It may be weird to think about today, but the MCU began with humble roots. Eight years ago, the announcement of Iron Man making its way to the big screen raised a few eyebrows about whether or not Marvel had any business stepping directly into the movie-making game. Now, of course, Marvel is the studio everyone wants to emulate.
The roster of MCU heroes grows bigger with every passing year. By the time 2016 comes to a close, there will be 14 entries into the MCU movie canon, and Marvel will once again (most likely) be the box office champions of the year. As big as their movies have become in popular culture, they’ve also made quite the splash on television. Since 2013, with the launch of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel has produced eight seasons of television across four shows, with more on the way. The television side of the MCU is quickly becoming just a large as its cinematic counterpart, and potentially as influential. Still, for all the interconnectedness within the MCU as a whole, the synergy between the shows and the movies has lessened over the years, causing a sense of frustration for at least one Marvel TV actress.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet participated in a panel recently at the Des Moines Wizard World Comic Con with Bleeding Cool. Bennet discussed the series and the show’s future, but she also took some time to comment on the lack of acknowledgement the movies show towards the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest of the Marvel TV roster.
“But I am kind of, like, ready for Steve Rogers to make an appearance on our show. I’d be ok with that. And like, where’s Romanoff? Where’s the Avengers?…I don’t know. People who make movies for Marvel, why don’t you acknowledge what happens on our show? Why don’t you guys go ask them that? Cause they don’t seem to care!...I would love that. The Marvel Cinematic Universe loves to pretend that everything is connected, but then they don’t acknowledge our show at all. So, I would love to do that, but they don’t seem too keen on that idea.”
There are, of course, practical issues at stake when considering members of the Avengers making an appearance on a show like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; the actors behind your favorite heroes don’t come cheap, making their inclusion somewhat difficult to procure in the relatively low-budget world of television drama. Beyond that, however, is it really necessary?
While characters have crossed over before, notably with Thor’s Lady Sif in season 1 and season 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been able to grow as a series since abandoning its direct ties to the MCU as a whole. The show’s first season was hampered by criticisms of moving too slowly and having an over-reliance on stock characters and tropes. This, of course, was a result of the series having to maintain the Hydra/S.H.I.E.L.D. twist revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the tie-in for which remains a turning point for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the minds of both fans and critics.
High point or no, season 1 remains somewhat stunted due its reliance on the events of Winter Soldier to tell its narrative. Seasons 2 and 3, meanwhile, have seen the series move away from the movies and as a result the series has improved.
The same can be said of Daredevil and Jessica Jones. While the first season of Daredevil did its best to tie into the world of the MCU with winks and nods here and there, for the most part both series focused solely on building up their corner of the shared universe, without much consideration given to the events of the movies.
It’s an effective, if not imperfect, balance that has let all of the Marvel properties grow in their own ways without being a hindrance on either the individual or overarching narratives. Still, Bennet’s frustration isn’t completely unwarranted. In recent months, Marvel has made it a point to state that the movie writers won’t pay much attention to what happens on TV in the crafting of their narratives. That does make it seem as though TV is the marginalized step-child of the universe, and that must be somewhat disheartening.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically has spent the last two seasons finishing off Hydra as an effective organization, and none of their accomplishments were acknowledged in Captain America: Civil War. That seems as though it would’ve been at least somewhat relevant to the interests of Captain America, and the lack of that shared continuity does lessen the impact of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s gains in the last season.
Still, a universe as large and as fluid as the MCU is a new beast to the world of cinema, and it’s not suprising that writers and producers would find some kinks in trying to make it work with complete synergy. It would be nice if Coulson, May, and Daisy eventually make an appearance in an Avengers movie, or even vice versa, but, for now, they seem to be doing a decent job at maintaining the balance and letting everything grow organically on its own.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 finale airs Tuesday May 17 at 9pm on ABC.
Source: Bleeding Cool