Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lives in an oddly unique place among network television series, tasked with operating as an independent entity with its own set of characters and ongoing storylines while also playing a (somewhat thankless) role in the mechanics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show not only sets up and pays off tertiary plot threads from the more prominent Marvel Studios movies, but also serves as a semi-weekly reflection of the MCU’s ever-changing status quo – even though the logistics of television means the producers can’t know many of their film counterparts’ long-term plans.
In spite of this, the S.H.I.E.L.D. series has found continued success and a loyal following; enough for the network to grant it a highly-anticipated spin-off in the form of Marvel’s Most Wanted. Now the latter has a synopsis, too.
The synopsis was revealed as part of a report at Deadline outlining the ABC Television Network’s (a division of The Walt Disney Company, like Marvel Studios) pilot orders for 2016 – which includes both series that have already been given a place on the network’s fall schedule and those, like Most Wanted, which are being officially asked to produce a pilot episode for consideration by executives. The logline for Marvel’s Most Wanted reads as follows:
MARVEL’S MOST WANTED
STUDIO: Marvel Television
TEAM: Jeffrey Bell (w, ep), Paul Zbyszewski (w, ep), Jeph Loeb (ep), Jim Chory (ep)
LOGLINE: Centers on Bobbi Morse (a.k.a. Mockingbird) and Lance Hunter of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., two ex-spies and ex-spouses who are on the run with no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D. and a long list of enemies looking to claim a bounty on their heads. Able to trust no one but each other, Bobbi and Hunter form an uneasy alliance with Dominic Fortune, a rogue adventurer with a wealth of resources and even more adversaries, who agrees to protect them so long as they help him with his own agenda. These two heroes will help anyone in need, all while trying to uncover the conspiracy that put their own lives in jeopardy.
CAST: Adrianne Palicki, Nick Blood, Delroy Lindo
While much of this could charitably be called “boilerplate,” (these are, after all, summaries mainly for a industry-insider audience of projects that may not ever become broadcast series) fans looking to read between the lines can conceivably glean a few interesting clues about what the MCU will look like in the second half of 2016. For one thing, “aka Mockingbird” in the title line suggests that they are at least considering calling the series “Mockingbird” after Agent Bobbi Morse’s (Adrianne Palicki) superhero-moniker in her original comics incarnation – a move that would make a certain degree of sense, given the current popularity of character-titled superhero series like Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl.
More substantially, though, “no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D.” implies that not only will Bobbi and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) be somehow separated from their current S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriots… it’s possible that S.H.I.E.L.D. itself – already downgraded from a huge multinational spy agency to a smaller underground shadow organization – may soon cease to be, too. That’s not exactly an implausible scenario, either, given that the heroes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are due to face their most deadly threat ever in the form of a powerful Marvel supervillain now inhabiting the body of their old nemesis Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) – to say nothing of aftershocks likely to be felt from Captain America: Civil War.
Otherwise, not much is known about the series’ actual premise; although its setup of Morse as part of a globe-trotting heroic duo who were formerly (and maybe once again?) romantic partners is unmistakably similar to the relationship between Mockingbird and Clint “Hawkeye” Barton in the comics, which was a popular story running through various Marvel books in the mid-1980s and was revived (long story) in 2010 for a six-issue Hawkeye & Mockingbird limited series. Of note, that book also featured a supporting role for Dominic Fortune, an exceptionally long-lived (long story) 1930s pulp-adventure hero a version of which is set to be portrayed by Delroy Lindo in Marvel’s Most Wanted.
Marvel’s Most Wanted currently has a pilot order but no scheduled debut. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC.