As most Geeks do, I enjoy the work of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the various TV series, but with one noteworthy exception. For whatever reason, I never really got into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I watched the entire first season and a sprinkling of episodes in season two, but it never really grabbed me. I found the main team of agents dull, and mostly enjoyed the show for guest agents when and if they appeared. Then I discovered Arrow provided, in my honest opinion, much better superhero thrills at a portion of the budget.
But Comic Bento sent me a first trade featuring the characters of that series interacting with the regular comics-version of the Marvel Universe. How was it?
Not bad, but nothing to really write home about.
Featuring a team made up of the characters from the TV series, including the most current Deathlok and Mockingbird, the series utilizes the character history from the comic universe, not the TV show. That means Quake was once at the director-level of S.H.I.E.L.D., a position I suspect she’s never held on the show. That also means that writer Mark Guggenheim can play around a bit with established origins, showing Phil Coulson was once a friend and partner to the traitorous Agent Ward, and Fitz can ask May out. I’m not sure if Guggenheim and artist German Peralta are playing much with character ages since my recollection was Coulson and May were the older, experienced agents working with younger hotshots like Ward, Skye/Quake, Fitz, and Simmons, but at the least the series suggests either Coulson and May are a little younger or Ward is a little older or some combination therein.
At any rate, the plot for the volume kicks off when a guy in stolen Iron Man armor swipes a quantum drive from the Pentagon full of what becomes termed as the “Coulson Protocols”. It seems superhero fanboy Coulson had an ex-girlfriend named Lola. Lola was, unbeknownst to Coulson, a mind reader, and since Coulson was a big superhero buff, he thought about how all their powers and such worked and had come up with ways to take down most of the big heroes in the Marvel Universe. Lola had written these down and passed them along to her DoD superiors, and now someone had the prize and it is a race against the clock before someone uses these protocols to start putting a hurt on superheroes in ways Coulson himself never would.
As it is, setting the series in the Marvel Universe means that the comic can do things the TV series can’t, like have high-profile guest appearances from characters like Spider-Man or Iron Man without breaking the special effects budget or having to pay Robert Downey Jr. And while the storyline wasn’t bad, it also didn’t grab me. Plus, two chapters were part of the “Avengers Standoff” crossover, so some of the ideas that get floated around don’t amount to much since the answers appeared in other comics not included here.
Anyway, I didn’t mind it. Seven and a half Iron Thieves out of ten.
NEXT BOOK: Hey, one based on a show I actually enjoy when I get a chance to see it! From Oni Press, we have the adventures of Rick and Morty.