Last Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, a few thousand lucky people were able to pack themselves into Ballroom 20 to witness the first panel for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Moderating the panel was Marvel's head of television Jeph Loeb. He welcomed everyone to the panel, then introduced the cast to the public. Last to be come out to a deafening roar from those in attendance were Clark Gregg and Joss Whedon. We then jumped right into a Q&A. The first question was from a kid wanting to know if we'll see any of the other heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the show. The panel couldn't answer that right now. The next question was if we would see Deadpool anytime soon. And the answer, due to 20th Century Fox owning the film rights to him, is probably not. The last question that was asked was for Joss. He was asked if we could see a clip. Joss replied that legally Disney's lawyers said they couldn't show us a clip... They'd show us the entire episode!
This next bit will be a light review/synopsis of the first part of the show, be warned there are spoilers!
The show starts out with a kid with his father, played by J August Richards, looking into the window of a toy store. The toys he's looking at are of the Avengers, so this is definitely after the Avengers movie. There is an explosion at a nearby building and his dad runs in to save anyone he can from the fire. Moments pass and we see him jump out of the window with a survivor in his arms. He's obviously super powered and doesn't want anyone to know so he puts the hood on his sweatshirt up and disappears into the crowd.
We then move to a scene introducing us to Agent Grant Ward, played by Brett Dalton. He is a black ops type agent and one that prefers to work alone. We see the kind of bad ass he is as he beats the crap out of some bad guys, then gets airlifted out and goes back to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. We then cut to Agent Ward talking to someone about what S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for and their purpose. That person turns out to be none other than a returning Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill. She tells him that Coulson wants to build a team of the best and brightest S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer to specifically take care of super powered individuals. Grant brings up the fact that he knows Coulson is dead because he is clearance level 6. Phil Coulson steps out of the shadows and welcomes him to level 7. Coulson tells us that he stopped breathing for 40 seconds after his encounter with the "Asgardian Mussolini" and that Fury sent him to Tahiti for a few weeks to recover. Coulson leaves and a S.H.I.E.L.D. doctor, played by Ron Glass from Firefly, approaches Maria Hill and says "He still doesn't know does he?" To which she responds "he can never know."
From here we get to meet the rest of the cast as they build their team to hunt down the super powered hero from the beginning. There are Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, played by Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge. These two are your tech and science people. Next up is Agent Melinda May, played by Ming-Na Wen. She reluctantly joins the team, serving only as the "Pilot", but has a mysterious past. By the end of the episode you find out the she one of the most ass kicking-ist agents S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer. The last recruit also joins up reluctantly. Skye, played by Chloe Bennett, is a computer hacker that works for a group called "The Rising Tide" whose sole purpose is to expose S.H.I.E.L.D. By the end of the episode she is convinced that S.H.I.E.L.D. may not be so bad and joins them as their computer tech/hacker.
I won't go into much detail about the rest of the pilot as I want to save some of the surprise, but it definitely has a tie to the other Marvel films including a BIG tie to Iron Man 3. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. It does a great job of setting up the rest of the show. There is just the right mixture of action, drama, and comedy in this, but that's usually a given with something written and directed by Joss Whedon. If the reaction from the crowd watching it was any indication then I think people are going to have a lot of fun with this show. And if you think you know the importance of Lola, think again!
There wasn't much said after the episode aired other than the panel thanking the fans because their love for Coulson is what made this show happen. We also got reminded that the show premiers Tuesday, September 24th on ABC.