[Major SPOILERS Ahead! You have been warned!]
2013 and 2014 were pretty big years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU): in 2013 a network television series airs that follows fan-favorite agent, Phil Coulson, and his team, and both Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World are released to theaters; and in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is released, and Marvel announces Phase 3 movie releases from now until 2019.
But, what this Monster is wondering about, is how Marvel plans to seamlessly create crossovers between the new movie releases and the television show Agents of SHIELD.
In the fall of 2013, Marvel and ABC began airing what is probably my favorite show on television today: Agents of SHIELD (AoS). If you haven’t seen the show, it follows Agent Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg) and his team of mismatched individuals as they travel the globe investigating strange occurrences and protecting citizens from the extraordinary.
This show has many elements that make it great: it’s funny, it’s filled with action, suspense, and drama, and it has a little bit of romance (not much, but enough to keep fans “shipping”). It fills in some down time between movie releases, and it happens to coincide with some plots of the two most recent Marvel movie releases of Thor: The Dark World (T:TDW) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (CA:TWS). AoS effectively takes elements from the movies and crosses them with the television show to effectively tie together two separate entities of the same franchise. That’s something that not typically seen in the entertainment franchise, however, Marvel is pulling it off pretty well.
In “The Well” (season 1, episode 8), the opening scene has Agents May (Minga-Na Wen), Ward (Brett Dalton), Fitz (Ian De Caestecker), Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), and Skye (Chloe Bennet) aid Phil Coulson in cleaning up the aftermath of Thor’s skirmish with the Dark Elf Malekith whose quest is to find an Infinity Stone known as the Aether.
Okay, so not much crossover there, however, the storyline for that particular episode is fairly rooted in Norse mythology, and we learn that Asgardians have been to Midgard – er , Earth – many times in history and have helped shape civilization as we know it. Not necessarily a true crossover in regards to major plot events having dual purpose in television and movie, but it was nice to see the recent movie mentioned.
Although, T:TDW has very little to do with the show, several episodes lead up to CA:TWS. From episode 5 of the season, “Girl in the Flower Dress,” we hear about a person known as The Clairvoyant. This Clairvoyant is mentioned in seven different episodes spanning the season, up until his identity is revealed during the collapse of SHIELD in episode 17 entitled “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
The fall of SHIELD hit close to home for Coulson’s team. In order for the Clairvoyant to know how Coulson was brought back to life from his tragic death in The Avengers (2012), one of Coulson’s own agents was almost killed. Loyalties were tested, and friendships strained, as the knowledge came to light that this Clairvoyant person was not psychic, but was a high ranking Agent of SHIELD who had access to classified SHIELD information. As it turned out the Clairvoyant is none other than John Garrett (Bill Paxton), a SHIELD specialist, and the man who recruited Grant Ward to be a mole inside Coulson’s team and report back to him.
Although the events in AoS do not directly relate with those that occurred in CA:TWS, the two plots converge quite well as Hydra comes forth in both stories and SHIELD is therefore compromised. The differences, though, of Hydras reveal between show and movie is that, in the show, we see how people were affected on a more personal level, whereas in the movie we see a bigger picture as to how the world is affected by the loss of SHIELD and just how the emergence of Hydra was one of the worst things that could happen internationally.
CA:TWS also brings forward a story arc that will play into the next Captain America movie as well as a current plot line with AoS and the introduction of gifted and enhanced people in the Marvel Universe. As to how that can translate over into the show, I have a few ideas.
Captain America: Civil War and Crossover Episodes
We’ve probably all seen the internet memes advertising for Captain America: Civil War (CA:CW). They’re all over the internet. You know the ones – Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are saying fairly trivial things to each other, and then the logo for the movie comes up because, apparently, that trivial conversation between Tony and Steve wasn’t so insignificant after all.
Although these memes have skyrocketed on Facebook, tumblr, Pinterest, and even Robert Downey, Jr.’s Facebook page, no one – except those who work closely on the sets and script – knows what exactly will happen in the movie. Well, and those who read the seven-issue comic series that ran from January 2006 until January 2007.
Which was not me, but to quote our favorite Captain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “I’ll add it to the list.” (FYI: the list of comics that I need to read grows longer and longer every day, so I will get to it. One day.)
A brief synopsis via the Marvel Wikia states that the Civil War plot follows a storyline where the U.S. Government passes a Superhero Registration Act to where all super-powered characters act under official regulations like that of police officers. The opposing side to this Registration Act is led by Captain America, whereas the supporters are led by Tony Stark.
In the middle of March, Comicbook.com confirms that the plot of Captain America: Civil War is that of the Civil War comic series. Attached to a casting call for the film – which began filming in Atlanta on April 1 – was the following synopsis:
Following the events of Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers, causing two factions to side with Iron Man or Captain America, which causes an epic battle between former allies.
So, from what we’ve read on Wikipedia, and from what Comicbook.com has verified, it looks as if none of the memes were correct about why this Civil War actually started.
So, if you watch the show like I do, you can clearly see parallels between the current Inhuman story arc and that of the plots of the Civil War movie and comics. Will this story arc be a significant factor in CA:CW? Honestly, I can’t tell you if it will or not; however, we have already learned of “the Index” in season one of AoS, and of how it is filled with names of gifted and enhanced individuals in this particular universe.
Will these individuals play a part in CA:CW? Honestly, I can’t answer that either. However, with AoS fan favorite, Skye, now begin an Inhuman thanks to a Terragenesis event in the mid-season finale in December, I believe that this story arc can, and will, fit within the confines of the CA:CW plot. Marvel has also announced an Inhumans movie to be released in late 2018, but why introduce the plot of these super-powered beings fighting for anonymity in CA:CW, but not truly introduce the Inhumans in the MCU until 2018?
Not that I am complaining – in fact quite the opposite is true: the more movies and television shows that Marvel releases, the more I fall in love with the Marvel Universe. However, I still wonder as to whether the newest Marvel movie to be released will have parallels to AoS.
Avengers: Age of Ultron and Crossovers
Unfortunately, I do not know whether or not the next movie in the Marvel franchise will intersect with AoS or not, but I sincerely hope so because the Avengers need to know that Phil Coulson is alive and well.
Okay, so that probably will not happen in this movie, no matter how much I wish it so. However, from reading the synopsis online, Avengers: Age of Ultron (A:AoU) leads up to CA:CW and may very well overlap plots of AoS! This of course would be awesome because it will continue with the arrangement of making the climax of the show’s season parallel to that of the plot of the movie, and maybe – just maybe – the Avengers will learn that their favorite Agent didn’t truly perish at the hands of Loki after all. (Okay, he did, but to get the full story, you need to watch season one of AoS.)
However, it is an unfortunate fact, or I guess it’s fortunate if you don’t happen to like spoilers, I have not read any plot points for the remaining episodes in season two of AoS, so I cannot tell you if there’s a definite crossover or not. I hope there will be, but I can’t be too certain at this point in time. What I will have to do is just wait impatiently for the new episodes and movies to come out.
Thankfully, though, we don’t have too much longer to wait and find out because Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesday nights at 9pm EST on ABC, and Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1.