Marvel Studios are brilliant when it comes to the creation and marketing of their properties as films. They had some huge hits with Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger but really threw the whole industry for a spin when they pretty much achieved the impossible and made an ensemble superhero film that worked with The Avengers. They continue to innovate by making a sequel that improves upon the original with this year’s megahit Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But the real innovation came when they decided to directly cross over storylines between that movie and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show that was in the middle of its first season at the time. They directly crossed the stories on the same week with the story starting on the big screen on a Friday and the aftermath of that story picking up on the small screen the following Tuesday. And what it did for the show was improve the story, improve the character development and up the show’s ratings significantly. This was an unprecedented move in both film and TV history. Now on the same day as the home video release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier you can also own Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season and see it all firsthand.
After the events in the film The Avengers, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), who was thought to be dead, mysteriously reappears to head up an elite S.H.I.E.L.D. team tasked with finding extreme threats to national security and dealing with the potential supervillains. When it is revealed that the evil organization Hydra has been operating within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, it is up to Coulson and his team to be the last operating agents for good even as they are suspected of being part of Hydra. They must find a way to keep the true purpose of S.H.I.E.L.D. alive and continue to protect the world.
The first half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season is hit and miss. It seems like it is unsure of what it wants to be and is a mixed bag of good and bad ideas. But once it hits that Captain America: The Winter Soldier storyline point, the show is significantly better. The storyline becomes more concentrated and cohesive, the characters have more at stake and the writing and pacing seem much more logical and enjoyable. For a show I was ready to leave they really won be back with the second half. And I must say that Clark Gregg really is a revelation as Coulson. He is so great in the role and so fun to watch he really is a great anchor for the excellent cast.
The Blu-ray set for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season is excellent and really does resemble a feature film every week (except for the lower budget effects). The set is also loaded with some great special features for Marvel fans. The show was on the verge of being doomed but may have been saved by none other than Captain America himself. Now they just have to keep it up in Season Two.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.