‘A part of something bigger’: a roundtable discussion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., transmedia television, and the Joss Whedon brand

Lorna Jowett, Stacey Abbott, Bronwen Calvert, PopMatters Media (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Abstract

A conversation between the three authors examines key points of convergence between classic Whedon television and his work on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Looking particularly at the idea of Whedon as brand, this article examines his development as showrunner and creator of ensemble writing/directing teams. Much current criticism of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to separate it from Whedon's body of work; however, here it is seen as a show that brings together two distinct franchises or labels - Whedon and Marvel. The show includes some key Whedonesque elements that are worth some comment, especially in its central creation of a team of disparate individuals who work together for a common goal (familiar from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Marvel's Avengers). Additionally, ways in which Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be defined as 'quality', 'cult' and/or 'mainstream' television, and how it interacts with the Marvel film franchise (commented on by Joseph Oldham, CST Online, 27 June 2014) are discussed. The article also explores how the show brings together a variety of genres/ tones/ modes (e.g. realism and fantasy), and how it makes use of a strong ensemble cast. The conversation examines the ever-changing nature of the notion of the auteur via this series in relation to Whedon the man, ensemble creative team, and brand.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoss Whedon: the Complete Companion
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTitan Books
Pages421-430
Number of pages512
ISBN (Print)9781783293599
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2015

Publication series

NamePopMatters Books Series

Keywords

  • Joss Whedon
  • Marvel
  • television
  • auteur
  • transmedia
  • genre
  • cult television

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  • Activities

    • 1 Oral presentation

    Good cop, bad cop:

    Lorna Jowett (Speaker) & MaryEllen Iatropolous (Speaker)

    8 Jul 2016

    Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch

    Cite this

    Jowett, L., Abbott, S., Calvert, B., & PopMatters Media (Ed.) (2015). ‘A part of something bigger’: a roundtable discussion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., transmedia television, and the Joss Whedon brand. In Joss Whedon: the Complete Companion (pp. 421-430). (PopMatters Books Series). Titan Books. https://titanbooks.com/7788-the-joss-whedon-companion-revised-updated-edn/