Marvel's Agents of SHIELD premiered this past week and I could not be more thrilled. But before I rave about how awesome it was to see Quake and Ghost Rider duke it out, I need to rant.
Agents of SHIELD up to now was an okay show, but it could have been a great show. I don’t think it’s the fault of the show runners though. They are handcuffed by Corporate. The first season was just biding its time in order to introduce Inhumans. Even afterwards we’re forced to sit through Ward being evil and the Agents trying to stop him…all for just a morsel of anything remotely attached to the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Time and time again ratings show that crossovers and Macro-Universe stories are the best. Every time Flash and the Green Arrow meet, ratings skyrocket. Because they are fun. However no major characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe make an appearance or acknowledge the metahuman level chaos occurring on the ground floor that is Agents of SHIELD.
There is a girl with earthquake powers and Tony Stark decides not to pay her a visit? I call bullshit. So does Chloe Bennet. Chloe (the best thing about the show) who plays Daisy Johnson, went on record saying that the fact Marvel and the MCU has practically shunned their kid brother TV show is disgraceful. Props to her standing up to the Big Boys.
The Higher-Ups responded saying that the film schedules and locations are impossible to coordinate so a sensible crossover is not likely. Again, this is bull, Chris Evans could sit in front of a webcam as Steve Rogers and give Daisy props for sticking to her guns and going rogue. The producers could generate a CGI Iron Man doing a quick flyby. In television and film, there are countless stories of problems occurring on set and producers coming up with creative solutions. I just came up with two on the spot. The Higher-Ups are just too scared to take any kind of chance, for fear the diehard fans will call foul. I think I speak for all of us in that we’d rather see the MCU acknowledge our beloved TV characters.
Some might argue that Marvel is listening to us and thus gave us Ghost Rider. Don’t mistake this gift with the larger problem of a lack of crossovers.
Ok rant over.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that my last post included a list of my “Must Watch” TV shows. Number one on that list? That’s right Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – Ghost Rider. I know full well they are trying to sucker in new viewers by adding a new actually notable Marvel Character. Because let’s be honest Deathlok was disappointing and it took me two seasons to realize Bobbi was Mockingbird, a character from the books. A of S has had so many chances to hit a home run but instead they just get by.
After watching the season four premiere, I can confidently say that this will be the best season by far. Ghost Rider is an A-List character pulled from the Marvel treasure chest that will add so much to the show. He brings to the table a gritty dynamic character with badass powers. This takes the weight off of Daisy’s shoulders, who was carrying the show.
I felt like I was watching a Marvel Studio product for the first time. Overall the shows quality felt on par with the MCU with decent special effects and great fight scenes. Because of the new timeslot at 10pm the show can afford to go darker, but fortunately it doesn’t crossover into depressing (*cough* DCCU). Anyone remember “ICERs guns?” Fortunately, we can put those “kid-friendly alternatives” to rest, it was slowing the show down.
I’m still mad at Marvel for shunning A of S, but I’m glad that they’re giving the show the tools to be a success and an enjoyable watch.
I highly encourage you tell your friends to watch A of S. The show’s lifeblood is ratings and I don’t want it to die. I promise you that Agents of SHIELD has gotten a makeover and is on par with the MCU and Netflix. I say this based on the small sample given. Yes, we will still have hokey story lines like Life Model Decoys but that’s what makes the show unique and fun. I hope the show runners will be able to maintain that perfect balance of serious and fun.
3.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the premiere, which is about the average for the show. This is impressive however given the 10pm slot being a difficult one. I also suspect the show will see a boost in numbers given the rave reviews by fellow bloggers and pop culture sites. I’m revving up my DVR and counting the minutes till I can watch Episode Two. Till then I’ll just dust off my old Ghost Rider comics to tide me over.
Excelsior my friends!
After a long awaited year I finally was able to attend the Hall of Fame Comic Con in Canton, Ohio. When the venue was announced a year ago, I immediately followed the Con on Facebook only to be tortured on a weekly basis by announcements and posts. Imagine being told to wait a year to open a present and someone sending you a Snapchat of said present weekly.
Low and behold the magical day arrived. My friends and I drove to the Civic Center, home of the Canton Charge, to see people flooding in. The convention runners didn’t anticipate the number people, booking a mid-size room instead of the basketball court where the Charge play. Big mistake. It was crowded. You had about a six-inch bubble from person to person.
Quick Sidebar: Cosplaying Harley Quinn is extremely unoriginal. You’d think people would get this by now. Yes, the movie was a semi-success and the character a major success, but still. If I was playing a drinking game (one shot per Harley), paramedics would need to cart me out of the Civic Center. I challenge all the girls out there (or guys, I don’t judge) to break the cycle and up their game.
Because the room was crowded, it was hard to appreciate the venues. The program touted Artist Alley but finding them among the mass of people was no easy feat. Notable names were George Perez, Howard Chaykin and James Patrick. George was a champ, dishing out drawings to fans (see below) and free autographs. The line was a long one so I snapped a picture and dove into the dollar comics bin.
The biggest name was Jim Steranko co-creator of Nick Fury, Agents of SHIELD and artist to the classics like Superman, Captain America, The Hulk and the X-Men. I tried to take a photo of the man at work and some assistant literally photobombed it. She glared at me - no photos. Is there some protocol to photos I should know about? Comment and tell me please, I don’t know. I respected her wishes and went on my marry way.
The cosplay was decent but nothing grabbed my eye. One guy had a great Steve Rogers Captain America Civil War costume. He had every detail nailed including Chris Evans jawline. He could’ve been his stunt double. Everyone flocked to him so I couldn’t get a pic in passing. Remember, the room is jam packed so you couldn’t wander. You went with the flow and if you wanted to go somewhere you deliberately made an effort to get there.
