betrayed. There was no warning or indication of the monumental spoilers held within a simple TV show. I still can’t fathom why they decided to go that route.
It’s a kick in the teeth to every fan who wanted to support their fledgling show, but couldn’t make it out to an opening weekend. It left me with a sour taste for Marvel and I’m not sure what to do about it.