How Will Civil War Affect Agents of SHIELD?

Captain America: Civil War is sure to have a major impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But how will Civil War affect Agents of SHIELD?

Civil War is coming.

Civil War is coming.

Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is bringing together some of the heavy hitters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pitting them against each other while one of Captain America’s most dangerous foes schemes in the background.  Thinking back to the last Captain America film, though, we have to ask: just how will Civil War affect Agents of SHIELD.?

It was during the lead-up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Marvel started pushing its #itsallconnected hashtag, driving home the fact that what happens in the movies can have a definite effect on the show. Most Marvel movies don’t have much of an impact, of course; a one-off episode with a few references is typically all that we get. So will Civil War affect Agents of SHIELD in any meaningful way? There’s a decent chance that it might. Here are a few ways that they could pull it off.

Super-powered Villains

Civil War could set up lesser-known villains.

Civil War could set up lesser-known villains.

After Avengers: Age of Ultron, the international community doesn’t have the highest regard for super-powered individuals. This is what fuels the core conflict in Civil War, the desire to establish registration and legitimate training for those who have abilities. While some heroes like Tony Stark agree, they can’t even get all of the good guys on board with the idea. Getting supervillains to sign up would be next to impossible (although a government-sanctioned villain team does show up in the comics).

This is one of the big things to consider when wondering if Civil War will affect Agents of SHIELD, since even if registration doesn’t go through in the film there will be increased scrutiny surrounding powered villains. The SHIELD team will likely need a response to powered threats that goes above and beyond their current procedure.

The Secret Warriors

Could the Secret Warriors become their own team?

Could the Secret Warriors become their own team?

One of the big teases heading in to season three was Daisy Johnson and the Secret Warriors. The idea of a super-powered team operating within SHIELD is appealing, especially to those who feel that a show set in the Marvel universe should focus more on the powerful aspects of the universe that were often ignored in earlier seasons.

Will Civil War affect Agents of SHIELD? It will if the increased scrutiny mentioned above “legitimizes” the Secret Warriors and makes them into a trained and accountable force for dealing with powered villains. This could also result in bigger and more impressive battles as Daisy’s team takes on more powerful threats.

SHIELD Restored

Will Civil War affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and restore the team?

Will Civil War affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and restore the team?

The Winter Soldier left many wondering where SHIELD would go once it was revealed that the organization was infiltrated by Hydra. When asking how Civil War will affect Agents of SHIELD, it’s once again worth wondering where the organization will go. Could the events of the film lead to SHIELD being restored to its former glory, or at least coming out of hiding and operating in the open once again?

It’s entirely possible. If the world wants more scrutiny of those with powers, then having a “police force” that has experience with those sorts of powers could be beneficial. It would give the show a new direction in season four (following the shifts that have occurred after every season thus far) and would give Coulson the difficult task of balancing what works for his team and what the bureaucracy wants. And the bureaucracy could mean “Tony Stark,” since in the comics the Civil War event ends with Tony taking over as SHIELD director. It would also give the show a chance to break away from its tunnel-vision focus on Hydra and the Inhumans.

The Initiative

Squirrel Girl was once on one of the Initiative's teams.

Squirrel Girl was once on one of the Initiative’s teams.

One of the major points of Civil War in the comics was the creation of The Fifty States Initiative, which was training and monitoring camps set up across the nation to handle super-powered individuals. This led to the creation of a number of smaller teams (and also set up the events if Secret Invasion down the road.) This could be another big way that Civil War affects Agents of SHIELD, since the Initiative would almost certainly be dealt with on the show if it was created.

This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, either. If SHIELD was overseeing the Initiative (or even running counter to it) it would be a great opportunity for Marvel to cameo some of its lesser-known characters without having to create major plotlines around them. It would give the show 50 states worth of heroes to play with and reference, and almost none of them would be characters likely to get a movie of their own so it wouldn’t interfere with blockbuster plans.

Will It Top Winter Soldier?

The Winter Soldier had long-lasting effects on AoS.

The Winter Soldier had long-lasting effects on AoS.

One of the big questions about how Civil War will affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is whether any effect would be as big as the effect of Winter Soldier. Some of the repercussions of that film are still being felt on the show, primarily in the form of Grant Ward and his plotlines. It’s unlikely that Civil War will have as direct of an impact, but it could still be a big influence.

If any of this comes to pass, it would mean an overall change in how the team operates. This would inherently change the show, just like the betrayal of the team by Ward did. Moreover, some of the possibilities such as the creation of the Initiative could set up plot lines well into the future by providing easy access to characters that might not fit right now.

Will It Run Both Ways?

how will Civil War affect Agents of SHIELD faceoff

It’s also worth taking a moment to ask whether Agents of SHIELD will affect Civil War in any way. Marvel’s stated that the TV universe will start having more of a presence in the movie universe at some point, and the timing of Civil War‘s release could make it a perfect point for this to occur. References to the Inhumans, a cameo by Coulson or other parts of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, and even worldbuilding in the spring season that pays off by enriching the movie for fans could show the definite connection that many feel is lacking from Marvel’s movies and TV shows. It’s unlikely that the connection would be more direct than what’s mentioned above, though… after all, it was hard enough getting Marvel to connect the show with Age of Ultron and they even had a Helicarrier to do it with.