Jim Steranko still not impressed with S.H.I.E.L.D.: 'Enough is enough’

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Feb 6, 2014, 1:17 PM EST

Though some fans have given up on Marvel’s small-screen effort Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel legend Jim Steranko is still hanging on — and he has some choice thoughts on the latest episode.

Steranko signed on with The Hollywood Reporter to review the show on a weekly basis back when it launched, and the latest episode found the former Nick Fury co-creator mildly impressed, but largely frustrated by the show’s introduction of Deathlok, along with that cliffhanger ending with Skye’s life in the balance.

Though the episode marks Steranko’s “favorite of the series” due to the cameo of his former boss and comic deity Stan Lee, he noted it’s a “helluva situation” when a 10-second, throwaway Stan Lee cameo is really the highlight of the entire episode. Good point.

His biggest complaint this week? The never-ending list of evil groups, consortiums and corporations that have popped up in the show’s brief, half-season run:

“Don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling the vacuum the empty space that once was Rising Tide. And Centipede. And now, Cybertek. C’mon, guys, enough is enough. Get to the third act before we become octogenarians! …

Last but not least, the cybernetic leg spray-painted DEATHLOK, for all the world to take note? Now that’s what I call honesty in advertising, Bunky! And I remember when origin stories were the most compelling focus of heroic narratives. Okay, never mind, just call me a sentimentalist!”

He was also not impressed with Skye’s cliffhanger, noting that it's a pretty hollow death threat when one of the show’s biggest lingering mysteries is the hacker gal’s mysterious origins. As Steranko notes, If you kill her off, it’s really not that compelling a mystery:

The show’s producers have made Skye (still no last name!) too salient to the series to seriously bump her off (an event I would have shelled out a few bucks to witness!), so the weight of her gunshot wounds doesn’t mean much more than a scratch. Her story obviously has top priority on the Whedon family agenda, so she’ll be almost as good as new when we see her again. Promise! Besides, it would have been far too courageous or outrageous for the AOS cathodemeisters to lose one of the team after all the laborious, 12-ep set-up. As Sam Elliott likes to say, 'No Guts! No Glory!'"

So there you have it -- for Steranko, the series remains a frustrating mishmash of ideas and ambition. How is it faring with you?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)