Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be back April 1st, just three days before Marvel releases the much anticipated Captain America: Winter Soldier. At the Paleyfest panel for the series hinted that some kind of crossover was going to happen. Either a guest star or, as Jeff Loeb hinted, “it wouldn’t surprise anyone if [events from] the movie you mentioned were to happen in the show we’re talking about.”

Now, I don’t want to waste timing bitching about how this series turned out to be dull, and how I place the blame solely on Mr. Whedon’s shoulders for writing a pilot with such bland characters that it is no wonder the show has had a tough climb- oh I just did! What I really want to talk about is how much I love the new world order that MARVEL is introducing (or reintroducing) to film and TV.

As any reader of comics is aware, cameos, and cross-comic tie-ins make up a good portion of the stories in Comics. If some they want to introduce a new character they will throw them in one of the more prominent series running, or if another character is getting a new series, they will have that character get an arc somewhere else. And of course, we can’t forget the Secret Wars that might be the most famous MARVEL cross-over event… that was created to not just sell comics but to sell a toy-line. That’s business.

And why MARVEL deserves some form of Nobel prize for pulling off the whole Phase One dealio, with tying 4 movies in to the AVENGERS movie. Like a delicate game of Jenga, if any of those had failed the whole series, and surely Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would have not existed. It is an event that should be studied marketing, and film school forever. A marked achievement.

Having characters from their movies also co-exist in the TV series, and have events overlap is nothing new, as I said, but to the average TV and Film viewer it mostly is new. There have been TV series that have done it, before i.e.: Laverne & Shirley á la Happy Days, for one. But never to this extent. Creating a massive world that not only their characters can move around in but that their marketing machine can get their grubby paws on is like finding 3 Smurfs and turning them in to Gold. What I am getting at is it’s rare.

Will this connection save the ever-plunging Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? I guess we will find out in a few weeks. The series is yet to be picked up for another season so perhaps Coulson and the crew might be gone for good. Hopefully, no one takes it to heart and cancels any further plans for TV. This is the thing to learn from the comic world: Some characters are not worthy of ongoing series, some are better as limited. And, Kevin Feige and crew, if you are listening, I got two words for you: Damage Control.  You’re welcome.

James C.