If you didn’t stick with the full first season of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to the season finale, you missed a lot.
Some non-spoilers include:
- A backlog of Whedonesque story-trope subversions, culminating in kaboom.
- Poignant explorations of the true nature of non-super-heroism versus supervillainy.
- Agent Skye, the “boring one,” is no longer boring and is instead sympathetic.
- Agent Ward, the other “boring one,” is also no longer boring.
- As in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury deus ex machina for the win. Then another win. And then another.
- Human evolution — by name and with all the religious connotations right alongside. And it’s not a good thing.
- How Coulson got his gun back.
But you’ll get more S.H.I.E.L.D. exploration — spoilers included — in my May 30 article at Christ and Pop Culture.
Thanks to the May 13 season 1 finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, I feel vindicated about my hopes for the series and encouraged by its honest look at human nature.
Marvel, when given a chance to take its unprecedented shared-universe superhero films to the small screen, chose to write stories that subvert naïve optimism about basically-decent government agencies and even human beings themselves.
What does this say about humans?
Clearly we do not believe our own press.
We may vote for real-life political leaders who promise basically-decent bureaucracies that only want to do some good. But we don’t trust big-government agencies in our fiction.
We may cheer for real-life heroes as if they’re beyond evil. But we understand completely when poser heroes in our fiction reveal their evil nature—and we favor their punishment.