Jeph Loeb has proclaimed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the heavyweight champion of the (Marvel TV) world. In the wake of The Avengers' record breaking success, movies were not enough for the Marvel machine, and following the death of beloved character Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the #CoulsonLives campaign, Marvel TV found a great idea for their first show. While it got off to a bumpy start as the showrunners waited for Captain America: The Winter Soldier to eliminate the series' main concept, S.H.I.E.L.D. picked itself back up and continued to get stronger.
The steady increase in quality and innovation has unfortunately not been met with an increase in viewership. Reports are Disney stopped ABC from cancelling the show after four seasons, and the early word from New York Comic-Con is that season five is another step in the right direction.
Not only was the sneak peek well received, but Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb started off the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel by praising all those involved with the show, and also the fans who have continued to support it. In the opening of the panel that Screen Rant attended, Loeb's praise of the show went so far for him to call S.H.I.E.L.D. "the heavyweight champions of the Marvel TV universe."
What exactly Loeb meant by this statement is not clear, but it could just be a testament to the show's unwillingness to cave. Despite ratings that continue to drop, S.H.I.E.L.D. has not faltered and only continued to improve. Thanks to a cast that viewers love and showrunners that never let the show get too comfortable with what it is trying to be, S.H.I.E.L.D. is a constantly evolving show. For that reason, it is fair of Loeb to call it the champion of Marvel TV, thanks to its longevity and ability to be the outlier in the way the quality trends.
S.H.I.E.L.D. was Marvel's first MCU show after all, so it undoubtedly holds a special place in Loeb's heart, but with several other shows out there, it may not always hold this hypothetical belt. Netflix has routinely produced strong content, but has yet to match and keep up with the quality of its early efforts in Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Meanwhile, Freeform will soon make an attempt for this crown with Cloak & Dagger coming soon and New Warriors in development. Hulu on the other hand has the next shot with Runaways coming in a few weeks and early buzz being incredibly positive. As other providers join the Marvel party, ABC is also experiencing negativity with Inhumans that not even the early portions of S.H.I.E.L.D. received.
As more and more content becomes available, it will be even more difficult for S.H.I.E.L.D. to be given this crown and it have some merit. Even though many would point to Netflix properties or even Agent Carter as being the crown jewel of Marvel TV, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been around the longest and is the only one (so far) to improve as it continues. Once more of these single season shows have their followup seasons released, the question will hopefully be tougher to answer. But for now, S.H.I.E.L.D. is the champ, at least according to Loeb.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 two-hour premiere airs Friday, December 1st beginning at 8pm on ABC.