Update: So a new S.H.I.E.L.D. trailer is out, this one giving us a much better glimpse at the new series (which will be airing on ABC this fall at 8PM on Tuesday nights). Take a look and read on for my updated thoughts (you can see the previous trailer here):
1) We get an opening narration that covers the same sort of ground as Coulson’s narration in the short preview, but from a more civilian perspective. It includes much of the footage of the “known” superheroes from the previous clip.
2) We get a much better glimpse at the cast, starting with Ward (Brett Dalton), who we see get promoted to “Level 7,” presumably a security clearance level. He seems cocky and sarcastic, spouting the Whedonesque line, “It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out ‘SHIELD’.” He seems like a know-it-all, confidently describing how Coulson died, only to be shocked when Coulson appears, very much alive, and welcomes him to “Level 7.” He’s obviously the new recruit and the audience’s doorway into this universe, coming to grips with a world that is more unusual than he could have expected.
3) We get a brief look at the other agents. Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) is well known (at least to Ward) and is the pilot of the plane which I assume to be their base of operations and is also some kind of combat badass. I already love Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge), the weapons/technology expert and life sciences expert, who work together enough that they are known by the combined name of “Fitzsimmons.” It’s also nice that the cast has some non-Americans, and it helps sell the worldwide aspect of S.H.I.E.L.D.
4) The last cast member we see introduced is Skye (Chloe Bennet), a civilian who seems to be part of some underground resistance to S.H.I.E.L.D. but who gets recruited as part of the team. We see her advising J. August Richards’ character (whose name still is unconfirmed) on how he needs to hide from S.H.I.E.L.D. and describes them as the stereotypical men in black. I would assume Skye has some connection to the viral site, perhaps as a member of “The Rising Tide.”
5) We get a good look at the resources available to this particular team, including that awesome plane and other vehicles (including Lola, of course), holographic imaging and some sort of small drones. It’s clear from the inclusion of Fitzsimmons that there will be a big gadgetry aspect to the show, and it gives the show the vibe of something like Eureka.
6) Whedon’s humor gets a chance to shine in a few places, between the “initials spelling SHIELD” line and Richards’ “I need to carry a shield?” Clearly the acronym is ripe for puns, but I also love seeing the way he defies expectations. Ward’s “No” in response to “Is one of them the easy way?” is good, but Skye’s echo of the “no” is even better. It’s just so good to have him (and his brother and sister-in-law) back on TV.
7) Coulson gets to be even more awesome in this longer trailer. His sales pitch to Skye, “We’re not exactly a team, but we’re in a position to do some good,” echoes the sentiments in The Avengers. His mini-speech to Richards is particularly good: “I’ve seen giants. The good ones, they’re not heroes because of what they have; it’s what they do with it.” It sounds like something from Angel or Buffy, about how superpowers don’t make you a hero, and it ties in perfectly to the Marvel Universe. But his most badass line is, “Don’t ever tell me there’s no way.” We haven’t gotten much of a glimpse in the movies of Coulson as a leader, but this makes me excited to see what he can do.
7b) Coulson’s line about “We’re not the only ones interested in people with powers” is intriguing, and seems like a setup for the Big Bad of the series. Perhaps some sinister organization trying to recruit superpowered individuals for nefarious purposes?
8) If “Not all heroes are super” is their tagline, I’m all for it. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling that I think they’re trying to go for. The main thrust of the show seems to be about ordinary people dealing with the extraordinary, and this provides a great setting to explore what it really means to be a hero.
What do you think about this new trailer? Are you as excited as I am? Let me know what you think?