Ending it’s month-long hiatus today, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes back with the episode “T.A.H.I.T.I.” in which we get introduced to a new recurring character: Agent John Garret played by Bill Paxton of Alien and Terminator fame.
Next week’s episode, titled “Yes Men” is even more highly anticipated because of the presence of Jaimie Alexander reprising her role as Sif from Thor and Thor: The Dark World. So far, Lady Sif is the biggest name from the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to appear on the espionage-themed spin-off.
However, as of right now, the biggest Marvel Comics character to have appeared on the show so far has been Mike Peterson’s Deathlok, who has been on the show since the pilot episode but only became Deathlok in the last episode before the hiatus.
In an interview with Comic Book Resources, show creators Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon talk about the show’s developments and how the new characters’ roles will shape up.
Some criticism of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stems from a perceived lack of comic book elements and characters, but as the show has now reached its mid-season mark, all of that seems to be changing with the introduction of Agent John Garret who is actually a character lifted straight from the comics and Lady Sif, an important character in the Thor films.
Agent John Garret:
Describing how they chose the character of Agent Garret, Whedon said, “The character [of Agent John Garret] came out organically. We knew we wanted someone to come into this episode… and Garret was the right fit.”
Agent John Garret is also being set up to stand in contrast to Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson, fulfilling a more loose cannon role. Agent John Garret has “a history with Coulson on the field, but just has a different perspective of how to be on the field. Coulson is very by-the-book, and I think Garrett’s just not.”
None of this stopped the show-runners and actors from geeking out over working with Bill Paxton, though. Jed Whedon remarked that “we actually discussed Bill Paxton in the room, when we were talking about the character,” obviously having the actor in mind to play the role.
Tancharoen added, “The other day on set, he said, ‘I’ve been killed by an alien, a Terminator and a Predator. Who else can say that?’ Nobody!”
Even Ming-Na “Fa Mulan” Wen said that she finally “geeked out on him… ‘Okay, I just have to tell you, I was such a huge fan of Aliens! Hudson! Oh my God, you made that movie!’”
Lady Sif’s character guest stars in next week’s episode “Yes Men” which will focus on her coming to Earth in order to catch an escaped Asgardian known as Lorelai, who comic book fans will know as the younger sister of fan-favorite Thor villain, Amora the Enchantress.
Lady Sif works with the team in order to catch Lorelai and return her to Asgard which will give fans of the character a chance to see Sif in a more prominent role.
“It’s really exciting for us to be the ones who allow audiences to get to know her a little bit more. In the Thor movies she’s one of the players, but here, she has many, many scenes with our characters. Seeing the way she interacts with them, and also knowing her perspective, and why she’s here, and her moral compass…”
But for anyone who found the “fish out of water” stuff in Thor to be fun, then you will love next week’s episode as it will probably have Lady Sif falling in love with coffee or something.
Jed Whedon describes Coulson as “little bit of a fanboy” who is just so excited to have an Asgardian in the team’s midst again.
The most important question to ask however is why it took so long for the show to feature an honest to god superhero character on the show. Whedon said:
“Initially, when we started the show, we had to be respectful to the films, so we didn’t want to front-load it with a bunch of characters like that. In the Cinematic Universe, there are so few heroes that live on Earth and are humans, and we didn’t want to all of a sudden say, “Yeah, but really there’s a ton of them.” Now that we’ve spent the time building to it, she [Lady Sif] can drop into our world without us having to talk for 20 whole minutes, “Oh my god, an alien just landed.””
According to Tancharoen, fans should expect more big characters like Lady Sif and Deathlok to continue appearing throughout the show’s run.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and many shows like it will always experience some “growing pains” during their first seasons when the show is trying to set up its world and characters, but from the way the show is going, fans shouldn’t worry too much about the show’s progression. Maybe by the time a second season rolls around, we’ll see more philosophical issues being addressed about how much of a tool Nick Fury is.
But the fact that the show is incorporating more elements from the comics and films isn’t the only development fans are waiting to see, they also want to see where Ward and May’s non-romantic sexual relationship is going.
During the last episode of the series we see Agents Ward and May have some difficulties in their relationship but not necessarily from the reasons you would expect. [Insert blah blah about how non-romantic sexual relationships don’t work blah blah] but because of differences in their characters and perhaps even some trust issues.
“It seemed like an organic development to us, because they’re two people who are cut from the same cloth. If any two people on the bus would be in it just for the sex, May and Ward would be the ones who would be capable of pulling that off.”
Keep it UnleashTheFanboy for more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. coverage.
SOURCE: COMIC BOOK RESOURCES