The moment Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ fans and Comic-Con 2013 attendees has finally arrived, as ABC’s new Joss Whedon-helmed Marvel TV series debuted the pilot at the big Ballroom 20 panel! The length of the pilot left relatively little room to actually discuss the series with the cast, producers and Joss Whedon himself, but what did we learn from the premiere of Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’?

Naturally, we can’t tell you everything about the pilot (there were actual S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives decked out in black, patrolling the aisles to snuff out recording) but we can drop a few big reveals. For one, Agent Maria Hill is definitely present for at least the pilot, as ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star reprises her role to brief agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) on his new assignment, and to re-introduce the man himself, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)!

As we’d previously learned, Coulson has his own belief on the circumstances of his literal death and resurrection, but we learn quickly after his departure that both Hill and a previously-unannounced, yet major Whedon alum remark that Coulson must never know the truth. As for the identity of J. August Richards’ mystery character, don’t expect any recognizable names from the Marvel Universe. More importantly, what provides him his super-abilities will be VERY familiar to fans of the cinematic franchise, on multiple levels.

On that note, expect plenty of name-dropping of both characters and events of the films, and expect a few snippets of ‘Avengers’ footage mixed into the opening sequences. Not only that, but listen in for a near-reference of one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes, that oops, doesn’t belong to Marvel studios! Here are a few bullet points to look out for:

  • Coulson’s nickname for Loki will elicit some major laughs from the audience. Ah, that Whedon whit.
  • Though not explicitly named, a major organization has been attempting to create super-powered figures of their own, and will likely play a major role in the first season.
  • “No. It’s an origin story.”
  • Don’t touch Lola. She’s far more badass than we could ever have realized.
  • The pilot very clearly sets up the adventures to follow, of which producer Jeffrey Bell teased they were spending “way too much money” on the first new episodes in production. Not that we mind!

There wasn’t very much time to answer questions after the screening, but fans will be blown away when ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ debuts on ABC this fall. We’ll have more coverage of the series in the coming days, but what say you? Are you excited for Marvel’s ‘Agents of SHIELD?’

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