Friday, November 15, 2013

Five (Or So) Ways To Fix Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Everyone wants to like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but people seem to be giving up on it in droves.  It's boring, they say.  It's not going anywhere, they say.  WHEN IS SOMETHING INTERESTING GOING TO HAPPEN FOR GOD'S SAKE??? they say.

Well, here are five (or so) ideas for spicing up the show before it gets cancelled like every other cool geek offering that has potential but can't seem to find an audience fast enough.

Let's start with...

1. Introduce An Evil Counter Agency - MI6 had SPECTRE. The FBI and CIA had the KGB. S.H.I.E.L.D. needs its A.I.M or its HYDRA.  Seriously.  There are no evil empires anymore.  This isn't the cold war of the 80's.  Without a persistent counter threat, who really cares what S.H.I.E.L.D does?  I don't.   A.I.M. was introduced in Iron Man 3 (albeit terribly).  Use them! 

Now that we have our A.I.M, start an arms race with them!  That would lead us to cool new gadgets.  Espionage.  Maybe even the Dreadnought -  A.I.M.'s killer robot sent to kill Nick Fury!  No way this thing is going to be used in any other Marvel movie, so why not break it out?  It's rad!

 [ Is it just me or does Nick Fury look kind of pale? ]

Speaking of the super powerful Dreadnought, why doesn't this show have any...

2. Super Villains - Where are they?  We already don't have a recognizable (or feared) counter agency, so WTF is S.H.I.E.L.D protecting us from?  How about some villains? There are thousands of them in the Mighty Marvel Universe that, like the Dreadnought, won't ever be used in a major Marvel film.  How about Hydro Man?  Whirlwind?  The (already used and still alive) Abomination?  The Blizzard?  Oooh...The Taskmaster!  Give the S.H.I.E.L.D team something cool and menacing to take down!

 [ He TASKS me!]

Why?  Because, hey, once we have Super Villains, we'd have to lock them in...

3. The Vault - Super villain prison extraordinaire!  Would make for an interesting base camp when they're not roaming around in the plane or messing with the Helicarrier. Lots of cool opportunities to introduce villains, do training and otherwise showcase the cool backstory of the Marvel mythos.  The place is cool!

And if you have the vault, you have...

4. The Guardsman -  We've got Iron Man.  That led us to Iron Patriot.  Shouldn't that lead us to The Guardsman?  Why not give one of the S.H.I.E.L.D agents the chance to don the Guardsman armor when the aforementioned super villains or Dreadnought shows up?  This S.H.I.E.L.D team needs some firepower to be relevant in a world that has Loki and other big bads in it.  This would be a way to give it to them! It worked on Deep Space Nine, right?  Can you say "Defiant?"
[ Iron who? ]

Which leads me to the final thing this show needs...

5. A Super Hero S.H.I.E.L.D Agent - Hawkeye and The Black Widow aren't available regularly because they are Avengers (and also too expensive to pay to be on a TV show)now, so why not introduce another super powered agent?  Dare I suggest...Spider Woman?  How cool would she be?  Pretty darned cool, methinks!  And, I know I sound like a broken record here, but there's no way she's ever going to get her own movie or T.V. show, so why not put her to good use?  Mix it up!

[ Because you KNOW they'd go with the black costume... ]

There you have it: five (or so) ways to spice up Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The bottom line is, this thing has Marvel's name on it and it's trying to play off of the success of The Avengers.  That means you need to "supe" it up!  Pronto!

Get on it, Joss...before it's too late!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thoughts on Mother's Day...

Thanks to the wonders of social media, each Mother's Day I get to see hundreds of friends, co-workers, family and acquaintances on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ wish their mothers the very best; and each Mother's Day I am reminded of how my own mother was taken from me way too soon.  Losing your mother at any age is tough, I imagine, but losing my mother before I had a chance to turn 30 or have children of my own was (and continues to be) especially difficult for me.

I have come to realize, however, that despite my loss, I have been extremely fortunate to have so many other great mothers and motherly figures in my life. 

My sister Carmen has always been like a mother to me.  She babysat my brother and I as kids.  She wrote me letters and sent me money when I was in college.  She took me out for my first legal beer after I turned 21.  She's always been there for me and continues to be there for me, even as I'm nearing 40.

My stepmother, Audrey, always took care of us on the weekends when my brother and I would visit our dad.  She was (and probably still is) a great cook and a good listener and she took good care of my father and kept him off our cases whenever he got in a particularly nasty mood.

My friend John's mother, Diane, was like a mother to me growing up.  I practically lived at John's house after school and on the weekends and Diane always set a place for me at their dinner table and kept a box of my favorite cereal in their pantry for weekend breakfasts.  I felt like family whenever I stayed in their home.

My sister Kelly, my sister Lee Ann, my Aunt Joan, my Grandma Murphy...all great mothers and mother figures for me growing up.  I've watched my friends from High School and College become mothers over the years and I've enjoyed seeing the joy and happiness they get from being parents. 
My mothers-in-law, Judi and Linda, both welcomed me into their families with open arms and, despite my faults, loved me like their own sons.  Mothers really are wonderfully forgiving, aren't they?  A mother's love makes the world go 'round.

Finally, I am thankful for my wife, Heidi...a mother to be.  We are expecting our first child in the next month or two and I couldn't be happier.  I know she will be a great mother, because she already is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is "thank you" to all of the great mothers in my life!  I miss my mother, but I feel so lucky to have (and have had) so many other great mothers help me make it through these past 40 years...

Happy Mother's Day!