Two Clips from this Tuesday’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Graphic Policy

Robbie Reyes refuses to be contained and asks his little brother to join him on a spin with the Dodge Charger. Check out the new Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this Tuesday, November 6 at 10:00 PM ET on ABC!

via Two Clips from this Tuesday’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Graphic Policy

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“Agents of SHIELD” comments.

Concerning the episode that aired 2015-03-24:

Really glad to see Edward James Olmos as this “Alt-SHIELD” organization’s Director Gonzalez. Hoping he’s not a Bad Guy. That he is really committed to [his version of] SHIELD.

One of the things that cropped up during the “Agent Carter” mini-series: The SSR’s (“Strategic Scientific Reserve”) morphing role. I mean, it was happening in the “Captain America: The First Avenger” movie anyway: The unit seemed built around the “Operation: Rebirth”/Super-Soldier Program. And after Dr. Erskine is killed and the only super-soldier gets reduced to a war bonds pitchman, it gets turned into a field unit, seemingly floundering a bit on the war front, attempting to re-orient itself as specializing in fighting HYDRA.

By the Agent Carter series, SSR seems to be just one of many fledgling intelligence agencies. If it weren’t for the theft of Howard Stark’s “super-science” tech, I could easily see it being under-funded until it gets broken up and absorbed by other government intelligence agencies.

If they continue with “Agent Carter” [hope so] they’ll have to show SSR turning into SHIELD. What role is HYDRA’s infiltration in the *creation* of SHIELD? And what is the “true believer’s” view of SHIELD, versus what the shadowy HYDRA’s view?

If Olmos’ Gonzalez is being truthful in his views about “transparency”, what is his view of SHIELD? And its role in the Marvel Universe, where even that version of the U.S. of A. has its FBI, ATF, CIA, NSA, DIA, DARPA, et cetera? That’s a lot of tax-dollars soaking in an alphabet soup, even for a fictional universe.

Comics, SHIELD’s acronym has stood for: “Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage [&] Law [-Enforcement] Division” and “Strategic Hazard Intervention/Espionage/Logistics Directorate”. In the Marvel Cinematic/TV Universe, it stands for “Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, Logistics Division”.

So, what is SHIELD? Did it err under Nick Fury (and maybe previous directors) by becoming “too CIA/NSA”? Was it meant to be more “FBI + DARPA”? Couslon may have been anointed “Director” by Fury, but it’s pretty clear, Fury most valued Coulson for his skills as analyst rather than any administration skills. Hence: Coulson’s entrusted with that “database cube” thingy. Olmos’ Gonzalez wasn’t. Why?

I’m not sure Coulson as a character is cut out for administration, and trying to serve in that role is undercutting his performance as an analyst, methinks. Is that the direction the writers of the show have been going? Because it would explain a lot of the “slowness” of the show. Which could indicate an opportunity for a “peaceful transition”, Olmos’ character being “the right guy” to be director, and Coulson transitioning to investigation and analysis, particularly in the field.

The show’s been kinda “rocky and uneven” to me, but so full of potential.

Sidenote: It’s been great to finally catch up with “The Walking Dead”, via MyTV’s 2-hour blocks every Wednesday during prime time. (I have season one on DVD, and wore it out; only seen the first 3 episodes on season two up until I stumbled across MyTV. I can’t afford streaming episodes on the web/net, and my DVD player died a long time ago. AMC’s “marathons” haven’t helped, from a e standpoint; I’ve only ever had time to catch episodes during certain times of the day, and ended up re-watching episodes I’d seen before.)

One thing about both TWD and the way MyTV is showing it: TWD can take the tack of devoting an entire episode to a smaller group of its characters, two or three at a time. And the two-episode format MyTV is using is great, spending one episode with one small group, getting “invested”, then switching gears to see what another group has been up to. Characters, stories, situations, all pretty riveting.

Too bad “Agents” can’t be done the same way. Two one-hour episodes every Tuesday, plenty of time to develop characters, focus on details. But, then, maybe TWD has it “easier” in that regard? What with the “post-apocalyptic isolation and survival” setting?

Dunno.

Back to SHIELD: Olmos’ character in charge, on a carrier, drinking water. Love the references to BSG, but do they really have to slap you in the face with it? (Not complaining. Laughing about it, really…)

Marvel TV: “The Brothers Koenig” (v1.9)

Was trying to avoid talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel TV Universe. I prefer to avoid spoilers, and I don’t want to get into the habit of talking about episodes here, in case someone who likes the show and hasn’t seen an episode stumbles across this blog, and “accidentally” reads a spoiler. (A lot of “ifs” in there, I know.)

Just has a series of fun little thoughts concerning Patton Oswalt’s characters on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: the MTVU’s version of the Marvel Comics universe’s Eric Koenig (killed off in season one), one of his brother, Billy (I think he was revealed in the last episode of season one?), and season two’s other brother, Sam Koenig.

