At risk of patting myself on the back, during a regular visit to JoBlo.com, I caught a review of the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One Declassified book that made me so damn happy that I had to share.
While the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One Declassified is equally beautiful in design and execution, it is not a mere art book. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delivering over 20 hours of Marvel goodness, this book serves more as an episode guide for the freshman season. The opening chapters give a background on the origin of the series with comic book history for the organization. There is also a nice section on the return of Phil Coulson and how Clark Gregg's portrayal has permeated the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Each chapter covers an episode of the season, giving a synopsis of the plot, key easter eggs you may have missed, and even the running behavioral themes from each character that you may have missed on first viewing. The biggest perk of this book is learning all of the Marvel Comics references that were peppered through each episode. We may have seen the character references and appearances from Deathlok and Graviton, but there were numerous other ones you may have missed.
In addition, almost every episode comes with a schematic, map, or diagram of a key scene from that episode. These are very cool treats for fans of the show as they can both see how the show developed these intricate scenes as well as a nice way to delve deeper into the series. The layout fo the book acts as if it is a S.H.I.E.L.D. computer, so everything appears encoded and gives the impression that the reader is accessing this top secret database of information.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got a lot of criticism for having an unbalanced debut season. While it didn't quite find its legs until the final half dozen episodes, this book supports that the showrunners and producers had a definite idea of where they wanted the show to go. There are few hints at where the upcoming second season my go, but if they plan to put one of these books out every season, it would be well worth the investment for fans.