What Can Buffy Tell Us About The Future Of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
At first glance, that headline might seem a little awkward to some of you without intricate knowledge of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. I mean, superheroes and vampire slayers totally have nothing in common right?
Of course, this isn’t about Blade (but my over-reaching point stands!), this is about a production company called Mutant Enemy (headed by Joss Whedon) that’s behind both Buffy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even though we’re only two episodes into S.H.I.E.L.D. similarities are already rising, which leads me to some ideas.
Strong Female Characters will drive the show going forward.
If any similarity stands out between these two programs, it’s a central cast with 2 strong female characters. In Buffy you had, well.. Buffy, but Willow was an integral part of moving the plot forward as well, and then later there was Faith (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t really have a comparison for Faith.. yet.) , the show delivered 3 strong female characters with totally different personalities.
Buffy was the Slayer, the ass-kicking mystery solving demon hating focal point of the entire show. She didn’t want to constantly be fighting and whooping all kinds of demonic ass, but when it came down to it, well the Hellmouth couldn’t throw anything at her that didn’t eventually wind up dead.
Does that sort of sound like any character from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to you? A tough chick who really doesn’t want to fight, but takes up the responsibility when it comes down to it?
Oh snap ! Agent Melinda “The Calvary” May! Now she’s not a carbon copy of Buffy in any way, but there’s enough similarities already to draw a comparison. Melinda was one of the fiercest fighters in S.H.I.E.L.D. history, where even recruits learn about her days known as “The Cavalry”, yet she wanted to get away from the fighting. She had herself placed in Administration until Agent Coulson dragged her back into the fold.
Willow was the attractive geeky computer whiz with a few quirks that eventually became a powerful witch. Okay, maybe the witch thing doesn’t apply, but early Buffy seasons Willow is almost a dead ringer for Skye!
So, given Whedon’s infatuation with strong female characters, we can fully expect to see these girls driving the show forward in their respective ways, if the show even lasts that long, but that actually brings me to my next point…
The Show Gets Better With Time..
If you’re a fan of Buffy, or Dollhouse, or any Joss Whedon show with multiple seasons (Sorry Firefly fans) you’ve definitely noticed something when you go back and watch the first season again. By all comparisons to later seasons, the first season is near terrible! Granted, this argument can be made about any television show, but with Whedon it works a little differently. Most people find a show’s best run is in the middle of its lifespan. Joss Whedon shows just have an okay first season, then tear off into awesome immediately with season 2 and beyond. It’s almost like we, the viewers, get the first season solely as preparation for what comes later.
Obviously, I can’t speak to what the future holds for Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. but it’s really the Whedon way.
The Universe Will Expand
Buffy ended up launching it’s own spin-off called Angel that lasted for a few seasons, and the universe has expanded cross medium with multiple comic continuations and tie-ins.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is already an expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so we could obviously see characters from the show hit the silver screen, or the inverse (like with Nick Fury’s Cameo last week). One thing Buffy & Angel did was frequently carry cameo appearances from the other work in the same universe, so considering the Marvel Universe is built on something Whedon’s made his career out of doing, well it’s a pretty sure bet we’ll see it some more.
There’s a lot more I could have written, but the rest would just be sheer speculation considering season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t even ended. Perhaps after the season wraps we’ll revisit this article and see what was right, and what hasn’t been.
In the meantime, I’m going back to watching Buffy, cause… Buffy.