Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Are Back for Season 5!

If there were an award for Most Improved Television Series, the likelihood is high that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be a contender, if not the winner.  It started life not sure what it wanted to be, and seemed to survive primary on the strength of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who’s character had seemingly died in  2012’s The Avengers.

So, while it’s taken time to find its footing–arguably around the Second season–it’s developed into one of the best comicbook based series on television (seriously, if you haven’t watched since its first or second seasons you might want to give it a try because it’s really that good).

Though the bonus is that the series has been renewed for its fifth season!  Part of what aided in its renewal is the idea of story ‘pods’ by the producers, which is  a typical season consisting of three or four stories, as opposed to one or two,which has a curious effect of creating a faster-paced and much more enjoyable series.

Then there’s Ghost Rider (who arguably hasn’t been done better) and Inhumans.

Marvel’s Inhumans – Teaser Trailer

The teaser trailer for Marvel’s Inhumans dropped this morning (‘dropped.’  That sounds vaguely like a pregnancy reference.  Not sure how I feel about that) and typical of teasers, tells you next to nothing about Marvel Television’s upcoming series.

Or does it?

When the trailer first opens, you can see something as the word ‘Inhumans’ pans backward.  

Is it the Earth or Attilan (the city that the Inhumans live on the Moon)?


And the striking music, which to me speaks of hidden menace and a certain grandiosity, is certainly fitting…

And while it doesn’t make up for the fairly unimaginative interpretation–visually speaking–of Blackbolt, it’s certainly a start.

Marvel’s The Defenders – Official Trailer 

‘You look like an idiot,’  said Jessica Jones, as she and Matt Murdock walked down the immaculately white hallway, their very gait daring anyone to get in their way.

Murdock, a devil without a costume; wore a grey cloth around the upper half of his face,  responded tersely.

‘Your scarf.’

I had little doubt in my mind that the coming together of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would be awesome, but that small exchange washed them away because while it wasn’t a huge moment in a trailer full of them , those two short sentences told you volumes about Jones and Murdock.

Though they’ll have to sell me on the hallway fight.  Don’t get me wrong, the Defenders fighting in a coordinated fashion was pretty cool, though the hallway fight in Season One of Daredevil was quite possibly the best fight scene to take place in a hallway–in movies or television–that I have ever seen.

Which unfortunately has the effect of making other hallway fight scenes pale in comparison.

Another point worth mentioning is that the FX on all the Marvel Netflix series has been relatively subtle (typically there’s lots of wire work, fight choreography, and occasionally, gore effects) though they’re using Nirvana’s Come As You Are  in the trailer.

And while considering the nature of the undertaking is quite appropriate, it could not have been cheap.

So, I guess I’m saying that maybe if they had directed some of that cash toward special effects…

The Defenders – Elektra Teaser Trailer

2017, despite the reality of a Trump presidency, and all the insanity such an idea beings can be considered a golden age –especially if you happen to be a fan of superheroes because there are probably more viewing choices to choose from than there has ever been.

The while the CW isn’t known as ‘The DC Network,’ it might as well be considering how many superhero-based shows are live there (There are also comic book-based television on Fox and NBC as well).

And while DC entertainment may have staked a claim on the network television stage, Marvel Television has made it’s strongest showing on Netflix, where series based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have already aired, with more on the way (The Punisher, The Defenders and additional seasons of the already mentioned series’)

This is on top of the work Marvel Televisoon is doing for Freeform–formerly ABC Family) based on Cloak & Dagger and The New Warriors.

Like I said, there’s likely no better time to be a comics fan.

Cloak & Dagger – Trailer

The trailer for Marvel Television’s Cloak & Dagger dropped today, and I really liked it.

Sure, it went a bit heavy on the whole YA (Young Adult) angle, though when you take into account that it’s airing on Freeform–a name that sounds more like a type of women’s undergarment than a television network–which was formerly known as ABC Family.

What the trailer does well is set up a contrast between Tandy Bowen/Dagger (Olivia Holt), a well-to-do white girl and Tyrone Johnson/Cloak (Aubrey Joseph) a poor, struggling black teenager.

Iron Fist Revealed!

I understand that Marvel Television in its ‘street-level’ heroes tends to seek a more grounded, realistic esthetic than those typically employed by Marvel Studios.

That probably has a lot to do with why of all the Defenders only one, Daredevil, has a costume (which is more in the vein of tactical armor than a costume, per se).

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wear civilian clothes, as does Iron Fist (at least in the first season of his series).

And for awhile I thought that the latter in his civvies that might be a good decision, till I saw this image from the series.

 That’s Johnny Yang as an ‘Iron Fist’–which is less an individual than an honorific, though only one seems to exist in any given period of time–and he looks pretty awesome.

The way they muted the colors and gave the costume a very real-world feel works really well, and I would have been glad to see it in more detail.  It was technically in the series, though the footage of it was so (deliberately) blurry you couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Maybe they kept it under wraps because Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in–hopefully The Defenders–tries to capture some of his lost history, and dons the costume as a result.

 

Fists of Mud

I have to admit, I’m a bit concerned.

None of the three series Marvel has produced for Netflix thus far (two seasons of Daredevil, one of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage) have been without criticism, but typically it’s muted by the heaps of praise they receive.

Regrettably that had not been the case with Marvel’s Iron Fist, which out of the box is getting some scathingly negative reviews, something that the prior three series didn’t have to deal with.

The Hollywood Reporter says: ‘the partnership between Marvel and Netflix was due a dud.’

Variety claims that ‘Not one element of this plodding piece works.  The action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality.’

Now keep in mind that’s just two reviews–there’s a thrid, but Twitter keeps crashing on me when I’m linking to it–but while I am sure that there will be many more positive reviews, it’s the tone of the negative ones that rankle.