Comic-Con 2013: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” World Premiere

shield 10Today I was lucky enough to get into this year’s hot ticket television panel – “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” where Marvel honcho and the show’s executive produce Jeph Loeb held court wearing a “Coulson Lives” t-shirt.  He then introduced the writer-producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeff Bell, and then the show’s stars Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May), Ian De Caestecker (Leo Fitz), Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons), Chloe Bennet (Skye), and Brett Dalton (Agent Grant Ward) with mastermind/writer/director Joss Whedon coming in last to thunderous applause.  I’ve seen Joss Whedon a couple of times now, and he’s always a ton of fun on these panels but I was wondering just how much of the show we would get to see.  Since the show doesn’t premiere until September I thought we might get to see some clips but once again Joss had a surprise up his sleeve…

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Joss told us “We wanted to bring a clip, but with the Disney lawyers there was a mix-up.  So we’re going to show the entire episode,” which of course lead to huge cheers and the chanting of Joss’ name over and over.  I think by now everybody and their cousin has seen The Avengers so I’m going talk about a plot point that’s very spoilerific so if you haven’t seen the movie yet please stop now.   Ok now that the people with no taste in movies have moved on, let’s talk about the crushing blow in the movie personified by the death of Agent Coulson as played by Clark Gregg.  Coulson didn’t have any superpowers but he was brave enough to hang out with them and to occasionally threaten to tase them in the case of Iron Man.

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In The Avengers Coulson stood up to Loki, an Asgardian with God-like abilities and was stabbed in the back and killed in the line of duty.  Or was he?  We’ve heard rumors that “Coulson lives” ever since whispers about “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” began production.  Then we saw Coulson in the show’s trailers which seem to show him very much alive but with no clue as to how it was possible.Without really giving anything away (since it wasn’t even fully explained in the pilot episode), Coulson dismisses his death as “I stopped breathing for 40 seconds,” even though Maria Hill knows that there was more to it than a recuperative trip to Tahiti and some rehab as Coulson believes.

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However, once the cast returned after the episode was over, Clark Gregg talked about how he viewed his character’s demise in The Avengers, “I didn’t like being dead, but I loved my death.  I don’t think anything topped that.”  He went on to thank the fans for their loyal support which lead to Coulson’s resurrection once Marvel realized just how much fans wanted Coulson to return.  “I thought I was done and I was really pleased and proud with the run that the guy  had.  And then bad-ass geeks around the world were just not trying to hear that, see?” Gregg says.  “That just means everything to me, everything to me about this, that this is something that you guys asked for.”  He also stopped in mid-sentence to hug Joss for bringing him back.

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So we finally got our answer.  Sort of anyway.  I’m sure as the show goes on we will get more answers but I already love the show.  Without giving too much away, the pilot episode is about Coulson assembling his team while the world recovers from the aftershocks of the alien attack that occurred during The Avengers.  One of things that I really liked is how this show ties in so well with what Marvel has already done before.  In this episode, Coulson’s team is trying to track down a man who seems to have superpowers that were the result of someone mixing gamma radiation (from the Hulk movies), the super soldier serum (from Captain America), and some Extremis (from Iron Man 3) into one dangerous concoction. With these chemicals coursing through his body, Mike Patterson (J.August Richards) is a formidable foe for a team that doesn’t have any superpowers of their own.  Not that that stops them of course.

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This pilot had the crowd cheering, laughing, and cheering some more.  In fact, I missed a lot of the dialogue because of the fan response which is great but also a little frustrating for someone who wants to hear every word.  I don’t blame them though, as this show contains all of Joss Whedon’s wit and talent for balancing action, drama, and humor into something original and exciting.  One other thing that I should mention about this show is that it doesn’t look like it belongs on television as it looks like movie.  The effects are excellent, the scope is cinematic, and the production of the show is first rate.  We also learned that popular composer Bear McCreary (who did the music for the pilot) would continue to score the entire show which also adds another level of quality to the show.  “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will air September 24, 2013 so make sure you are ready for this as Joss Whedon is back in a big way on television and this time his show won’t be arbitrarily canceled!  Coulson lives!

Here’s the video of the panel if you’d like to experience it yourself:


2 Responses to “Comic-Con 2013: “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” World Premiere”

  1. Brian White

    I should have been here yesterday instead of wasting my time waiting in Hall H line.
    Very cool they showed entire first episode.

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I think you will like the show. It’s basically a continuation of sorts to The Avengers.