There’s no getting away from it – Joss Whedon is Comic-Con royalty by now. So, naturally his latest stab at television, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., got a rapturous welcome at the event, with Whedon himself greeted by Beatlemania-level screaming. Once he announced that he’d brought the full pilot to show at the panel, the excitement went several levels beyond fever pitch.
That wasn’t the only surprise concerning the series, as it was revealed that Cobie Smulders had figured out a deal to appear – at least sporadically for now, since she’s committed as a regular character on How I Met Your Mother – as Maria Hill, and pops up in the pilot. "I wanted very much to have Cobie in the pilot because as much as anyone else, she is S.H.I.E.L.D.," said Joss. " She's cool and commanding and has the dry humour that plays so well with Clark Gregg's. Also, if she's in it, I get to hang out with Cobie."
The pilot itself introduces us to a new team of agents recruited by Gregg’s Agent Coulson to counteract new threats arriving in a post-Avengers world. Though the show obviously doesn’t boast the budget of the superhero spectacular, it was praised for his character dynamics (a trademark of Whedon’s work) and managing to pull off some set pieces of its own.
Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air in the US starting September 24. There’s no word yet on a UK broadcaster, or how Coulson does indeed live after the events of The Avengers, though it's a safe bet that's be explained over the course of the show. Perhaps he's a Life Model Decoy (then again, perhaps not).