Last week I wrote about superheroes in DC comics being adapted as TV shows. We promised to bring you an update on the characters from Marvel as well and here it is.
Agents of SHIELD:
Based on the Marvel organization Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (SHIELD), Agents of SHIELD, run by Phil Coulson, deals with unusual cases and supernatural phenomenon that need to be solved outside the ambit of the law. Currently in its second season, it has received very good reviews and responses and even won the Most Exciting New Series award in the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.
Based on the Captain America Avengers series, Agent Carter, still in its first season, is set in 1940s America and features Agent Peggy Carter balancing her role as a secret agent for Howard Stark as well as her life as a single, independent woman. The show has got a good reception so far with Rotten Tomatoes claiming, “Focusing on Peggy Carter as a person first and an action hero second makes Marvel’s Agent Carter a winning, stylish drama with bursts of excitement and an undercurrent of cheeky fun”.
While these are the only Marvel shows running currently, there are several that have been picked up for the near future. Powers, Daredevil and AKA Jessica Jones are all set to release in 2015 itself.
Power, based on the Power comic books, is set to start airing from March, 2015. With Sharlto Copley and Susan Heywood in the main roles, Powers is based on the Powers comic books series and is about detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, as they solve crimes, often supernatural, as a part of the Homicide Division called Powers.
Beginning in April this year on Netflix, Daredevil is the blind lawyer Matt Murdock who solves crime by night. 13 episodes will release at the same time to encourage binge-watching. Charlie Cox is in the title role, and posters and trailers released during the Comic con promise a very exciting new show.
A.K.A Jessica Jones:
While release dates are not out yet, the show is meant to be out on Netflix again sometime this year. It revolves around a former superhero Jessica Jones, running her own detective agency. Krysten Ritter plays the protagonist who is trying to rebuild her life, and recovering from PTSD.
The Hero Complex:
With this in mind maybe it is important to understand why superheroes are so popular in contemporary TV adaptations. It is believed that while superhero shows are meant to be both educative and entertaining, they are also seen as a form of escapism.
Further, in America, superhero comics, as well as spy novels and shows became extremely popular during the Cold War era with the villain often being a Russian or more generally a communist, often meaning to stir up patriotic and sentimental feelings among the audience too.
Superheroes- often undercover agents and vigilantes help us get a feeling of security and peace-a resolving of all conflict before the final credits is much like the fairy-tale ending people look forward to, in Disney movies.
There’s a lot to recommend TV shows adapted from comic books. The fact that most of them are made extremely well in terms of technique and style and have very good-looking people in the cast just go a long way in helping them get those TRPs.
Meanwhile, let’s just watch our favourite shows and celebrate the sheer awesomeness.
By Shreemayee Das