TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 1.03 “The Asset” *SPOILERS*; Preview of Next Week’s Episode

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

“If we had a small monkey, he could slip through the sensors and disable them with his adorable little hats!”

Episode 1.03 “The Asset”
Directed by: Milan Cheylov
Written by : Maurissa Tarcharoen and Jed Whedon

NO!  You do not get an apology for the lateness of the review because the concept of the talkback, seems to be getting lost on people.  We watch the episode (as a group), then we ….wait for it….talk back with one another about it and what we think is coming next.  We’re 0/3 on that.  I feel like you people are the French Guiana of participatory activities (that joke was for me).

Following the epic awesome spectaculartude that was Nick Fury showing up at the end of 1.02 to ream Coulson about getting a big hole in one of his expensive toys, we catch up with Team Coulson right back up their on the Bus.  The hole, sadly, was not patched by a fish tank.

The team’s third episode focuses on Chloe Bennet‘s Skye and establishes her, if she wasn’t clearly already, as the co-lead on the show alongside Coulson.  Skye’s an interesting character with extremely shifty loyalties (which she demonstrates more than once this go-round) and I think Benet is growing more comfortable in the role.

“The Asset” is a scientist by the name of Dr. Franklin Hall (Ian Hart), a former mentor for Fitz and Simmons, who has been kidnapped by nefarious Ian Quinn (David Conrad), whose Quinn Industries seems to be the kind of corporation Juilian Assange would run if that’s the sort of thing he did.  Quinn and Hall are old colleagues and Quinn has the last piece to create a massive energy generator fueled by the incredibly classic Marvel-sounding element “Gravitonium” that would be able to generate incredible power.

Dr. Franklin Hall, Graviton, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

Hall begins working on completing the machine while Team Coulson races to Malta where Hall is being held.  Malta is mentioned so many times as a haven for people who do no good that either they’re setting it up to be a kind of Madripoor of the real world or Joss Whedon had a very poor vacation there.

The team’s planning is going nowhere and all seems lost (this is when Fitz’s plan for the trained monkey with sensor disarming hats is raised), Skye hacks into Quinn’s network and generates a backdoor invite for herself.  Skye will go alone into the party and try to lower the compound’s defenses for the rest of the team.  It’s a Trojan Horse plan, but with a fairly short woman.

It’s here we must diverge for a second to talk about Skye’s supervising officer and male action lead Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).  While the rest of the cast is good and is starting to gel, Dalton is a problem.  He’s cardboard.  He has no charisma or likability factor.  He sticks out and by the third episode, it’s painfully clear he’s got one acting note and he’s just plunking it over and over.  Whedon had a similar problem with a character that just wasn’t working on Angel and, in typical Whedon style, killed him in nine episodes.  WHEDONKILL.  I’m not calling for a WHEDONKILL yet….but I’m close.

Benet let’s Ward and Coulson into the compound where they try to rescue Dr. Hall only to find he’s not exactly planning on leaving.  He thinks Quinn is nuts (he’s correct) and that this power is WAY too much for any one person to wield (also sounding correct) so he’s going to overload it and blow up a large chunk of the surrounding bit of Malta rather than risk the world’s population as a whole (corr…whoa, what now?).  Coulson is not down with this and it leads to the best action piece in the series thus far: a gravity shifting fight with Hall that only ends when Coulson is forced to shoot Hall into the Graviton generator, seemingly rendering it inert.

Graviton, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
IT’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!

I say “seemingly” because in a very post-credits of a MCU movie sort of way, the gravity machine is being loaded into a secure SHIELD storage facility known as The Fridge when a hand desperately lunges out from the gravity-defying goo.  Coulson has created GRAVITON!  Yes, the first super-villain in SHIELD is none other than Dr. Franklin Hall a.k.a. GRAVITON!  Ok.  It’s not Dr. Doom.  SHIELD is never going to get Doom-level villains.  What they’ll need to do is take D-List villains like Graviton and give them character and a cool origin.  They really do give him a good origin story here and they’re already way ahead of his cool factor in the comics as demonstrated by what he looks like there:
Thunderbolts 17, GravitonIt’s safe to say we’ll be hearing from Dr. Hall again sometime soon.

On the Agent Coulson resurrection mystery front, Coulson takes to the field for the first time since The Battle of New York and finds himself  a little rusty.  Actually, it’s more than that, and several teammates notice things that should just be a matter of muscle memory aren’t clicking.  A Life Model Decoy would probably not have muscle memory issues so is he a clone?  Coulson, you enigma.

Points of Geekery/Quick Thoughts

  • *Gadget of the Week award goes to the tiny gravity generator that opens that fantastic Dr. Hall abduction scene.  it’s the size of a thimble and flips cars!  I want one!
  • LOL at Coulson’s Charlie Brown-esque wardrobe of identical suits.
  • We learn the greatest casualty of the Battle of New York was Coulson’s collection of vintage Captain America collector’s cards. DAMN YOU, LOKI!!!!!!
  • I’m glad Melinda May has had enough of sitting on the sidelines and wants back into combat duty.  We need a lot more Ming-Na and a lot less Agent Ward.
  • There were some stellar F/X pieces in this episode.  I didn’t know if Marvel would give them the budget to pull off stuff as big as the opening scene, for example, and it’s cool to see.
  • ABC officially gave SHIELD a full-season order (like they shouldn’t just go ahead and renew it for the next five years).

