Infinity War and Beyond
SHIELD has always done a great job reacting to the larger events from the films, from the Hydra takeover in Winter Soldier to the clash of colleagues in Civil War. Along the way, fans have been eager to see the favor returned. After all, both SHIELD and Coulson debuted in the movies and the temporary death of the latter essentially ignited the Avengers as a team. Since that time, rumors have swirled that movies like Age of Ultron and Civil War would find a way to bring back Coulson and include some of his team. And while both films had clear openings for such a move, they chose to ignore the continuity of the show. Even the presence of the Inhumans has been ignored, calling into question how truly connected the two sides of the MCU are to each other.
With Infinity War, the scale seems too monumental to ignore. We’ve seen various actors from the films report for training and shooting, but so far there’s been no word if any of the TV shows will connect. While it makes sense that the Netflix series might stay in New York, Infinity War will have to go out of its way to ignore SHIELD.
Aside from the fact that even the President of the U.S. is aware of Coulson, SHIELD, and the Inhumans, the team’s continual intervention seems like it would have been noticed by Tony and Steve. Regardless, the many attacks on Earth that have already been hinted at for Infinity War mean it will be hard to justify SHIELD sitting out of the action. With Infinity War set to introduce new characters from the comics, the least the film could do is rope in some existing heroes from TV. And now that Coulson is in space, it almost seems as if the show is daring the movie not to include them.
While that notion is enjoyable, it’s a safe bet that Kevin Feige knows exactly what the show is planning and that the move to space was given the OK. What’s less clear is how the Avengers will be able to ignore some sort of space station floating around when they go to war with Thanos. If the Inhumans and SWORD are also involved, it’s hard to imagine ABC’s shows not factoring into Infinity War in some way. Given that both Inhumans and SHIELD spun out of the film division, it’s easy to see them factoring into a movie that’s set to be the culmination of the entire MCU so far.
With the monumental impact of Coulson’s death in The Avengers, it would be a truly special moment to see him ride in to help his former teammates once again as they battle the biggest threat they’ve ever faced. Whether the assist comes from Earth or space, Coulson and his team of agents and Inhumans have proven to be just as skilled, intelligent, and super-powered as the Avengers. When it comes time to face Thanos and his minions, both Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Marvel Studios would be wise to include Coulson, Quake, and the agents of SHIELD.
Over the next year, we’ll be learning a lot more about Infinity War, Inhumans, and season five of Agents of SHIELD. The timetable would certainly allow each project to connect with the others, so the ball is in Kevin Feige’s court. While the writers of the movie and each show may not be aware of the nitty gritty of each story, SHIELD has more than earned a place of prominence in the MCU. From kickstarting the Avengers to introducing the Inhumans, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has held up its end of the promise that the MCU is all connected. Now, it’s time for the favor to be returned.