Originally Posted by cherokeesam
I think what we're seeing is SHIELD *emerging* from the shadows during the course of the Phase I movies. At the time IM1 opens, I'd say nobody's heard of them; even Stark is in the dark (rhyme time, kids!). But by the time Avengers is over, that's pretty much changed. I'd liken them to the NSA --- everyone knows they exist, but nobody ever really seems to know where they're headquartered, where they come from, where they go, etc.
im still not entirely sure the public knows shield in avengers... i mean, the hellicarrier was out to sea, not over land, no agents were battling in the city, and the Rocket from the security council is probably HIGHLY classified, i don't think the public would really fare well knowing there's a "world security council" that would easily blow up a city like NYC...
I don't really think there's any "public" evidence of SHIELD so far.. just need to know bases with characters.