Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review and Commentary - The Agents Of Shield Episode - The Hub For Your Old School Super Heroes Campaign

Tonight's Agents of Shield Episode was action packed and edgy that gave us further character development with the various team members. It was action packed as it gets for a Disney/Marvel eight O'clock show. But while its enjoyable its damn slow.
The Hub was Skye questioning and Agents Simmons and Ward while Agent Coulson started looking into his ressurection for the three thousandth time.
Seriously its time to start doing a few reveals and starting giving less then stellar vague hints.
We were in one of the central command and control centers for Shield this week. Did the audience get anything remotely like real secrets? Nope we got more vague secrets, smoke and mirrors as well as a bunch of Disney eight o'clock violence and some gun play. 

Seriously this episode could have been real nail biting CSI inside level espionage wide board violence as it happens on the ground stuff. Naw, that's not going to  happen. Why? Because the kiddies are watching and real world violence as well as problems wrapped up with the aftermath of Thor Dark World stuff is too complex for today's kids.
Coming up next the Goldbergs.
We the audience are treated to some supposed hints, vague tie ins with the Movie Marvel Universe. When in the heck are we going to get them. Last week's F.Z.Z.T.  was about as close as we've gotten.
Even other entertainment bloggers are asking when?
Right over

Agent May is another mystery wrapped up in an enigma without a kick ass agent vibe going on but isn't time to reveal her clearance, background, and really show case just how bad ass she really is. Seriously she's had like what a total of thirty minutes of air time and tonight we get her doing Tai Chi exercises in a leotard while counseling Coulson. Seriously, could we let the asset off the chain and let her kick some ass or do something besides looking interesting with a level eight clearance.

Tonight's episode might as well be called 'Guys In Suits With Clearance'. If I were back from the dead and I was Coulson I'd be asking my superiors for real God damn answers.
Seriously Shield is right at the moment my least favorite super spy organization. Thrush and Khaos from Get Smart at least have medical and dental plans even if you were a disposable asset.
A super star team spy team that investigates X files style crap should be getting answers and damn it the audience deserves better.  
Tonight we had Coulson's opposite number who is another vague boss type within the TV Shield hierarchy. There was this whole 'Trust In The System' creeptastic vibe going throughout the entire episode like it was a Verizon corporate cheering meet. Tonight's episode felt like a Dilbert Cartoon. Christ, help me if this is what passes for comic book stuff these days.
The interior Shield's the Hub could have been any megacorporate headquarters. This is an organization which supposedly deploys multiple Hele-carriers. I've said it before and I'll say it again Disney, writers, etc. you've got thousands of characters, millions of issues, and Thor The Dark World is the number one movie in the country please get your act together. 

Using The Hub For Your Old School Super Hero Campaign

If I were playing in this series as a Marvel Super Heroes or any super hero game I would be having 'The Talk' with the DM. The what the hell are you doing talk.
Basically at this point if I was a DM I'd take my party of PC's and go rogue from Shield. Seriously any super spy organization that treats its agents this badly is not one I want to work for.
Fact is that any super spy campaign could be branched off from this series and literally have very little to do with it.

The real Shield runs throughout the entire Marvel Super Heroes game starting with the basic set and working all the way through the cosmic stuff. Setting a game in the 80's might also work. The violence, mayhem, Cold War motifs, and Ronny Ray Gun style might work better then the current Agents Of Shield.
 Here's an idea, take a classic 80's television show and add in the Marvel Super Heroes game. Wham instant campaign. The A Team as a team of mutants who escape into the Los Angles underground.

Another idea might be campaign where PC's are second stringer supers hired to deal with some of the left over problems from the Avengers and possibly Shield itself.
 One of my all time favorite adventures for this was Cat's Paw By Jeff Grubb. Yes its a basic module but its got enough to really allow players to sink into the deep end of the pond with Dept. H style stuff. It can be modified to be played with the Advanced game with a bit of work on the DM's part.
But its got everything to get a game into high 80's gear.
Get It right
 If your going to run it in the Advanced Marvel Super Heroes game your going to need


Get it right

If the television Agents of Shield and the organization depicted in Captain America The Winter Soldier were a 'real' organizations and I had super powers. I'd be with the mutants and super villains because Shield is  like something out of White Wolf's Aberrant and Trinity. That game had a huge war between the supers and just such organizations.
"To Build A Better World Sometimes Means Tearing The Old One Down"
Robert Redford's character in Captain America The Winter Soldier Trailer 

Shield in tonight's episode "Hub" treated its agents like disposable assets and so it leaves me wondering if Shield is an organization that should be saved. 

 Right now Agents of Shield is an excuse to get together with friends, have pizza, and knock around the Marvel universe. I'm still waiting on this one. 

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