At the beginning of September, Marvel fans were treated to Sqare Enix’s newest offering, Marvel’s Avengers.
The story takes off after both the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. are disbanded following the tragic events of “A-Day”. After the Avengers each go their separate ways, Kamala Khan (as Ms. Marvel) sets out on a quest to not only bring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes back together, but to also bring S.H.I.E.L.D. back into the fold to take on the forces of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics). A daunting task for sure, but one that she hopes will bring things back to some sense of normalcy.
Throughout the history of the Avengers and Marvel Comics, S.H.I.E.L.D. has come and gone many times. In the MCU, the organization fell during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the first season of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. After S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse, Nick Fury tasks Agent Phil Coulson with rebuilding the organization. Over the course of seasons 2 – 4, Coulson does just that, and eventually brings it back to the public eye. Now, one would think that this would be addressed in at least one of the movies since the show and the films are interwoven, but it never is. That mishandling of what should have been a critical and pivotal moment in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s evolution is one of the major missteps of the MCU.
This brings us to Square Enix’s new game. Marvel’s Avengers does things very differently, by making the rebuilding and resurgence of S.H.I.E.L.D. one of the main objectives of the game. Throughout the story, Kamala and the Avengers take on various missions to not only rebuild the derelict S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, but to recruit new agents for the cause. Both Maria Hill and Dum Dum Duggan play vital roles in this, as the player must act as their liaison. With these missions and character interactions, we are shown exactly why S.H.I.E.L.D. is so badly needed in the dark times illustrated by the game. The citizens of Earth want and need to feel safe, and S.H.I.E.L.D. (and the Avengers) are the only ones who can do that. After AIM did such a number on the citizens of Earth by turning their heroes into villains, people finally get to see the organization in public again, and they embrace their protectors with open arms.
Throughout the game, the player (as well as Kamala) is shown the importance of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Square Enix has done a wonderful job of building one of our favorite teams back up from scratch. Sure, S.H.I.E.L.D. has made mistakes and failed at times, but the world is a better place with them in it.