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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Star Says Series Should Be Credited for Marvel Studios’ TV Success: ‘We Were the First’

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Star Says Series Should Be Credited for Marvel Studios' TV Success: 'We Were the First'


  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    made a mark as the first series set in the MCU but hasn’t received recognition from Marvel for its contribution.
  • Star Ming-Na Wen feels that the show deserves acknowledgment for paving the way for Marvel’s other live-action series available on Disney+.
  • Marvel seems to have distanced itself from
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    , contrasting with its active acknowledgment of the Marvel shows previously on Netflix.

When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC in 2013, the series received a considerable amount of hype, in large part, because of its tangible connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Clark Gregg was taking his fan-favorite character, Agent Phil Coulson, out of the films and was allowed to headline his own series that would potentially expand on his mythology. It was also marketed as the first series to be set in the MCU, even acknowledging the continuity of the films and other TV series. However, since the conclusion of the show, Marvel has distanced itself a bit from the series, and one of its stars, Ming-Na Wen, feels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deserves way more recognition from Marvel than it receives.

During an appearance on Katee Sackoff’s The Sackhoff Show podcast, Ming-Na was asked if there was any sign that her character, Melinda May, could make a return at some point to the MCU. The actress seemed doubtful about the possibility and was pretty blunt that the former ABC series should get more recognition for paving the way for Marvel’s other has live-action series that have debuted on Disney+. Wen said, “No, they have not [called]. It’s weird, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sort of became a separate entity for whatever reason because it was on the network as opposed to streaming. I think there’s some, and this is why my obliviousness also helps because I don’t understand it, so you’re asking the wrong person, I just know there’s some sort of division.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC in 2013 and ran for seven seasons with a total of 136 episodes. The first season began with significantly high ratings for network television, but they eventually dropped in subsequent seasons. The ratings soon settled at a place that made it clear the show had a dedicated fanbase and reviews for the series were also positive. When asked if the show was cast aside because it was one of the last Marvel series to air on network television, Wen said, “Yeah, but we were the first, so you think we should get some accolade for helping launch Marvel in what the TV [department] that it is now.”

Marvel Has Seemed to Distance Itself From Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel does seem to pick and choose what is more connected to their greater cinematic universe, especially when it comes to the television shows. The distance being created regarding Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems more egregious since Marvel has given proper attention to the Marvel shows that used to stream exclusively on Netflix. Various characters from these series have been appearing in other MCU projects, with Daredevil soon to get his own show that is a proper continuation of his series that began its life on Netflix. That show, and other Marvel Netflix series such as Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, are now confirmed to be canon within the MCU.

The place of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. within the MCU hasn’t been as clear, despite the show being conceived as a spin-off of the Avengers films. Events of the MCU are acknowledged on the show, but as the series carried on through its run, it became a matter of debate among the fans whether or not it was really connected to the MCU at all anymore. Creatively, the series seemed to find more of a groove when it wasn’t trying to establish connections to the MCU, but the further away it got from that, it made its place in the canon even more uncertain.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: How the MCU Would Benefit From the Series Being Canon

With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. added to Disney+, here’s the complicated story of the show’s MCU canon status.

Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. followed the agents as they dealt with various unusual cases and enemies. Hydra, Inhumans, the Kree, and Life Model Decoys, were some of the obstacles the agents were up against, while time travel also became a major plot point. Several episodes of the show did directly cross over with the MCU films, most notably Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which had a significant impact on the first season. In addition to Wen and Gregg, the series also stars Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Casetecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, John Hannah, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
can currently be streamed on Disney+.

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