idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
What about any of these films has made you think that SHIELD's typical operating procedure is "throw some superheroes at it"?
Probably just because every single dealing of SHIELD shown in the films has them working with superheroes?
But, aside from that, nothing
First film, the military handles the Hulk because he's technically related to an army research project. SHIELD only provides intel. It's one-shot has Tony going to talk to the General, because the political side of things are leaning on Fury to replace the Hulk with the Abomination in the Avengers, and Fury needs a high-power military force to counter them by refusing.
Iron Man, SHIELD tries to contain Tony. But they clearly aren't trying that hard at first. Though once the scope of his capabilities is understood, and they realize he could be either a risk or an asset, they step up their game. Pepper directly involves them in the Iron Monger incident, so we don't really know whether or not they'd have taken over that from the start otherwise.
Iron Man 2, SHIELD steps in when Tony becomes a risk, but otherwise they aren't involved with Iron Man at all. He doesn't take missions from them, they don't give him missions. They place Romanoff on him because they know he could be dangerous, and they need someone internal to keep him (and possibly that big stock of Stark Industries weapons in storage) in check. They didn't expect whatshisname to attack; that was a surprise. And they STILL don't take point on that investigation. We see nothing of them trying to put him in their own containment unit, he just goes into a normal French prison and never gets interrogated (that we can see) by SHIELD.
It isn't until he and Hammer unleash an army of drones to attack the Expo that they do anything, and that's because it's damage control of a direct and imminent threat.
Thor, they go to investigate a series of mysterious artifact that has appeared in the desert, which is pretty much textbook for what their mission is at this point. They make contact with Thor, and they interrogate his connection to them, but that's all pretty standard. At first, he's someone who invaded their base. Then he turns out to be an alien. Both in their jurisdiction.
Also interesting to note that Fury makes it clear that the "situation in New Mexico" is a much bigger priority to him than Tony's meltdown. As in, Fury's attention is on a mysterious object that just appeared, and not on the self-destructing super hero.
Captain America, SHIELD isn't involved until he wakes up. And that's unsurprising, since he's definitely in the realm of weird.
Avengers is realistically the first time SHIELD switches to "work with" superheroes instead of "containment of."
Now we have a human terrorist in Iron Man 3. Why would SHIELD be involved? There's an entire military unit dedicated to the protection of the president, and then multiple others that focus on dealing with homeland and international terrorist threats.
SHIELD doesn't exist to handle those.
Here's the thing: When you explicitly reference the previous film over and over, making it a fairly sizable plot point (although a lamely resolved one) and have other characters refer to Stark "Hanging out with the Super Friends", etc then it shouldn't be left up to the audience to fanwank some reason why the others weren't involved. Even a few lines along the vein of "Your friends active in this?" "No need, the government has Iron Patriot" would have done wonders. The film dropped the ball on it, whatever retroactive covering anyone else wants to do on their behalf.
That's essentially exactly what the movie did? They brought out the Iron Patriot at a press conference when the government announced he was the center of their plan to handle the Mandarin situation, and then we saw the Iron Patriot going around the world attempting to handle the Mandarin situation. And at no point was Tony involved in the Mandarin situation until he decided to introduce himself into it after Happy got hurt.
And then there was the whole side part of the AIM program, which was the re-branding program that went along with said plan to make Iron Patriot the face (and body) of the anti-Mandarin unit.
And then we see Rhodey continue to be central to the "protect the president" plot line for the whole movie... Edited, Oct 7th 2013 10:33am by idiggory