ABC and Marvel presented "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." to a packed house at San Diego Comic-Con, showing the pilot episode in its entirety. The episode featured familiar faces from both of Joss Whedon's past works and the Marvel universe, including Cobie Smulders reprising her role as Agent Maria Hill from "The Avengers."
The episode itself was procedural in tone but packed with humor and pathos, with J. August Richards' character positioned in a "freak of the week" role that brings the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. together for their first mission. The dialogue was full of the snappy Whedon wit that audiences know and love, with plenty of Easter eggs for eagle-eyed Marvel fans, referencing cases, characters and locations from Phase One of Marvel's Cinematic Universe.
Clark Gregg stole the show as the beloved Agent Phil Coulson, delivering many of the pilot's best lines. Especially impressive is how the show feels like an extension of the Marvel universe in a believable way, featuring special effects in a way that adds scope but still seems sustainable for a weekly series, and utilizing mythology that Marvel fans will immediately appreciate. The show clearly has a longer arc in mind, establishing a Big Bad that should lend momentum to the missions of the first season.
On the panel were stars Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Ming-Na Wen, Clark Gregg and executive producers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Joss Whedon and Jeffrey Bell. Find out what the cast and creators had to say about the series in our liveblog below.
07/19/2013 5:56 PM EDT
The show premieres September 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC -- and that's a wrap from the panel!
07/19/2013 5:55 PM EDT
Joss: I have been to a con before, but it's different every time. I have that feeling that I have not had for a long time -- I've assembled this amazing ensemble of ridiculously talented people ... the things we've got, the things that we've taken from the Marvel universe ... this is a show that has so much history and so much to make. I guess I'm a little excited.
07/19/2013 5:53 PM EDT
Maurissa Tancharoen: We haven't been able to talk to anyone about this, because the Marvel hammer of secrecy will kill us. Just listening to you guys watch the show is overwhelming. I got goosebumps.
07/19/2013 5:52 PM EDT
Brett Dalton: This is my first big thing and my first big Comic-Con.
07/19/2013 5:51 PM EDT
Ming's character has a mysterious past that she won't be able to tell anyone about. "I don't talk much," she says, practicing some kick-ass moves.
07/19/2013 5:51 PM EDT
Chloe auditioned about six times. "When I found out I got it I started crying -- you would too! I get to go to set and work with these amazing people ... and that's not bullshit, they're incredible."
07/19/2013 5:50 PM EDT
Fitz and Simmons
Elizabeth: This is an absolute dream, it doesn't feel real.
Iain: We all get on really well just now, but who knows, when our egos are too big we won't talk to each other.
07/19/2013 5:49 PM EDT
Clark, what's it like putting on the suit again?
Clark Gregg: I didn't like being dead, but I loved my death. I didn't think anything could top that, but then I met Lola. I'm a longtime Marvel fan and I can't believe this is happening to me ... Badass geeks around the world weren't having, all of a sudden over the web was #CoulsonLives, and that just means everything to me. This is something that you guys asked for. To work with people like Joss, like Jeph, who care when that happens and act on it ... And to get my own plane and this incredible team of writers, this fantastic cast of actors. We just started shooting three days ago, wait til you see episode 2.
07/19/2013 5:45 PM EDT
"S.H.I.E.L.D." is fantastic - drew another standing ovation from the crowd
07/19/2013 5:00 PM EDT
Joss: We can't show you a clip, we're just going to show you the episode.
THE CROWD GOES NUTS.