There was no Iron Man or Hulk. No Hawkeye or Thor.
Yet Marvel still made its mark on the television world tonight, as Agents of SHIELD premiered to very strong critical reviews.
The series appears to possess everything a fan of this universe could demand:
There was action (the introduction of Grant, the concluding stand-off with Michael); there was mystery (where was Coulston this whole time? How was he brought back to life? Why is Melinda May hesitant to get into battle?); there was humor (sounds like someone to make S.H.I.E.L.D. an acronym!).
The overall dialogue felt fresh and snappy, which is all we'd ever expect from Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the pilot.
Will that continue now that Whedon has moved on to other projects and will not be in charge of running this series on a weekly basis? That's a question for another day.
For Marvel fans, the episode referenced the "Extremes" technology made famous in Iron Man 3, giving us an idea of how it will remain loosely connected to the wildly popular movie franchise, while still remaining its own entity.
But there's something here for non-comic fans as well.
The mere concept of a group of humans cleaning up after superheroes is intriguing. Even if the show turns out to be a basic procedural disguised as something more, due to its affiliation with Marvel, that's perfectly okay. Look at NCIS. There's plenty of room for witty banter and entertainment in a procedural.
Will you be sticking around Level 7 to see where this all goes? Are you all aboard the crazy plane? Sound off below with your thoughts on the Agents of SHIELD premiere and grade it now: