Marvel's Agents of SHIELD... MARVEL'S!

A lot of people have complained that Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is disappointing because it doesn't really feature Marvel characters. Well, let's see. After 8 episodes, for the record, here are the characters that were featured both on the show AND in the comics (excluding flashbacks to movie footage, like this week's Thor referencing).
Agent Coulson (regular; first appeared in the films, but since become a character in the comics)
Maria Hill (Pilot; as a link to the films and could join the cast once Cobie Smulders is released from How I Met Your Mother)
Nick Fury (0-8-4; this version first appeared in the Ultimate line, then in the films, and is now in the main line as an illegitimate son of the original)
Graviton (The Asset; the scientist Franklin Hall is the civilian identity of this Marvel supervillain)
Scorch (Girl in the Flower Dress; Marvel has had a few characters called Scorch, but none with the Chan Ho Yin identity seen on the show)
Victoria Hand (The Hub; she's been an Agent of SHIELD in the comics since Invincible Iron Man #8, 2008)
Agent Sitwell (The Hub; Jasper's been an Agent of SHIELD much longer, since Strange Tales #144,1966, and is slated to appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

So to date, seven actual Marvel characters, though others are somewhat inspired by Marvel characters (there's a Luke Cage type in the pilot, a Asgardian in The Well, Centipede sounds like a down-market Hydra, and its been suggested a mysterious character was actually the Fixer). I don't know that it would help the show if they had less obscure characters making appearances, but it's certainly playing a long game so as not to upset the movie cart. If it survives to a second season, we might actually see - gasp! - costumes! But I'm not holding my breath that long.


Diabolu Frank said...

Jasper Sitwell apparently had his film debut in Thor, but I didn't notice him until his spotlight "The Consultant," a short film on the Blu-Ray edition that cobbled together and recontextualized scenes from Incredible Hulk with interstitials featuring Sitwell briefing Coulson.

Siskoid said...

Well, there you go, I didn't notice!

Unknown said...

Graviton is powerful enough to be featured in one of the Marvel Movies.

Randal said...

Agent Blake may be a comics transfer...the Marvel Movie Wiki mentions there is an actual comics agent named Blake, but it's unknown if it's supposed to be the same one.

Siskoid said...

David: And it'd be great if he got owned by Hawkeye if he ever did.

Randal: I think there's a competition for most obscure going on.

Unknown said...

This is my big problem with Agents of SHIELD, too -- the only thing Marvel actually owns is the "SHIELD" name.

Hell, the guy who was the focal point of the pilot who was obviously Luke Cage even had a different name. I don't really see the point, what does ANY of this have to do with Marvel? This show gives me Mutant X flashbacks, I swear.

Siskoid said...

To play devil's advocate, the latest episode did start with the fallout and clean-up from Thor the Dark World, having SHIELD act more or less like Damage Control would in the first arc. So the connection is there.

Perhaps they're unable to use certain properties in case the movies (or other TV shows in development) want to use them.

I think that if the characters and stories were uniformly great and not a white bread version of Torchwood or whatever, no one would care how close they actually got to the Marvel Universe. But since they're not, we're looking for other things to justify the time we spend watching it.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the name "Centipede" also actually come from references in Hickman's SECRET WARRIORS (from the Centipede Files on potential agents/metas or somesuch)? I've seen that referenced from multiple commenters online.

Siskoid said...

I think those commenters were confused and meant the Caterpillar Files.

American Hawkman said...

The Overkill Horn from the classic Nick Fury run in Strange Tales made it in a few episodes back.

Siskoid said...

To compare, after 8 episodes of Arrow, here are the number of DC characters that have actually appeared:

Green Arrow
Speedy (-ish)
Laurel Lance (Black Canary-ish)
Moira Queen
Walter Steele
Robert Queen
China White
Edward Fyers
Yao Fei
Felicity Smoak
Royal Flush Gang (almost; Derek Reston was a CEO who created the Ace android in JLA 204)

Quentin Lance (reconfigured Larry Lance?)

John Diggle and Tommy Merlyn have since appeared in the comics.

As much as DC screws the pooch on movies compared to Marvel, they've got the TV thing down pat.


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