In the big Marvel world, “Agents of SHIELD” is a real trendsetter. It talked about many important things and stories long before they appeared in the Marvel movies. This TV series, made by Marvel Television, started in the year 2013 and kept going for seven seasons.
Originally intended to run alongside the MCU’s cinematic releases, the show eventually forged its path, delving into unique storylines that would later influence the broader Marvel narrative. Let’s explore ten instances where “Agents of SHIELD” was ahead of the MCU curve.
The Darkhold’s Debut
The Darkhold, a mystical and powerful book of magic, manifested in “Agents of SHIELD” long before making its appearance in the MCU’s “WandaVision.” In Season 4 of the show, episodes “Meet the New Boss” and “Lockup,” the Darkhold played a pivotal role in creating the Quantum Particle Generator. This preceded its role in shaping events in the Wanda Maximoff-focused series.
Diversity in Casting
“Agents of SHIELD” took an early lead in prioritizing diversity in casting, featuring actors from varied backgrounds in significant roles. While the MCU faced early criticisms for its lack of diverse representation, “Agents of SHIELD” showcased Chinese-American actors like Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Bennet alongside Black and Hispanic performers.
Superhero Fan Turned Hero
The trope of a superhero fan evolving into a hero was effectively portrayed in “Agents of SHIELD” before becoming a recurring theme in the MCU. Daisy Johnson, formerly Skye, demonstrated this transition, evolving from a superhero enthusiast to the powerful Quake.
Enoch as the Observer
While the MCU introduced the Watchers in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Agents of SHIELD” brought forth the Chronicoms in Season 5 of the show, Enoch, a Chronicom character, assumed a role akin to Uatu from “What If…?,” intervening in the affairs of humans and engaging in battles against his own kind.
LMDs and Secret Invasion
“Agents of SHIELD” took the reins in exploring the Secret Invasion storyline before it was incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead of Skrulls, the show utilized Life Model Decoys (LMDs) in Season 4 of the show. This provided an intriguing espionage narrative with key SHIELD members being replaced by LMDs.
Long before the MCU delved into the complexities of the multiverse in “Loki” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” “Agents of SHIELD” navigated through alternate realities, time travel, and different timelines. Season 5, in particular, saw the team altering the timeline, creating new histories and timelines.
Time Travel Antics
“Agents of SHIELD” embraced time travel in its final season, sending the team through various historical periods. Interestingly, this preceded the MCU’s exploration of time travel in “Avengers: Endgame,” where Tony Stark’s discovery played a crucial role.
Champion of HYDRA – Hive
While not explicitly stated to be the same entity, the resemblance between “Agents of SHIELD’s” Hive and the “Champion of HYDRA” in “What If…?” is uncanny. Both exhibit tentacled appearances, leaving room for speculation about a potential connection.
Themed Title Sequence
“Agents of SHIELD” incorporated a unique touch by featuring themed title cards for each season and episode. This practice became more prominent in recent MCU projects, where the opening logo intro is tailored to the theme of the specific project.
Inhumans’ Early Introduction: Black Bolt World
In Season 2 of “Agents of SHIELD,” they brought in the idea of Inhumans. This was like preparing for a movie about Inhumans in the big Marvel movie series, but that movie didn’t happen.
Many Marvel fans were heartbroken after this. Even though the movie was a no-go, the show started the idea of these super-powered beings, and that was different from the main Marvel movies.
In summary, “Agents of SHIELD” emerges as a precursor to many elements that later found their place in the MCU. The show’s ability to venture into diverse narratives and explore uncharted territories allowed it to be a trendsetter, offering audiences a glimpse into Marvel’s vast possibilities well before they unfolded on the cinematic stage.
As Marvel continues to weave its intricate tapestry, “Agents of SHIELD” remains a pivotal piece in the evolution of the Marvel narrative landscape.