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Comics to Read After Last Night’s SHIELD “The Magical Place”

Do the writers not get what we're trying to do here?


I’ve been covering Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. diligently every week trying to find comic book origins for events or characters on the show instead of doing a standard recap. Some weeks are more of a challenge than others. This week… I’m really reaching for something that ties in even a little bit.

After the mid-season break, SHIELD is back with “The Magical Place” to finally explain what’s up with Agent Coulson. It looks like I was wrong with my Life Model Decoy theory, and that all the commenters who told me I was wrong because it was really Doctor Strange or other magical means that brought him back are wrong too. We could argue about who’s more wrong, but that’s silly.

The real reason is a kind of disappointing. (Spoilers ahead, obviously. You’re reading a story about a television show.)

SHIELD brought Coulson back with weird science. No Life Model Decoys, no magic, no trips to Asgard. Just horrible, nightmarish science.

As for things in the episode that I could also find in the comics — nothing. At least not anything we haven’t already covered. So, in keeping in the theme of resurrection, why not check out:

Avengers #209

Screenshot 2014-01-08 15.26.49

Avengers #209 features The Resurrection Stone: a mystical device split in two and spread across time. When a skrull infiltrates Avengers Tower looking for it, he poisons Beast’s girlfriend, which leaves the team no choice but to jump around time to get the two pieces. I’m not saying Coulson was secretly brought back with the Resurrection Stone or anything, but I was just looking for anything that would tie in with the theme.

The stone as a whole could bring people back to life, but its halves could only revive the body or the soul separately. That leads to some fun 80’s zombie stuff. The stone doesn’t really have anything to do with SHIELD, but since I couldn’t really come up with anything else to compare the weird Frankenstein methods SHIELD used to revive Coulson, let’s all just go read Marvel’s version of Frankenstein.

The Monster of Frankenstein #1-4

Screenshot 2014-01-08 15.44.23

Frankenstein (both the man and the monster) have appeared with some frequency in various forms in comics for years. Marvel gave the story its own title in 1973. Although it ran for 18 issues, I’m recommending the first four, because it’s a retelling of the Mary Shelley story. A man goes against nature to create a living creature from dead tissue. Maybe the monster wouldn’t have killed all those people if Victor implanted a memory of Tahiti in his brain.

Now that this Coulson mystery they’ve stretched for half a season is cleared up, maybe they get around to telling some other stories on the show. Maybe something that has at least a little bit to do with the comics. Please?

(Images via Marvel)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.