I have to admit that I’ve kind of given up lately on brainy, morally ambiguous cable and Netflix shows like ”House of Cards,” ”Mad Men” and ”Boardwalk Empire,” in favor of a genre that is less taxing on my overworked cranium: comic book shows, and Lord knows there’s no shortage this year.

But just because I enjoy these hours of action-packed escapism doesn’t mean they don’t leave a few nagging questions in their wake. I’m still a season behind on ”Arrow,” so I’ll refrain from sharing my queries on that one in case they’ve since been answered. (Things like, ”Oliver Queen’s a billionaire, shouldn’t he own more shirts?”) But maybe the more comic-book-literate can help me answer these:


1) When Phil Coulson runs into people he used to know, say from high school or the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy, how does he explain being alive? And has anyone told Captain America yet?

2) Since S.H.I.E.L.D. is officially disbanded and operating as a shadow organization, who’s paying their electric and jet fuel and mercenary bills, and whatever it costs for retina scan duplicators? Is this my tax dollars at work?

3) Given that there are giant Hydra symbols on all the walls at Hydra headquarters, including the entry-level lab room, apparently, is it reasonable to assume that there’s a Hydra graphic design department that does all its business cards and stationery? And do you have to want to take over the world to work in it, or is experience with Adobe Illustrator enough?

4) If you were Phil Coulson, and they made you director of S.H.I.E.L.D., wouldn’t the first thing you do be to get rid of the periods between the letters? That’s what I would do.


1) Am I supposed to be scared of Alfred? Because I am.

2) Is it me or is Cobblepott’s reaction to being called ”penguin” a little over the top? I mean, penguins are adorable. (It sort of reminds me of how Marty McFly would react when people called him ”chicken,” although he didn’t stab anybody to death with broken beer bottles, probably.)

3) Am I the only one who’s been disappointed at the lack of references to Bruce’s house as ”stately Wayne Manor”?


1) Isn’t it a little hard to take Tom Cavanagh seriously as a shady, possibly villainous scientist with a deep dark secret? I keep expecting Yogi Bear to waltz in to S.T.A.R. Labs and call him ”Mr. Ranger Sir!” Which probably says more about my own movie viewing habits than I should be willing to reveal.

2) S.T.A.R. Labs — those periods again, WTF?

3) Is it my imagination, or is this show FREAKIN’ AWESOME?

Sorry, got a little overly excited there. That almost never happens with “Mad Men” …

Read more Pete at Pete’s Pop Culture, Parenting & Pets Blog.

About the Author

Pete Chianca

Pete Chianca is a humor and music writer and author of Glory Days: Springsteen's Greatest Albums. He lives north of Boston with his wife, two kids and an indeterminate number of dogs and cats. Read more Pete at Pete's Pop Culture, Parenting & Pets Blog.

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