Anthony D’Alessandro contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
Joss Whedon blindsided the crowd at ABC-Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel announcing, “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,” to which the crowd lept to their feet, chanting “Whedon, Whedon.” The pilot, a hybrid of X-Files meets Heroes, focused on the super-agent team trying to pin down a black hooded superhero who saves a victim from a fire at the onset. They eventually learn, he is a combustible super soldier, much like James Badge Dale’s Savin henchman in the latest Iron Man 3. The big detail revealed quickly at the top of the show is actually how Clark Gregg’s lead spy guy Coulson survived his death in Avengers (“I stopped breathing for 40 seconds,” he says glibly during the show). Cobie Smulders guest stars and reprises her role as Agent Maria Hill from Avengers. After the episode finished, the panelists reassembled briefly where Gregg told fans, “I didn’t like being dead, but I loved my death. I don’t think anything topped that.” Jed Whedon also revealed to the crowd that Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary was handling the show’s score.
Even before Whedon took the stage, the crowd was already screaming, as they rolled cheers for every panelist introduced by the show’s executive producer and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb: executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeffrey Bell and stars Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May), Ian De Caestecker (Leo Fitz), Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons), Chloe Bennet (inductee Skye) and Brett Dalton (agent Grant Ward). Jeph Loeb, the show’s exec producer also got the crowd jazzed up at the start by instructing them to shout out the show’s debut date of September 24, on ABC. The back of his T-shirt which read “Coulson Lives” also drew great applause.