Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 11:21 am est

‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ should look to comics

Posted on April 17, 2014 | by Nivea Serrao

courtesy of Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Over the past few years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated box offices, easily earning millions on each opening weekend. So when ABC announced in 2012 that it would be developing a TV show focusing on the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the super secret spy organization that made its first appearance in “Iron Man,” fans were excited.

The series had the potential to feature characters from the movies and promised to explore elements of the larger MCU that the films do not usually touch upon.

For the most part, Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has kept up that promise since it premiered in September 2013. The show has had two episodes that tie in with the “Thor” cinematic universe, but it was not until “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” came out that the series exercised its relationship with its bigger and more expensive cousins.

The events of “Winter Soldier” had big ramifications for the remainder of the show’s season — not to mention the Marvel Universe at large — and the result is a much more interesting show.

When “S.H.I.E.L.D.” first debuted, it felt like a formulaic procedural that simply functioned within the larger fascinating MCU, leaving important questions — like what resurrected the supposedly dead Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) — barely answered.

Now, with the film’s energy to play with, the show is reenergized, finally able to present what the first half of the season set up.

The show’s new life is extremely exciting for Marvel fans, but it raises interesting questions about the future of popular film franchises and television in general.

While Marvel has been releasing movies almost every year, it is a great idea to compound these with a more consistent TV show. In addition to keeping audiences invested in the universe, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” draws new fans to the movies.

By the end of its first 22-episode season alone, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” will have produced more episodes than movies created by Marvel Studios. The series has developed the world these movies exist in and has set up possible events for future films giving the movies a little more room to play with. But, more storylines in the show cause problems for audiences who only watch the films.

Unfortunately, the series’ viewership numbers suggest that only diehard Marvel fans are watching. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” was a pretty lackluster television show to begin with because it could not initially infringe upon what happens in the movies.

So far we have only seen “S.H.I.E.LD.” react to events on the big screen. Perhaps the series should explore Marvel’s comic universe, rather than just the cinematic one. This venture would allow the films to draw on things from the TV show, acknowledging the further reaches of Marvel’s vast universe that can not all fit on film.

Hopefully, if the show is picked up for a second season, it will rely more on the comics and lean less heavily on the films.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, April 17 print edition. Nivea Serrao is a staff writer. Email her at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.