We live in a fantastically different world for live-action superheroes than we did a few short years ago.  Whereas the early part of the millennium had us wondering if Marvel would ever get its roster of heroes into their own films, let alone together for 'The Avengers,' now we ask ourselves just who will make it into Joss Whedon's live-action 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV series!  So does the visionary creator have specific characters in mind, or will the team consist of all-new faces?

Incredible as it is that ABC is working with one-time risky prospect Joss Whedon for a new 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV series, don't expect to see many recognizable Marvel faces, at least off the bat.  Apart from any swirling rumors that the upcoming series could feature Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill, appearances from Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, or even Clark Gregg's  supposedly-deceased Agent Coulson, Whedon made it clear to MTV News that the existing framework and characters he'd pitched to the network will feature all-new characters.

"It's new characters. It needs to be its own thing," says 'The Avengers' director. "It needs to be adjacent [to the Marvel Cinematic Universe] but you don't want to do a show where you're constantly going, 'Iron Man just left, but he was totally here a minute ago!' You want them to do their own thing."  Along those lines, Whedon went further in depth with what appealed to him about using S.H.I.E.L.D. and a roster of unfamiliar characters, saying:

Well, what does S.H.I.E.L.D. have that the other superheroes don't? And that, to me, is that they're not superheroes, but they live in that universe. Even though they're a big organization, that [lack of powers] makes them underdogs, and that's interesting to me.

You can catch Whedon giving his comments in the video below, but in the meantime, what do you think?  Do you think a 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV series is better served focusing on original characters, with maybe occasional appearances from the more recognizable heroes?  Who would you like to see make their way through ABC's coming series?  Sound off with your superhero squad in the comments!