Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has come to an end, closing the door not only on seven seasons but on an era of superhero television that spawned innovative hits like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. As is ever the case with Marvel, some fans – but not all – are having a hard time letting go.
Most of the time when something ends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans clamor for more. They contrive ways of resurrecting a dead Tony Stark. They come up with ways to bring Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock into one of the movies. But when it comes to Agents of SHIELD, some fans are saying enough is enough.
‘Agents of SHIELD’ broke ground
When Agents of SHIELD premiered in 2013, few people would have guessed it would last seven years. By then, the movie side of Marvel had hit its stride with the stratospheric success of The Avengers, and Agents of SHIELD at the time seemed like a way to keep that flame burning while the movies went in other directions.
Yet the show not only managed to hang on, but it gave rise to other acclaimed series. Not every show managed to catch on — we hardly knew ye, Agent Carter — but Marvel Television’s success carried on longer than most people expected it to, thanks to the rise of streaming. Meanwhile, back on good old-fashioned network TV, SHIELD carried on, with strong reviews from its first season to its last.
The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus on the first season read, “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is sure to please comic book fans, but the strong ensemble and brisk pacing help to make this better-than-average superhero show accessible to non-fanboys as well.”
Similarly, they said of the final season, “Heartfelt and held together by the strength of its super cast’s chemistry, Agents of SHIELD‘s final season is a fitting farewell to a beloved team.”
What do fans say about a movie?
When a well-liked show comes to an end, a spinoff series and/or a movie follows. Community, whose pilot was directed by Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo, had a mantra of “SIx seasons and a movie.”
It got the six seasons, although a movie has yet to materialize. And some fans on Reddit would rather Agents of SHIELD stayed on the small screen.
One fan wrote, “A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts. At some point we just gotta let go.”
Another was blunt, invoking the finale that must not be named: “I think the TV should be done personally, I’d rather it didn’t turn into Game of Thrones. But I’d love the characters to have minor appearances in other MCU projects.
Besides, as other fans pointed out, the Agents of SHIELD finale was written to definitively conclude the series. Any continuation from here on out could potentially lessen the show’s legacy. Better to leave well enough alone – at least for now.
Where does Marvel TV go from here?
The answer to that question is obvious – to Disney+. What’s not so obvious is exactly when it will happen. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was supposed to premiere this fall, with WandaVision following late this year, and Loki, What If ..? and Hawkeye to follow in 2021. Three more series, She Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, are also in development.
Unfortunately, the pandemic halted production on Falcon, WandaVision and Loki, leaving their premiere dates uncertain. What is certain now is that Marvel’s television side is going in an entirely new direction, since it will be overseen by Kevin Feige, who has steered the movies to unparalleled success.
Fans will miss Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but Marvel always has something new in the pipeline, even if a health crisis interrupts the flow.