‘Agents of SHIELD’ Made a Huge Mistake in the Show’s Final Seasons

Agents of SHIELD was the longest-running Marvel show of them all.

One of the first and most successful adaptations of the behemoth theatrical universe, SHIELD, lets viewers look at the organization’s smaller problems. However, while the series had a rich history of comics behind it, it didn’t always appease every fan’s desire. Look no further than the way they handled Mack. 

What is ‘Agents of SHIELD’?

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During the first phase of the MCU, the most reliable presence outside of Nick Fury was Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson. Coulson helped assemble the original Avengers thanks to his connections that spread throughout the universe. However, during the first Avengers movie, Coulson made the ultimate sacrifice when faced up against Loki. Or did he?

After Nick Fury brought Coulson back to life using an ancient Kree drug, he was back in action, albeit in a different form. Coulson begins to work behind the scenes to assemble a squad of heroes who works in more covert ways than the Avengers ever could. The series focuses on this ragtag group of heroes from the comics who never made it to the big screen MCU. This was the driving force of Agents of SHIELD.

While Coulson was the driving force behind the show, it was, at its core, an ensemble movie that worked on its cast’s strength. Coulson has since passed away, although a decoy version took his place. From Melinda May to Skye and Ghost Rider, the series has been a showcase of some lesser-known or long-forgotten Marvel heroes. 

If the MCU showed epic battles that affected the universe, Agents of SHIELD shows the smaller cases. It’s also a look at the company’s hierarchy that has been both a force of good and a force of evil in the MCU. However, as roles shifted and new characters were introduced, some fans don’t like the diversions from the comics. One of these had to do with series regular Mack.

Who is Mack?

Mack started out as a SHIELD mechanic who just wanted to do things his way. Rather than fighting evil with his fists or weapons, Mack always looks for a more pacifist approach to his work. It’s implied that he is very religious, but his hard work and commitment to good make him a favorite in SHIELD. When Coulson stepped away before his death, Mack became the acting head of SHIELD. Under his watch, things began to change. 

Mack struggled with the role, however. His pacifism often ran counterintuitive to his role as director, but it made the show’s final seasons more intriguing in the process. Some fans disagreed, however. Some wanted to see the entire organization to take an arc more similar to the comics. 

‘Agents of SHIELD’: Fans chime in

CLARK GREGG on ‘Agents of SHIELD’ | Mitch Haaseth via Getty Images

While some fans liked Mack as the head of SHIELD, some wanted to see Maria Hill, who is played by Cobie Smulders in both the films and the series, take the role she had in the comics as head of SHIELD. Reddit User u/andson-r elaborated.

They f****d up by making Mack the head of SHIELD. Sure, it wrapped his arc neatly and that mantle was well deserved….but if anyone had to step up as SHIELD Director, it’s Maria Hill. Which she was in the comics too. (Per Reddit)

If there’s one thing Agents of SHIELD did to its detriment, it’s disconnect itself from the outside universe a little bit too much. While there were several crossovers between the film universe and television, they never fully embraced the unique opportunity. By bringing Hill in as head of SHIELD, the makers could have not only given her a more intriguing role than she’s often given on the big screen, but they also could have crossed over the television universe more substantially than it ever previously had. 

Hill remains a mainstay in the cinematic universe, and with a more direct slate of companion series heading toward Disney Plus, don’t be surprised if Hill gets more small-screen exposure in the coming years.