Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now five episodes old, and the jury is still out on whether the show will last past its first season. ABC was confident enough to order 22 episodes, but ratings have dipped from about 12 million viewers for the pilot episode to just over seven million for last week’s episode, “Girl in the Flower Dress.” Honestly, the first five episodes have left a bit to be desired, but it does not mean that we should give up on Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his group of agents (plus one mysterious hacker).
There are numerous reasons that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not working from production values to unlikable characters, but the reason that five million people decided to stop watching this show is simple…star power. The average fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was expecting to see Iron Man or Captain America to occasionally show up on board the team’s headquarters/Firefly-esque plane “The Bus.” The likelihood of that actually happening is quite slim, and outside of the cameos from Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) I would be surprised if any of the big guns from the MCU appear on the small screen.
Of course, this does not mean we should have a Marvel show completely devoid of superheroes and supervillains because this show is supposed to take place in a world with both walking around. There are literally thousands of Marvel characters that could appear on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. without ruining the character on a lesser-known actor or even for the films. Here are five characters, both good and bad, who could help this show broaden its appeal:
DUM DUM DUGAN
Background: Dugan (Neil McDonough) appeared in Captain America:The First Avenger and the recent short Agent Carter. With the rumors of a possible show based on the exploits of Agent Carter, Dugan could be a possible bridge to the next show produced by Marvel Television.
Episode Idea: Dugan has been appearing alongside Nick Fury in the comic books first as a member of The Howling Commandos, and then an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the past 50 years, and like his eye-patch wearing counterpart has not aged much over those five decades. In the MCU, it would seem that an older Dugan would have to appear on S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe as an experienced consultant to the organization.
Background: Taskmaster has teetered the thin line between good guy and bad guy since he was introduced as an enemy of The Avengers in 1980. In recent years he has trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and has assembled alongside his former foes in battle.
Episode Idea: Introducing Taskmaster as an enemy with ties to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s training program, maybe he trained Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), might add a bit of intrigue to the supposedly shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D.
Episode Idea: In an episode reminiscent of goofy The X-Files episodes like, “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” the team stumbles upon a man calling himself Hercules. Is he truly a god, or is he crazy? Find out this Tuesday at 8pm.
Episode Idea: While Damage Control is attempting to clean up a super battle, a “gifted” stands in their way. Agent Coulson and his team are sent to help Damage Control finish the clean-up, and find the new supervillain.
Background: Destroyer aka Keen Marlow has been appearing in comics since 1941, and is another recipient of the “super soldier serum” given to Steve Rogers. He has fought alongside Captain America and has been a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Episode Idea: When “The Calvary” does not have enough firepower to extract the team from a bad situation, Agent May decides it is time to call in Destroyer.
Will any of these appearances actually happen? Probably not…unless Joss Whedon decides to stumble upon this blog, or Skye decides to hack my computer. Until then I’ll keep hoping that the show stops creating characters, and starts using characters already available in the Marvel Universe.