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Comic-Con 2013: ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Shocks with Surprise Pilot Screening

Joss Whedon says legal won't let them show a clip — so he shows the whole pilot

Earlier this week, we named the "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." the toughest TV ticket during San Diego Comic-Con.

If you were able to get in, ABC made sure it was worth the wait.

Executive producers Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Jeph Loeb, Jeff Bell, Maurissa Tancharoen and cast members Clark Gregg — received a standing ovation along with chants of "Coulson Lives" — Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennett and Brett Dalton appeared.

After a very short fan Q&A, an audience member (or more likely an ABC plant) asked if we could see a clip. Joss Whedon began saying something about not being able to do so due to something with Disney Legal, but then he brought down the house.

"So, instead, we're showing you the episode," he pronounced.

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That pretty much superceded the usual panel Q&A. Yet, it might have been the best decision.

Of the few questions that were asked, we really didn't get clear answers. Will there be people from the Marvel cinematic universe crossing over? "Maybe," Whedon said.

What can Wen tell us about her character's super-secret past? "Nothing," Wen answered.

So, what can we tell you about the pilot? Yes, Coulson (Clark Gregg) lives and an explanation is given. But, there's some mystery surrounding the agent's return that he may not even fully understand.

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S.H.I.E.L.D. is a black ops government agency that is given a new calling after the events of "The Avengers" movie exposed the world to people with superpowers. It is their goal to help smooth out the clash between average citizens and the super ones.

The pilot, which debuts Sept. 24, finds Coulson assembling his team, complete with twin agents Fitzsimmons – that's Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, respectively) – the tech team; their overqualified "pilot," Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); and newcomer Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).

There is also a anti-goverment hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennet), who's destined to join the team but isn't a member on the pilot.

See photos: The Scene at Comic-Con 2013

The screening was met with much cheering from the audience, including some jeering at certain references to the "Avengers" cinematic universe and its fans. Executive producer Tancharoen would say later that it just felt so good to finally be able to talk to others about the show. Marvel is very anti-spoiler, she said.

After the screening, there was time for only a few more questions. Of course, we needed to hear from Gregg about returning to the role.

"I didn't like being dead, but I really loved my death," he said after hugging Whedon and looking as if he was choking back tears. "I can 't believe this is happening to me."

And as for Whedon, does he think lightning can strike again with this TV series? He has already been behind some of TV's biggest cult shows, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," and "Dollhouse."

"I have that feeling that I haven't felt in a long time," he said. "I've assembled this ensemble of talented people who are soon going to be very full of themselves. This is a show that has so much history and so much to make. I guess I'm a little excited."

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