Is ‘Agents of SHIELD’ Canon? Fans Explain Why Some Say It’s Not

Before Marvel’s upcoming shows on Disney+, Marvel had a couple of TV shows that some fans loved, while others didn’t. For example, Inhumans is technically a Marvel TV show that was terribly received by both critics and by audiences alike. However, Agents of Shield and Daredevil are very popular Marvel shows that are generally well-received by critics and audiences. That said, while they’re popular with fans, they may not exactly be canon in the MCU itself. Here’s a look at the debate over whether or not Agents of Shield is canon. 

What does canon even mean?

Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Jennifer Clasen/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Canon is a word that gets thrown around a lot in many fandoms. Star Wars fans use it very often, as do Marvel fans, and DC fans as well. As an idea, canon simply means something that is true to the universe that it’s in. So, for example, in the MCU, anything that happens in the movies is canon, since those events are true to the MCU. 

Stuff that happens off-screen generally are not considered canon, since it’s impossible to say that those events actually happened in the universe. This doesn’t mean that comic books or novels or TV shows can’t be canon. Rather, it means that there are levels of canon. This is what some fans on Reddit said in regards to the MCU’s relationship with Agents of Shield.

Is Agents of Shield canon?

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Canon as a concept is very controversial, but generally speaking, in order for something to be canon, it has to affect other things in the universe and it also has to be affected by other things in the universe. This is why some fans say that Agents of Shield isn’t canon, since it is affected by the MCU, but it doesn’t affect the MCU. 

For example, in Agents of Shield, the characters reference events that happen in the movies quite often. The opposite doesn’t really happen often. Marvel movies simply don’t seem to pay attention to Agents of Shield, so the events that happen in the show doesn’t seem to affect the movies all that much. However, fans of the show will point out that some minor things from the show will get shown in the movies from time to time.

That said, in order to end this debate permanently, Marvel would have to step in to say whether or not the show is canon. So far, with Agents of Shield ending, there has been some talk about having the characters show up in the movies, but that hasn’t happened yet. Marvel may not want this to happen, either. In Avengers: Endgame, Marvel had a chance to show every Marvel TV character joining the fight, but Marvel chose not to do this. 

Is Agents of Shield its own thing?

Other fans on Reddit argue that one piece of evidence that throws a wrench into the debate is the fact that, after Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all life in the universe, the show kind of ignored this. That said, fans of the show said that the show will deal with the snap and its consequences in the seventh season, which is currently airing. 

In any case, if the show doesn’t adequately deal with the snap, then that’ll be evidence that the show isn’t really canon. Instead, the show will have to deal with the consequences of time travel shenanigans, which may mean that the show is in an alternate universe rather than in the main Marvel universe. 

At the end of the day though, canon is just something that fans care about. As one person on Reddit said, Agents of Shield is canon if you want it to be.