It might be the oldest Marvel TV series, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. proves why the show continues to flourish after almost five years, taking the top spot as Rotten Tomatoes’ best-reviewed Marvel series to date. Since its inception in 2013, the show has opened the doors for more Marvel stories on the small screen, including several more such as the Netflix corner of the universe, Freeform’s Cloak and Dagger, and New Warriors – which is being shopped around.
First out of the gate for Marvel TV since kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 via Iron Man, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the sole proof that the small screen and big screen sides of the franchise are indeed connected with the existence of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). And despite being basically neglected by their movie counterparts, the series continues to be affected by the events of the films. It’s a good thing given that the disbandment of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier only gave them a springboard to explore other things, concepts and even spaces.
Rotten Tomatoes aggregated the score for the 12 released Marvel TV shows and results show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be on top with an impressive 95 percent rating. It edges out Netflix’s Luke Cage and Jessica Jones which have 93 percent and 94 percent, respectively. Rounding up the five top spots are Legion with 90 percent and Agent Carter with 88 percent. Looking at the bigger picture, only two series are in the Rotten category out of the dozen: Iron Fist (19 percent) and Inhumans (10 percent). What’s more impressive is that this proves Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has either only gotten better, or at least maintain its storytelling quality for more than four seasons.
This is great news for the series, especially at a precarious time when it is waiting for a sixth season order from ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only remaining Marvel show on the network with a slim-to-none chance that Inhumans, with its scathing reviews and poor ratings, will be renewed. Having said that, it’s not necessarily a confirmation for another outing considering that Agent Carter, which was doing fine when it comes to critical and mass reception, was unceremoniously axed from their slate, together with the planned S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff, Marvel’s Most Wanted with Adrianne Palicki (Bobbi Morse) and Nick Blood (Lance Hunter) in 2015.
If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does not get another season, it would leave ABC, Marvel TV’s supposed base broadcasting platform, without a superhero project, at least for the rest of 2018. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that no new Marvel pilots will launch on the network this year as projects being developed for the channel did not pan out quite well. Nonetheless, we expect they’ll continue to develop something fresh for fans, perhaps the reported Jessica Jones-esque series or even a more comedic, Guardians of the Galaxy-esque small screen offering. In the meantime, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues to heat up as Coulson and his team relentlessly attempt to find a way to save Earth.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Friday nights at 9 pm EST on ABC.