S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Story Behind the Superheroes


By Jordan Blackburn

Although it may seem like the TV show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is just a spin-off of the incredible success of the recent “Avengers” movie, it quickly proves it can rise above its franchise-boosting roots.
With an excellent mix of intriguing characters, well-timed humor and the perfect amount of suspenseful action,“S.H.I.EL.D.” proves that a show set in a super-heroic world doesn’t have to feature superheroes.
Leading the show is fan-favorite character Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who met his untimely death in “The Avengers.” His reappearance is only partially explained, and it is insinuated that Coulson’s reappearance could have darker implications than Coulson seems to believe.

The first storyline centers on Coulson’s attempt to build his ragtag yet charming group of outsiders who must band together in order to protect the world from the ever-increasing danger of superhumans, who have been running rampant ever since the events of “The Avengers.”
The second storyline follows Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) as he grapples with unstable superpowers as well as losing his job. The second storyline also introduces superhacker Skye (Chloe Bennet), a supremely irritating outsider intent on thwarting S.H.I.EL.D. at every turn.

Though the second storyline contains much of the plot and emotional impact of the show, watching Coulson assemble his team is more captivating. Weapons expert and ace pilot Melinda Mae (Ming-Na Wen) is calm, competent and not interested in combat work, although her aversion to field work is not fully explained.
Super science duo Leo Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstrige) provide welcome comic relief and incomprehensible techno-babble in equal measure. Watching them work together and utilize their strange inventions is one of the most entertaining parts of the show.

Finally, there’s Agent Grant Ward, a “specialist” who declares that he would rather work with bombs than human beings. Ward is cocky to the point of parody and is an unrealistic character.

“S.H.I.E.L.D.” can be silly at times, but it packs a surprising emotional punch, and Coulson’s optimistic attitude is both inspiring and refreshing, providing a break from shows where characters are constantly forced to make the “tough decisions.” Far from being juvenile, this type of attitude in a show reflects the kind of optimism necessary in a world where happy endings are rare and dark and edgy is the new status quo.