Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is currently in its 3rd season and during those episodes, as well as the previous 2 seasons, ABC and Marvel have included egg after egg. Some of the eggs the show has provided were so obvious it was painful like the Thor 2 tie-in while others much much less obvious like Phil Coulson’s reference to The Cube during the HYDRA uprising, a SHIELD facility that has played a pivotal role in many comic book stories over the years. There are of course things that aren’t really even Easter Eggs but more like straight tie-in’s with the fall of SHIELD in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Currently, on Agents of SHIELD, the story is moving towards unrest with seeds being sown, pain being felt, and anger growing. Even series regulars like Mack are beginning to draw to the front with strong feeling one way or another. Specific characters aside there is a general feeling and theme of unrest being portrayed, and directly mentioned in some cases, for the nation and world. While there are more obvious connections to Civil War in the show this subtle feeling of unrest and anger towards powered people is more important in setting a tone for the film.
The Civil War story will be based on the worldwide concern of non-powered people that events like those that took place in Sokovia and Wakanda during Avengers: Age of Ultron are uncontrolled chaos, that those commonly called ‘heroes’ are actually ‘vigilantes’ or worse still terrorists answering to no one. Agents of SHIELD is providing a base on which a movie like Civil War can stand, focusing on the debate and fight rather than the build up during those precious 2 hours of screen time.
Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix
Over at Netflix, Marvel’s Daredevil season 2 is contributing to the build up in its own unique way. Similar to Agents of SHIELD though Daredevil is stuffed with Easter Eggs with some scenes packed so full it’s hard to catch even half of them in one sitting, for example, the scenes in Mr. Melvin Potter’s workshop are a treasure trove of eggs. Unlike its companion show Jessica Jones, season 2 of Daredevil provided connects to its companion show by specifically calling out the name ‘Jessica Jones’ as well as including not one but two crossover characters. It seemed though that this season lacked any call outs to the feature films ignoring the fall of SHIELD, Ant-Man, and Age of Ultron altogether a fact which might speak to the beauty of this show and how its contribution to the release of Civil War is unique.
Daredevil is often referred to as being a “street level” hero with the show focusing on basically the few blocks of NYC that make up Hell’s Kitchen; conversely the Avengers jump all over the globe. Matt Murdock’s ‘Devil of Hell’s Kitchen’ really represents the little guy, the average man, the ‘local need’ and with that this show has brought forward that same everyday man’s concerns in the build-up to Civil War. During season 2 there was obvious, some even say heavy-handed, a juxtaposition of being helpful and being a problem. The introduction of The Punisher and his hyper-violent and murder-based method of rooting out evil is as final as Frank Castle himself says “when you hit em they get back up when I hit em they stay down.” But where does the line between helping and hurting get a draw? During the season we see the jury selection for the Castle trial with sound bite after sound bite from different potential jurors expressing opinions both for and against The Punisher’s actions. At several points during the season, the District Attorney makes it abundantly clear that she is placing a target directly on vigilantes and intends to go after then. Daredevil season 2 contributes to the build up for Captain America: Civil War by giving fans a ground level view of how the average non-powered people see the new world of heroes and vigilantes.
Marvel Entertainment/The Walt Disney Company
The forthcoming movie Civil War is based on a comic book event of the same name published by Marvel and spanned several comic book titles including a Civil War title, Amazing Spider-Man, Black Panther, Deadpool & Cable, Punisher: War Journal, Iron Man, Captain America and others. The comic event involved the entire Marvel comic book universe, every character was involved in some way dividing the universe down the middle. The publishing house Marvel, and its subsidies like Marvel Studios and Marvel TV, was purchased in 2009 by Disney who also took over release responsibilities for all Marvel Studio movies. With its ownership of ABC, Disney seems to have also provided a home for Marvel TV’s growing slate of shows, Agents of SHIELD getting a spin-off and the just announced Cloak and Dagger show to be aired on ABC’s little brother network Freeform.
While the Disney buyout provided a traditional TV network for Marvel TV, Netflix was still able to come along and provide an alternative platform for additional shows that don’t fit the market of a traditional network. Netflix, not owned by Disney, and not bound by the rules traditional TV is known for inked a deal with Marvel back in 2013 to launch shows for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist along with a team up mini-series based on The Defenders. Currently, we’ve seen two seasons of Daredevil and one season of Jessica Jones which included Luke Cage and earned a second season order. This fall we look forward to the Luke Cage stand alone season followed by the recently cast Iron Fist which will round out the original contract. Season 2 of Daredevil has raised the idea of a spin-off for The Punisher along with a spin-off from Jessica Jones for the character Hellcat.
Captain America: Civil War
Set to be released on May 6th, Captain America: Civil War will rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the top shelf Avengers down through the Defenders to individual properties like Agents of SHIELD.