As expected, in order to get the full Marvel superhero experience from here on out, you really need to watch everything available, whether it’s on the big screen or small, before or after the credits roll.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, which purchased Marvel Studios years ago, confirmed that the forthcoming ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ spring blockbuster will not only directly tie into 2015’s ‘Avengers’ sequel, but also ABC’s ‘Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ series.
The televised show debuted last fall, and featured the return (and resurrection) of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), a figure who popped up in various Marvel superhero films prior. The show incorporated references and elements of the movies, and it looks like it will once again respond to events happening on the big screen, as Marvel continues this fascinating and ambitious multi-platform synergistic foray.
The ‘Captain America’ sequel, which stars Chris Evans in the lead role alongside Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, has teased chaos and destruction for the S.H.I.E.L.D organization, which means that in order to continue in the same timeline and world, the TV show is going to have to address what transpired.
Both ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Thor 2,’ Marvel sequels released last year, were relatively self-contained stories, with the latter only partly taking place on Earth. ‘Captain America’ looks to be more expansive, affecting not only the TV show, but setting in motion “critical events” that lead up to 2015’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’
What’s more, the following Marvel film, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ while it doesn’t take place on Earth and thus won’t affect ‘Agents,’ will tease the ‘Avengers’ sequel.
All of this is to say, if you're a fan of anything Marvel, especially the TV show, you need to catch the movies, and stay long after the credits, as each film has at least one segment that teases whatever the next story in the franchise will be. Also fun to keep in mind is that fact that all of the main stars of this Marvel world are required to appear in a certain amount of films (and maybe TV shows?), meaning cameos abound.
However, casual fans need not be scared of the cumbersome, esoteric titles: there is a level on which you can simply watch, keep up, and be entertained.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC, and ‘Captain America’ will hit theaters in the U.S. on April 4.