Fair warning: it’s entirely possible that I am going to be hyper-critical of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D..
It’s for a couple of reasons. First, it is a bear to type. Who names these things?* Second, I am usually a fan of Joss Whedon’s stuff, but sometimes I am not, and then it’s awkward. Third, and this is the big one, I am still a little bitter that Coulson’s not dead.
It meant a lot to me, Coulson’s death. Joss Whedon fridged a dude. And before he did it, he made me like him. Because Coulson was kind of a throw-away joke in Iron Man I, and I really disliked him in Thor, because he stood against love. And science. AND iPODS. But by the time The Avengers started, I had more or less come around. When Pepper starting calling him “Phil” and talking about cellists, I was all “NO! PEPPER STOP! THIS IS HOW YOU DIE IN COMIC BOOKS!”, and then he actually bought it, and I was very sad. But it worked. I walked out of that theatre thinking of ways in which Coulson might not be dead**, but in my heart, I was very pleased with how the story had unfolded.
And apparently it meant nothing. It wasn’t just a cheap trick Fury pulled to get Steve and Tony to stop deliberately antagonizing one another. It was a trick on all of us. All of us who thought, for just a moment, that something in the comic book world might have finally changed.
But death’s not permanent. Unless you’re a woman***.
So yeah, SHIELD will be funny. And the fight scenes’ll be nice. And I do actually kind of like Phil Coulson, even though I wish in this case he was a hologram or a clone or a hallucination or a chameleon. So I’m going to watch it. And I’ll probably like it. And I’ll probably have to eat a lot of crow. But I am never, ever going to forget what it cost me.
And I’m not sure if it’s going to be enough to make up the difference.
*Don’t answer that.
**That’s actually a lie. I walked out of the theatre trying to remember who Selvig was, and why the heck I was supposed to care about him, and then I remembered who he was, and also that I never cared about him in the first place, and then I spent the rest of the evening writing The Hammer and The Ice, which made me feel a lot better.
***The new Marvel movies are doing SO WELL at this, I should add. I had SUCH ANXIETY about Pepper, and I have SUCH ANXIETY about Jane, but so far, they have been really good. I guess all that means is that I expect them to be even better.