I don’t mean to rag on the HOF Comic Convention. I actually loved every second of it. It was a great experience and I was sad to leave. It was probably for the best since I was at risk of buying more comics. I got enough issues at home waiting to be read. I grabbed some Dr. Strange in honor of the movie and I snatched up some dollar Battlestar Galactica. I just recently discovered the show and I can’t wait to read the comic version.
The HOF Comics Convention made great strides. It was small but has a lot of potential. The creators saw the Comic Book Boom and thought that now is the time to capitalize on it and spread the joy. In their letter of thanks they mention “see you next year,” a promise I hope they keep. Given the hundreds of people that came, the HOF Comic Convention will hopefully expand. I have hopes of bigger names, bigger crowds and hopefully a bigger convention hall. Also, free swag is always an added plus.
Excelsior My Friends!
A major reason I’ve opted to start blogging now is because it’s Superhero TV season. That’s right, virtually every TV network is trying to cash in on the Superhero craze, with mixed results. Even obscure titles are getting the nod. I frankly have never heard of Legion of the X-Men, but when I read up on him he seems like a unique story. I predict that it’ll get cancelled after one season because it’s not a big enough name. That’s my hot take. I was surprised and overjoyed when I heard Hulu bought the rights to The Runaways, a great sub-story of the Marvel Universe about children of a super villain crime syndicate. Hopefully they do the book justice, although I worry about Hulu’s weak following (12 million last reported) compared to Netflix 70+ million. Their growth is slow so they might not risk “Hulu Originals” the same way Netflix can. Even networks are using the super hero momentum to boost their ratings. Powerless on NBC will feature an insurance adjuster in a DC universe…oh and it’s a comedy.
The staples are coming back as well. The fun Flash will try to convince us that we want to watch yet another villain speedster. Arrow will try to obliterate the city (even more so) if it means Oliver is forced to pick up a bow. Supergirl will fight for her city…and screen time with the now distracting Superman casting. Let the woman have her show dammit! Alas, I’ll save that rant for when the season premieres. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been injected with new life with Ghost Rider but will still be treated like the MCU’s annoying little cousin, ignored at reunions. Truly the biggest crime committed by an otherwise brilliant Marvel company. Rant to come.
Yes, we have plethora of shows and heroes to come, especially if you were fortunate you remembered your Ex’s Netflix password. I cannot contain my excitement for Jessica Jones Season Two.
Now with all these shows, you may find yourself cutting the B-listers. I’ll give Powerless a shot but I don’t expect much. The CW needs to take Legends of Tomorrow behind the barn and shoot it. Don’t peddle crappy storylines and bogus timelines just because fans are dying of thirst for a crossover. Supergirl will get another shot but she better grow up fast or else fans will get bored of the same peppy storylines of triumph. I didn’t even finish the first season.
It will be interesting to see how the ratings pan out, how writer and producers will evolve. Some shows are in their contract year (sports term for all you not familiar) where it’s perform or be cut. All we can hope for is that stories will captivate audiences and not placate them. We must hope that producers do the heroes justice and write decent stories and not serial soap operas. Either way, Super Hero Season is upon us so fire up your DVRs and brace yourselves for the onslaught.
Excelsior My Friends
AJ’s List of Comic Book TV Shows
Ahh yes the nerdy blog post. A staple nowadays with the rise of Nerd Pop Culture. I figured now is the time for me to throw my hat in the ring and join the collective noise of inhaler puffs, scoffs and the proverbial “THAT’S NOT CANON!” The fact is Comic Book Pop Culture is dominating the world. “Nerdy” is no longer a bad thing. People finally saw past the notion that comics are for children when in fact the stories are pretty damn good. If you don’t believe me then feel free to peruse through the rest of this modest website. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve read my eloquently written essentially-a-research-paper feature piece, you know that I was onto something. This past week, comic sales were released and we’ve reached a 20 year high in numbers. The most in sales since the 90s “comics bubble” where everyone thought that if they bought the new Superman #1, that it would eventually pay for their kid’s college. Not so much.
This time around it’s due to the movies. Something I predicted in the original feature piece on this website. I’m glad we’re on the same page.
Which brings me to my next phase…blogging. Specifically about things in the comic book realm. While I could dazzle you with extensive research and follow up material…I won’t…because frankly that’s a lot of work and this industry is supposed to be fun. Unless of course you’re Zach Snyder. Then it’s super melodramatic.
No I think I’ll stick to my nerdy rants about anything and everything Comics Culture. Much of what I say will be my honest opinion, written with a vocabulary that has saved my ass many times during college. You’ll be surprised how many B’s became A’s because I would drop words like “contrived” and “parsimonious.” Look it up.
As to my resume…well I was my school’s newspaper editor for about a month until I realized no one read the school newspaper. I have Communications degree which means “Smart and Unemployed” and I love comics. My God do I love comics. I have over a thousand issues and graphic novels. I’ve seen every super hero movie except the new Fantastic Four (just doing my civic duty boycotting that trainwreck).
These blog posts will likely be film reviews or mental ramblings. I can’t attest to the length (“attest” is another grade booster by the way) however I can promise that it’ll be longer then a tweet. You can follow Comic Book BOOM on Twitter for that.
If my resume doesn’t impress or you’re tired of my dazzling bullshittery then I bid you ado. To the rest, feel free to share these posts if you like them and let’s enjoy comics and their moment in the limelight.