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'Agents of SHIELD': What Did the Comic Industry Think?

As Marvel Studios' first live-action television project debuts with a massive haul in the key demo, how did the comic book Twitteratti react?

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Pilot Episodic Blue - H 2013
ABC

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD made its long-awaited debut Tuesday, and America was watching -- aside from those like Superior Spider-Man writer Dan Slott, who had other things to do -- and, as is the tradition these days, live-tweeting their viewing experience. With ABC and Marvel keeping the pilot under wraps -- it was held under lock and key and sent out to critics -- there was a lot of anticipation within the comic industry for Marvel Studios' first live-action series, so how did the first episode go over?

That's James Robinson, who's written for both DC and Marvel Comics (as well as being responsible for the screenplay of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie from some years back). "Excellent" was certainly more enthusiastic than most seemed to be about the show …

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OK, we can all agree, it seems, that it was a fun show. (For those unfamiliar with the names above: Kurt Busiek has written Avengers and numerous other titles for Marvel, as well as Superman and plenty of series for DC and other publishers; Charles Soule writes Thunderbolts for Marvel, Superman/Wonder Woman and Swamp Thing for DC and Letter 44 for Oni Press; Clayton Cowles is a comic book letterer for Marvel Comics; and Warren Ellis' next comic book work is all Avengers-related: the graphic novel Avengers: Endless Wartime and a co-writing stint on Avengers Assemble).

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Did anyone have anything to say about the premiere that didn't include the word "fun," though?

Hmm. Obviously, there's "top secret" and there's top secret, right …? (Chris Roberson writes The Mysterious Strangers for Oni Press, Doc Savage and The Shadow for Dynamite, and Edison Rex for his own MonkeyBrain Comics.) Of course, not everyone was impressed by the show …

Sleepy Hollow really does seem to have been embraced by a lot of the comic book community for its ridiculous plot twists. Maybe there's a lesson there for the Whedon brain trust behind SHIELD (Faith Erin Hicks writes and draws comics for First Second Books and Dark Horse, with her most high-profile recent gig being the comic spinoff of videogame The Last of Us). Mind you, there are other lessons to be learned, too, as a conversation including comic book writer Justin Gray demonstrated:

But, wait! Enough of pointing out the problems with the show! Wasn't Agents of SHIELD going to be the latest thing that was going to make comics cool to non-comic-readers? Didn't that happen for anyone?

… OK, maybe not. (That's the dry wit of Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon, by the way.) Well, at least Stan Lee and Jack Kirby got credited with creating the comic book, if nothing else.

So what did you think of ABC's SHIELD? Are you ready to follow the team every week? Sound off in the comments below.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.