As Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. enters its last season, Comic Book Resources reports that the showrunners have plans to include a greater connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this season. Aside from select major crossovers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has mostly been independent of the broader Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, a recent interview with Deadline suggests that something is in store for this next season. Series co-creator Jed Whedon (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog) said that the series will “bump into something” directly related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jeph Loeb (Teen Wolf), the former head of Marvel’s Television Department, and Jeff Bell (Angel), executive producer of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., echoed Whedon’s statement.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first televised spin-off, premiering on ABC in September of 2013. The series follows secret agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg (Much Ado About Nothing), as he assembles a team of specialized individuals to assist the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Since then, the series has run for six additional seasons from 2013-2020 for a total of 123 episodes.
Coulson debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first film Iron Man (2008). In its first two seasons, the series frequently crossed over with and made references to their cinematic counterparts in a similar fashion to Coulson’s role. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction)’s Nick Fury, who also debuted in Iron Man, made a few appearances in the first season. Maria Hill from 2012’s The Avengers, played by Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), appeared in the first and second seasons. Fury and Hill are the leader and second in command of S.H.I.E.L.D. respectively, and appear in the show to guide Coulson and give him and his ream new orders. While neither became mainstays like Coulson, characters from the films appearing was a major point of crossover. As the series continued and the plot deviated from the films, these appearances became fewer.
The series maintains continuity with the films, meaning that while primary MCU characters such as Iron Man or Captain America may not make appearances, the events of their films affect the show. For example, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season was dramatically flipped on its head after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which revealed villainous organization H.Y.D.R.A had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. On the show, several characters were revealed to be traitors, completely changing the status quo and trajectory of the show’s plot.
Season 7 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered this past Wednesday, on May 27th. The trailer for this season is available on Marvel’s YouTube channel. The rest of the series is currently available to stream on Netflix.