This episode had the best action pieces of the show so far, but Agent Cardward has a lot of screen time and he’s sticking in my craw.  If there’s not some dramatic improvement soon, he’s going to become an anchor on the show’s growth.  Tomorrow’s episode is “Eye Spy” and perhaps we’ll TALK BACK about it soon!
Lola Mentions/Cameos – NO LOLA WHATSOEVER!?!
Avengers Mentioned – Nick Fury, Chitauri Invasion
Episode Score 7.5/10
Season Score So Far 8.42/10

NEXT WEEK: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 1.04  “Eye Spy”

 

Marvel Has Got a Mega-Load of New Comics Coming!

First and foremost, check out Henchman’s site. One of my favorite comic blogs. I was so dubious on Marvel Now but the overall quality of the books has been stellar. Out of these I’m definitely on for Black Widow and Loki though I’ll miss Kid Loki. I don’t think Elektra can sustain a solo and Ghost Rider has had so many reboots I can’t see it working. I will check the reviews though because I thought All New X-Men was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard and now its one of my favorite books.

Henchman-4-Hire

I’ve only mentioned All-New X-Factor and New Warriors so far, because I’m a big X-Factor and Scarlet Spider fan. But at New York Comic-Con, Marvel has announced a whole pile of brand new comics they’ll be putting out in the next couple of months! If I was more on the ball – and not playing the new Pokemon X – I would have already posted about all of them. Instead, I decided to just bunch’em all up on our Monday. Sounds like a fun way to start the week to me. A lot of these sound pretty amazing. And of course they’re coming out just when I told myself I was going to lighten my weekly comic book budget.


Silver Surfer

By Dan Slott and Mike Allred

Dan Slott is apparently a huge Silver Surfer fan, and even though she’s been spear-heading Spider-Man for years, he’s now snatched up the…

View original post 952 more words

Star Wars The Clone Wars Final Episodes Will Be Finished and Aired in 2014! Details on Star Wars Rebels Including a First Look at the Emperor’s Inquisitor!

Star Wars Clone Wars
The immediate reaction I had to the cancellation of Star Wars Clone Wars was, “They’re not done! What about this? What about that?” Though we’ve since learned that we’ll be getting a new Star Wars animated series in Star Wars: Rebels set between Episodes III and IV (and the main villain of which was revealed at New York Comic Con this weekend to be the Emperor‘s Interrogator), we will still get Clone closure. This comes straight from show runner Dave Filoni:
Star Wars fans – I have some exciting news! We have wrapped production on all of the remaining Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes, and while that might be sad news in one way, it’s good news in another. It means you will finally get to see them. When, exactly, is a detail I cannot yet share. I can confirm that in early 2014 you will be watching the final episodes of The Clone Wars, including one of Master Yoda‘s most challenging missions. So, get ready. We’ve got Clone Wars and Rebels coming at you in 2014. Animated Star Wars is alive and well. Trust in the Force my friends.”

He also added a sneak peek at Star Wars: Rebels saying:
The series is set between the events of Episode III and IV — an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen. It takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. 

Star Wars Rebels, Emperor's Inquisitor

The main villain of the series has been revealed to be the Emperor’s Inquisitor who looks…awesome.  The following is from the Star Wars Rebels panel at NYCC:

The next great villain from a galaxy far, far away is here. Fans attending Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Rebels panel today at New York Comic Con got the world’s first look at the Inquisitor, a black-clad, intimidating figure who will play a prominent role in the upcoming animated series. In a special video (available below) screened at the end of the panel, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni officially revealed the character, showing a sculpted maquette, design sketches, and disclosing that the Inquisitor is “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights.”

The panel, hosted by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, focused on the Empire and how it is central to the story of Star Wars Rebels. Hidalgo revealed that the series takes place about 14 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, a time in which the Emperor’s rule is secure and the Empire is seeking to expand its power to Outer Rim territories. That leads Imperial forces to Lothal, a poor planet that initially welcomes the Empire on the promise of security and prosperity. It soon becomes obvious, however, that the Empire does not have Lothal’s best interests at heart, as the Imperials exploit its people and begin recruiting young citizens to join TIE fighter and Stormtrooper academies, or to work in the Sienar Fleet Systems factory — which builds TIE fighters — in the planet’s capital. Hidalgo showed new art focusing on Lothal, including the planet itself, a town, and alleyways, as well as an Empire recruitment poster.

The show is fully embracing the Star Wars legacy, taking direct inspiration from the original trilogy and its concept artist Ralph McQuarrie. Hidalgo displayed new Star Wars Rebels imagery and animation models for Stormtroopers, Star Destroyers, TIE fighters, and TIE fighter pilots, all of which fit seamlessly with classic Star Wars. Additionally, Hidalgo introduced several new Imperial vehicles and designs created for the series: the All Terrain Defense Pod (AT-DP), a ground attack walker based on an early Joe Johnston (the filmmaker who designed Boba Fett’s armor and speeder bikes, and made other major contributions to Star Wars) illustration from 1979; the new AT-DP pilot, which blends designs of the classic AT-AT walker driver from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and the AT-ST walker pilot from Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi; the Imperial Troop Transport, which comes from an early Kenner toy that was actually not based on designs from the films; and the Imperial freighter, a reimagining of an Imperial-style craft designed for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace by concept artist Doug Chiang, featuring a dock to transport TIE fighters from system to system.

If anything was made clear at today’s panel, it’s that the Empire is back — thanks to Star Wars Rebels.

So we won’t be left horribly hanging forever by the cliffhanger that ended Season 5 of the Clone Wars and it looks like Star Wars: Rebels is going to be amazing.  All is semi-right….in the Star Wars Animated Universe…today…at least this morning.