I was irked initially by the “stunt” of having Oswalt play the “identical twin brother” trope. By the time they reveal Sam, I guess I’m enjoying the joke. I laughed out loud during this week’s episode when the pair were asked how many brothers they had, and the said “13”, only to claim they were kidding.

Let’s just take some “in-gag” ideas out for a spin, shall we? This is the Marvel Cinematic/TV Universe, after all. The mish-mash potpourri of the “superhero” genre mixes all sorts of other genres, chief of which has always been sci-fi. Lets lend a sci-fi spin to the “Brothers Koenig”.

Possibilities (putting them in bullet points will help me organize these a little better, so bare (bear?) with me:

  • the brothers are completely normal humans.
  • there aren’t thirteen, but until Eric’s untimely death, there were 6 brothers (“sextuplets”)
  • the father was one Eric Koenig, and maybe we could insert him in the MCTVU as one of the later SHIELD go-to scientists (1970’s era?) trying to recreate Prof. Erskine’s serum and “super-soldier process” (room then, for Oswalt to show up in another role, maybe)
  • the elder Eric’s research eventually turns to fertility, since he’d have been a middle-ager when first meeting his middle-ager wife-to-be
  • one reason he turns to fertility and prenatal care might be because he’s become aware (decades ahead of real world research) that the children of older couples often have many disabilities (present day research points to “errors” aging males’ production of sperm, as well as the ageing woman’s own body able to properly grow the fetus)
  • and the result of experimentation could have resulted in “Eric Junior” and his 5 brothers…
  • … or maybe we expand that some more….
  • … maybe there were 13 sibling, but half were female? (so, they’d only be half-kidding about the 13 brothers joke)
  • …(and no, wouldn’t want to see Oswalt play his sisters)
  • all of the Koenig brother tend to have similar personalities traits, including gravitating towards tech-sector and scientific skill sets (they’re all a little geeky/nerdy)

I don’t know. Could be fun. I don’t know what lead me down this path. It was fun.

EDIT: One of my points was going yo be that these identical sibling were otherswise normal and quite healthy. A surprise not only considering their parents’ ages, but the fact that twins, triplets, quintuplets, and so on often have more congenital defects than individual kids.

Another angle for the series: instead of sextuplets, maybe a series of triplets, over decades? Room for other actors and actresses to play characters related to Oswalt’s characters?

EDIT II: Not too deep into the weeds, but…

  • you could probably tie the fertility experiments into 1970’s “Cold War” era thinking, like “repopulation of the species after nuclear war” kinda thing.
  • maybe keep Oswalt’s characters as sextuplets, the first brood to drop out of the chute; that leaves 7 out of 13…
  • …. refining the fertility process over time, the next set are just quintuplets…
  • …. then a set of twins…
  • last child, the youngest (just edging up on his/her twenties) would be the solitairy “black sheep” of the family?

Again, could be fun.

Marvel HeroClix “ReClix” Wish-List: The Shroud (v20.1)

EDIT (2014-11-02): Originally posted 2010-05-05. It recycled a key idea for the character from two previous blogs I’d had (used to experiment with this whole “blog thing” on MySpace and Blogspot, before eventually ending up at WordPress) We finally recieved the Shroud in 2013’s Marvel HeroClix set, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. It is EXCELLENT.

But…. I’m reworking and reposting this because I’d still like to see the “Battlefield-Condition-card-as-a-Clix” version I originally proposed.

YES, the version we got is a whole heapin’ helpin’ of awesome. One commentor over in the HCRealms UNITS section hit the nail solidly on the head: “Plays exactly like a combination of Cloak and Batman. Excellent.” (by spider_ham)

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MarvelTeam-Up_094_The_Shroud

Was rummaging through one of my binders last night [2010-05-04].  I save my blog entries as PDF documents, and occasionally I print them out.  I ran across an old, old (2007) post to a long-deleted blogspot blog about an obscure Marvel Comics character, The Shroud.  He’s one of a few Marvel characters derided as an “obvious Batman knock-off” but I rather like the character.  I’ve only read his appearances in the 1980’s West Coast Avengers title, and I don’t think I’ve seen the character pop up in a while.  (During Civil War, maybe?)  I think he first appeared in a Marvel Team-Up title.

Anyhoo, my ‘amateur design’ attempt had a Special Power co-opting the language of the Deep Shadows battlefield condition card, with the area of effect being an 8 or 10 square radius from the character (I couldn’t decide), to represent the mystical “smoke” he generated.  I had recognized that he was a “martial artist” type character, but that he was not as capable as Shang-Chi or Bronze Tiger.  He relied heavily on his darkness power.  He was also blind, having instead a mystical, psychic sensory power, à la, Daredevil’s “radar sense.”

My other notes show me I ended up with a 6-click dial, first half having the Special Power and Super Senses, and the back half having Combat Reflexes and Smoke Cloud.  Slightly above average defense but more average movement, attack, and damage values and no range.  He was all about providing a disrupting effect on the board, he wasn’t a primary attacker.

