Fangirl rant… AWAY!!!!
For those that haven’t kept up with all the goodies that’ll be on the Avengers Blu-Ray/DVD release, ‘Item 47’ is the next Marvel short to be produced and, sad to say, it’s also the first one that won’t feature Agent Coulson.
Minor spoilers after the cut.
Marvel’s One-Shots have been used as bonus features on home-video releases for Thor and Captain America, and this one will be available Sept. 25 on The Avengers Blu-ray, with a special screening planned for San Diego next week during Comic-Con.
This is the longest, most elaborate of the Marvel shorts so far, and could be a first step toward using short-subject films to dive deeper into the Marvel universe and introduce beloved but less-familiar superheroes to the mainstream.
Item 47 refers to the gun itself, which S.H.I.E.L.D. would like very much to retrieve from the hapless young troublemakers. “The world is topsy-turvy now. There’s been an alien invasion, and things are crazy,” explains Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, who directed the film himself. “So when this gun literally fell into their lap, this is a sign: We’re going to rob a few banks, we’re going to buy a boat, we’re going to the Caribbean, and all our problems will be solved.”
Two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (Maximiliano Hernández, returning from Thor and The Avengers, and Lost’s Man in Black Titus Welliver, making his Marvel debut) are given the job of cleaning up the mess and stopping this modern Bonnie and Clyde (not coincidentally named Benny and Claire.)
The goal was to show some non-superpowered people reacting to the aftermath of The Avengers. “Anything that expands the world and shows you the more human elements of it, that just makes the world more colorful and fun for the average viewer,” says Eric Pearson, who wrote the screenplay for Item 47, as well as the previous two One-Shots: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer and The Consultant.
Ok, I don’t mean to be that person bitching about crap on the internet before they even see the thing. I usually try to avoid that sort of thing. And I’ll admit I like the idea of SHIELD doing a bit of emergency clean up after the events of the movie. I like Lizzy Caplan. I like more with Agent Sitwell. And I really like the idea of normal people getting their hands on one of those alien weapons and horrible, horrible hi-jinks ensuing.
But holy GOD, this doesn’t feel the same without Coulson.
Not going to lie, I’m one of the many firm believers that supports the Agent Coulson Lives movement, so I’m biased. In fact, I’m VERY biased. In any case, color me disappointed to say the least in light of what I’d hoped ‘Item 47’ might have touched on. Personally, I’d hoped ‘Item 47’ referred to the mega gun Coulson used in the movie and the short might have been a little more about its construction or the events leading up to Coulson grabbing it on the Helicarrier. Or for those that subscribe to the Vision theory, ‘Item 47’ could have referred to a certain mechanical body that had been on display in the background of the Captain America movie.
Again, I’m not saying it might not be a good short on its own, I dig the idea a lot, but to sit it next to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer or The Consultant… I don’t know if this fangirl’s heart is ready for that just yet.
Their goal with this new short (and really, both shorts before it) was to expand the world and show more of the human element dealing with superheroes. I get that. I like it. I need that. But that’s pretty much the point of Agent Coulson, at least for me. He’s the audience’s way in. He’s a normal guy in the midst of this world of larger than life superheroes, and ends up looking just as powerful as any of them.
The shorts featuring Coulson were great because we got to see a few moments of a normal guy, interacting with normal people while the other guys in leotards and metal suits fly around elsewhere. And the reason it was so great was because it was Agent Coulson doing it.
The formula of everyday people being confronted by the extraordinary has already been put into practice with the Thor’s Hammer short. Normal people in a normal setting getting thrown unknowingly into the weird. It wasn’t a random SHIELD agent dealing with a heist at a convenience store, it was Coulson. His familiar presence raises the stakes. In this new short, it feels like they’re trying to sub Sitwell into this role, and use him as our new connection. And while I do like him, that connection doesn’t come off as strong, mostly due to him being underutilized in the past movies. Without that strong character to guide us through this new situation, and hopefully introduce new characters into the mix, the whole thing feels a little flat. All I’m saying is, presenting a scenario where we’re dealing with the human element is all well and good, just make that human element an element the audience can relate to.
It’s obvious they weren’t going to do anything involving Coulson after the events in The Avengers, but to just abruptly drop any reference to him from the Marvel shorts without another thought just doesn’t seem right to me. But then again, who knows? I haven’t seen the short yet. There could be a nice little nod to Coulson waiting for me. Or, they could decide to go the other way and not acknowledge him at all, you know, kind of like when they dropped any reference to him from the third act of the movie (Tony’s line excluded) which is another pet peeve of mine. But I’ll save that for another time.