Remember the heady days of 2013? It’s like they were slightly two years ago.
Donald Trump was only on one channel once a week and could be easily ignored, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were unstoppable bookends of late night with no end in sight and Marvel decided to follow up the runaway success of The Avengers with a network show called Agents of SHIELD.
There was a lot of buzz leading to the premiere. Superhero fans were giddy with the possibilities that a series based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe could explore.
The ratings for the first episode were huge, but overall the execution underwhelmed. Instead of a cavalcade of super-powered Marvel C-listers many wanted, viewers were treated to a lot of team building, holographic displays and long cinematic shots of a cargo plane landing.
The show shed disappointed viewers and despite Agents of SHIELD improving in quality through the end of Season 1 and all of Season 2, it’s not recaptured those fans because even a well-executed spy adventure show is still not a show about people with superpowers.
This little bit of backstory brings things around to Tuesday night’s thrilling Season 3 premiere. It’s been a long walk to get there but Agents of SHIELD is now the superhero show fans have been wanting all along.
It’s a long story involving the kind of made up scientific words found in comic books, but the short version is that some super-power granting goodies have been introduced into the food chain. When people with a certain genetic background eat the right kind of sushi, they end up with any and every kind of superhuman ability under the sun.
There’s going to be a mad scramble for control over this exponentially growing number of superbeings with SHIELD in competition with at least two other organizations. There was an honest to goodness battle between two super -powered heroes and a Hulkish blue-skinned villain with terrible hair. That’s real superhero comic stuff right there, with the promise of more to come.
Most of the rest of the cast from Season 1 is still there, just not in the way you might remember. Skye goes by Daisy now. She’s got a kicky, short haircut and can make earthquakes with her hands. Coulson has a Go-go Gadget arm. Fitz and Simmons are still the couple that launched a thousand ships on Tumblr, but she’s now on another freakin’ planet. And remember when you wanted to punch Agent Strongchin McWoodenacting in the face? It’s OK now because he’s a bad guy.
The beauty of the new direction is that fans who wanted to get their superpower fix with a Marvel flavor can jump back aboard right now. There’s no need to binge and catch up (unless you want to see some unhinged Kyle MacLachlan, then binge the hell out of Season 2). You can simply watch Season 3 and enjoy the show you’ve been waiting to watch for the last two years.
Craig Wack has got nuthin’ for people with superhero overload. Please follow his Twitter.