I don’t know if I’d want to give him a Trait.  Maybe make the Deep Shadows effect Trait-based?

Anyway, I’d lie to see him in the game.  Too much to hope that we’d get him in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN?

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EDIT (19 MAR 2013): Yep, apparently it was too much to hope he’d be in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN. And in 2013’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. And any Marvel Comics set in between. *sigh*.

In 2012’s CHAOS WAR set, we were treated to CW#039 Thor and his “Battlefield Condition”-style damage slot special power, SUMMON ASGARDIAN BLIZZARD: Characters with the {standard damage} or {tiny size} symbol can’t target characters 7 or more squares away. Modify all other characters’ speed values by -2 if they begin an action within 6 squares of Thor.

Lot in there to like, and could be used to represent The Shroud. Just sayin’.

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EDIT (2014-11-02):

So, here’s the 2014 Marvel HeroClix DEADPOOL version, in “collage” form, then some of the other pictures. —

DP046 Shroud Rules Arcanum The_Shroud_Mash-Up

 

As Marvel’s “Cinematic/TV Universe” continues to grow, I hope The Shroud makes it in.

 

“H.A.M.M.E.R.?” (v1.2)

H.A.M.M.E.R.? What does it stand for? Absolutely nothing. According to Wikipedia, anyway. The Marvel comics writers that cooked up that little organization never got around to fleshing out the acronym.

It was more of an inside joke among the writers, I guess, as well as being a “clue” (speaking “in universe”) put out there by H.A.M.M.E.R.[HAMMER]’s director, Norman Osborn (who at this time, the public thinks was on the up-and-up, having successfully convinced everyone that he was never the Green Goblin, and had been framed). HAMMER was to replace S.H.I.E.L.D.[SHIELD] after the organization was dissolved in the aftermath of the “Secret Invasion” by the extraterrestrial Skrulls.

Personally, I think these brainiac writers weren’t trying hard enough, as if the task of acronyms was beneath them some how. I, lowly peon that I am over here in my little “shack” of a blog nestled out in the boonies of the interwebz, am willing to take a swing at the HAMMER acronym.

How about: “Hostile Alien [&] Metahuman Militarized Exigent Response”?

Tangent: I only bring this up because I’ve been working my way through the “Dark Reign” storyline missions of the Marvel Puzzle Quest game.

Tangent: Hope the organization gets worked into Marvel’s TV/Cinematic Universe.

I get that trying to reflect any of the “real world” evil and natural disasters going on — ISIS, Ebola, massive changes in weather patterns — is hard to do in a sci-fi/fantasy/superhero/spy/action/dramedy show like “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, but that’s kinda the thing with Marvel Comics through the decades: They might not address the Real World’s problems directly, but they do slip them in by “proxy” into their narrative universe.

HYDRA was first introduced into comics in the 1960’s, and was an amalgamation of fears of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism. A.I.M. was an offshoot of HYDRA; they split to focus on even more extreme and dangerous, science experimentation and exploitation, using terrorism and other activities for funding.

I think Disney/Marvel and thier creative teams may be leaving certain opportunities untapped. The movie-created “Ten Rings” as a more pseudo-religiously zealous group (an ISIS-like organization, if you will; I am in no way trying to downplay the real world evil ISIS is causing), with their own militancy and hardline view of how the world should work, and how they should be in charge.

There’s also the Golden Claw’s “Atlas” network.

The “Zodiac Cartel” from the comics, as an international organized crime syndicate, more interested in money and “guaranteed revenue streams” than “ruling the world”. Twist for TV: Strange “Raiders of the Lost Ark” kind of obsession with also procuring “relics of power”. (“Underground/black market” for Asgardian items, and more? Stuff like this was hinted at in season one as well, even if it all has been “tidied up” as “blame it all on HYDRA”. Which I think is the wrong way to go. Gotta portray HYDRA as pervasive, shadowy, but not monolithic. In competition with other organizations, as well as opposed by SHIELD and similar organizations.

HAMMER: Meant by the U.S. Government to replace SHIELD as the “first line of defense against the super-weird” that is the Marvel Universe. But, what happens [speaking more in the Marvel TV/Cinematic universe now], when the “super-science/espionage/defense” role is taken over by those who are more interested in being in bed with the military/industrial complex, for personal gain? This kinda stuff was hinted at in Season One of MAOS, with CyberTek.

The TV-MCU already has its “Rising Tide” ‘pro-superhuman proliferation’ organization. What kind of xenophobic homegrown counter-groups are there to that? From the comics, organizations like the Friends of Humanity, the Watchdogs, the “Scourge of the Underworld” could all serve competing roles for this if “ported” into the TV-MCU.

“Hail Hydra! Immortal Hydra! Cut off one [head], two more shall take its place!!” So,…. what happens when the heads start arguing with each other? SHIELD may have been dissolved as political retribution for failing to stop Hydra infiltrating it in time, but Hydra did the “splinter cell” thing as well.

W.E.S.P.E.? Maybe?

And what about The Hand?