Literally borrowing a page from their comic book cousins, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be sending out teaser art in advance of each of their six remaining season one episodes.
Marvel gave Entertainment Weekly the exclusive news of a new initiative on the part of ABC’s Tuesday night TV series in which popular comic artists creating custom illustrated posters for each new episode. Titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Art of Level Seven, the unique art series begins with next Tuesday’s episode, “Turn, Turn, Turn” featuring art by comic book artist Mike Del Mundo. Series producer Jeff Bell attributes the idea to Marvel’s Kevin Feige and others at Marvel Studios, and is a concerted effort to link the series back to its sequential art roots.
“I think it’s a really lovely way to bring it all back, because a number of the artists have worked for Marvel and are working for Marvel, and so to go back to them and let us inspire them for the work and see how they respond to it is really exciting,” Bell told EW’s Andrea Towers. “And I think in the world of Mondo and limited edition art, getting to do something like this will feel really special to fans who collect them, and for us as mementos of the show it was a really exciting idea.”
There are six episodes left in the first season if Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the company plans to release a new illustration like this one every Thursday preceding a new episode. Each illustration will be made available to buy as a limited edition poster, limited to only 100 copies, and be sold at MarvelStore.com beginning at 1am PST.
When asked specifically about this poster by Del Mundo foretelling the next episode, Bell says it’s a tease of things to come.
“For fans who saw “End of the Beginning,” we’ve been looking for The Clairvoyant,” Bell says,” and the team came to some realizations and conclusions where we think it’s is a high level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and so the idea of S.H.I.E.L.D. being a maze and that there’s a rat in the maze and no one trusting anyone…I thought Mike did a great job of capturing that.”
Although these illustrations aren’t comic book covers themselves, the initiative could be an effort appeal - or re-appeal - to the core audience of Marvel comic book fans and optimally shuttle some of them to watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Although the television series’ audience vastly outnumbers the number of comic fans buying the Marvel comics each week (the last episode had an estimated 5.71 million viewers), the hardcore fans from comics remain and important and elusive audience to interest, attract and retain -- but support from that audience lends audible credibility to a project such as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The next week is an opportune time for Marvel to drum up renewed interest in Marvel Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D.; as stated, they are six episodes away from their season finale and also, perhaps more importantly, tomorrow’s U.S. debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier contains significant involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its agents. Of all the possible tie-ins between the Marvel movies and this television series, this film is situated to be the most natural and beneficial to bring renewed interest (and ratings) to the television series.