Patton Oswalt Enters the Marvel Universe with Guest Role on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

By March 20, 2014

While we’re waiting to see how Captain America: The Winter Soldier shakes the foundation of the Marvel universe, the ABC series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is mixing things up with an awesome guest star taking on a role from the comic books.

Marvel has just announced that comedian Patton Oswalt has landed a guest role as Agent Eric Koenig. As the comic studio explains, Koenig was part of Sgt. Fury’s original team of World War II soldiers. Oswalt previously worked with series creator Joss Whedon on the shortlived show “Dollhouse,” so we’re glad the star of Young Adult and Ratatouille has been brought in on this small screen endeavor too.

As a big nerd, Oswalt has been loyal to the show, and his love for comics even had him researching his character to see what kind of cool stuff he might get up to on the series. He says:

When they first told me the character’s name, I’ll admit the first thing I did is I went on Wikipedia and looked up the M.O.D.O.K. character to see if Koenig was maybe his name before he became M.O.D.O.K., but it wasn’t. They keep on talking about the Clairvoyant in the show and I’m like, ‘is that M.O.D.O.K.? Am I M.O.D.O.K.?

While the show has been a little shaky, we’re hoping a season of dedication will pay off since promos have been hinting that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is really going to be a gamechanger, and maybe all this small-time rigmarole will be worth it in the end. Oswalt has found a lot to like about the show though, and the way he talks about it makes me think maybe the series isn’t as bad as some of us think, and maybe it’s just the power of the Marvel movies that make it seem inferior. Oswalt talks about the show:

[They’re] a scrappy bunch of agents who are sort of working on the lower tier levels of the Marvel Universe and trying to stop threats before they even get to the Avengers-level threats. It’s almost like when you watch ‘The Wire,’ and the guys like Pryzbylewski are just chasing the paper trail but that’s kind of the whole case. That’s where they can bring these guys down, is they’re doing the kind of brutal grunt work. There are these people doing the day to day that keeps the world from spinning into chaos. [They say,] ‘no, we don’t have the shiny Tony Stark, Hawkeye, Black Widow stuff, but we are in it up to our necks and we’re doing it. I really like that. There’s a great sense of camaraderie.

Patton Oswalt - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Obviously he’s not going to bash the show that just hired him, but Oswalt gets into nerdy specifics with what he’s enjoying about the series, and has hope and confidence in where it’s going:

They introduced Agent Garrett, who’s one of my favorite Marvel characters, and I kept asking them on the set, ‘is he going to be an android [like in the comics]?’ They’re just like, ‘you’ll have to wait and see.’ They clearly have plans. This is not the mid-‘90s anymore where they just handed comic book properties to anybody, they’re thinking I’m making a comic book [TV series] in this awesome universe and I don’t want to mess it up. And that’s a different motivation than what was happening in the ‘90s, and that’s real cool. I’m glad that changed, that they’re giving them to guys that welcome the tension of, ‘how do I make popular entertainment that still acknowledges this big fanbase that cares about this universe? And if I’m going to change things, can I do it in a way that makes them go oh wow?’

So there you go. Frankly, we can’t wait to see Oswalt on the series, and there aren’t many episodes left in this first season. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is on a short break from airing right now, but will return with new episodes on April 1st at 8pm ET on ABC, and will certainly feel the aftermath of Captain America: The Winter Soldier after it hits theaters on April 4th.

Oh, and here’s Patton Oswalt taking a cue from “True Detective” to promote his new stand-up special coming in April:

Excited to have Patton Oswalt joining “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” now? Does he make you less critical of the show?

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.