Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Agents of SHIELD No Longer Sucks (Yay?)

So, that took forever.

Everyone knows just how much I have personally hated Agents of SHIELD, and the crap they've pulled over their year and a half of existence. From the start, they had problems. "Original" characters who were as original as cardboard cutouts. Plots that had nothing to do with the Marvelverse until The Winter Soldier film bigfooted them like Godzilla.  They could barely be bothered to bring out minor, insignificant parts of the Marvelverse for street-level villainy.    We won't even go into the creepy sex relationship.  And the less said about how much Arrow beats them like a drum isn't even funny.

Then there was this year, and even the Novel Ninja likes it now.  To start with, they had an overarching plot by bringing in Hydra as a villain. About time.  They had some of the crap from last year come up again, making it relevant. Also, about time. Hell, I'm happy to see these people realize that they're a comic book show around a spy comic book. Which means let's do some f**king espionage, people!  Seriously, we had to take most of last season to get to some real, honest-to-God spy stuff, and they went into it all the way this year. It's a nice change. You know, a plot and all, that always helps.

They had two never-before-seen Marvel villains debut on AoS with Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man (who usually takes on the incredible Hulk for an outing, but I won't be picky at this point), as well as a Hydra agents named for (and acting like) Iron Man villain Whiplash. And Reed Diamond has been fun as the villainous Dr. Whitehall. Ward became interesting as the product of a psychotic household, and an evil bastard. Adrianne Palicki has redeemed herself for the terrible Wonder Woman pilot by playing another comic character, Bobbi Morse (aka: Mockingbird), and she's got some interesting chemistry with Nick Blood's Lance Hunter, as well as -- gasp! -- conflict.

Heck, it's been nice to see Agent Phil Coulson come back as ... Phil Coulson.  While actor Clark Gregg has been carrying most of the show on his back just on his natural charm and charisma, he feels like he's fully settled into his role, now that he's become Director of SHIELD, trying to pick up the pieces of Nick Fury's mistake and assemble it into a more stable, Hydra-free whole.

But, everyone else has had character upgrades as well.  The "aren't they cute" couple of Fitz-Simmons was broken up.  She went undercover with Hydra, he had brain damage ... though there are moments where it feels like his brain damage is an act of cruelty, and she's been acting so radically different, it seems out of character, but right now, I'll take it.

Melinda May hasn't had sex with anyone half her age this year. So, yay. That was really my only problem with her last season.

And Skye ... well, they did it. They finally made Skye relevant to the plot.  Mostly by making her a completely different person.  Look up the Marvel comic character "Quake," and that's her.  She was apparently born with the name Daisy, which makes her psycho-father "Cal", (Twin Peaks actor Kyle MacLachlain), Mr. Hyde.  And they're using her to tie-in to the Inhuman section of the Marvelverse.

For the record, that means that they pulled it out of their butts.  Inhuman was only just announced as a movie, and I have problems imagining that Inhumans was on the movie slate from the start of the series. It strains credulity. But still, they're handling it well.

All in all, it might actually pass for good in most circles.

Dear Marvel: don't f**k it up again.

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