During the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Marvel and ABC reps were present to talk about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., offering some details on what’s coming up in the final stretch of the show’s first season. The live-action Marvel series has been subject of much scrutiny and criticism since its premiere for its ratings drops, mixed reviews and failure to capitalize on its comic book roots or place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
ABC entertainment president Paul Lee spoke earlier at the event, addressing the issues and admitting disappointment, but like series executive producer Jeffrey Bell and Marvel’s TV boss Jeph Loeb said a month ago said, they’re now making an effort to work “closely with the studios” in order to bring in more connections to the films and more characters from the source material.
And we already know some of that is on the way with Marvel announcing that Jaimie Alexander’s Lady Sif (Thor and Thor: The Dark World) will be making an appearance and signing signing Bill Paxton on to a four-episode arc as John Garrett, another character from Marvel Comics.
With Sif coming to Earth from Asgard on a special mission, we wondered what that could mean. Marvel previous had a tie-in episode with Thor: The Dark World and it didn’t really connect to the comics or films, so this time they’re attempting to make up for that missed opportunity. During the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. presentation today, footage was shown from episode 15 revealing Sif squaring off in battle against Lorelei, a key character from Thor comics who will be played by Elene Satine.
Our immediate question concerns whether or not Sif will meet up with Thor while on Earth since he chose to live with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) at the end of the Thor sequel. It’s highly unlikely to get a film star like Chris Hemsworth to appear in the series but for the sake of connectivity and character stories it’s arguably weak for the story not to. Sif and Thor share strong feelings for one another and there’s no way either would pass up the opportunity in meeting up – in a perfect universe.
Marvel also took the opportunity to confirm what fans had been speculating since the last scene in episode 12 (“Seeds”) where Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) was revealed to still be alive but missing limbs. He will become the Marvel Comics cyborg known as Deathlok in the coming episodes. Loeb on the introduction of a key character (and technology) from Marvel’s library:
“We’ve been leaving breadcrumbs along the way. This is a major Marvel character appearing on TV, on film for the first time.”
Loeb, Bell and the other Marvel and Agents of SHIELD reps present heightened expectations for the remaining episodes by explaining that everything fans have seen so far is just setting up for the “back half of the movie” and that they’re finally ready to “pull the trigger” on the goods. There was no talk however, of if and how the series may or may not tie-in or setup the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which just so happens to release near the finale date of the show’s first season.
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, February 4th @8pm on ABC.
Thor: The Dark World releases on 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray and DVD February 25th.