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Comic-Con 2013: 'Agents of SHIELD' premieres and Agent Coulson lives

ABC previewed the first episode of its upcoming superhero TV series
ABC previewed the first episode of its upcoming superhero TV series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." at Comic-Con in San Diego on Friday, July 19, 2013.

Marvel presented the new "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." at Comic-Con, surprising fans by playing the entire pilot of the latest show from the mind of "Avengers" writer/director Joss Whedon.

The show follows up on the events of "The Avengers" with a world dealing with the fact that it now knows aliens exist and is seeing these superheroes beginning to spring up.

Fans have been eager to know how exactly Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who appeared to be killed in "The Avengers," has been brought back for the series. While some aspects of the resurrection seem to be revealed in the pilot, series co-creator and Joss Whedon's brother Jed Whedon says, "We don't want to tell it so slowly that people go crazy."

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The mystery is set to be unveiled over the course of the first season, and possibly longer — co-creators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen remained cagey about exactly how much would be revealed.

"I didn't want to undermine what we did in 'the Avengers,'" Gregg said. He said that he thinks that's accomplished with happens in "S.H.I.E.L.D."

What made Coulson such a beloved character? Gregg, according to co-showrunner and exec producer Jeff Bell. "He was the audience surrogate in the movies. I could be this guy. I show up, do my job, I'm around these guys, taken for granted," said Bell.

"He still believes the dream. He still believes in heroism," Gregg says.

The show has a thin tightrope to walk — the show's creators say it has to give fans a rewarding experiencing while not stepping on the toes of the Marvel movie universe.

"I've got 44 chances to make 'The Avengers 2' less exciting," Joss Whedon tells KPCC.

Tancharoen says the creators are "Hoping to sort of supplement and complement" the Marvel films with the show, but both Tancharoen and Jed Whedon said there's a lot of pressure on them to make this show special.

"There's a lot of people and a lot of parties and gears moving," said Jed, as they try to figure out where the show's going and which characters they can use.

While the show promises to be action-packed, they plan to capitalize on the funny of the Marvel movies. "Humor is the Marvel brand that we're expanding on," said Jed.

The show aims to be "of the same pedigree" as the Marvel movie universe, says Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel television and show executive producer.

"This is obviously an important day for Marvel, but also for me personally," Loeb said. He emphasized the common man aspect of the more human lineup of "S.H.I.E.L.D." "I think everyone ... if given the right set of circumstances, would become a hero."

How did actress Chloe Bennet respond when she find out she booked the part? "I flipped my s---!" Bennet said.

Actress Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jemma Simmons, shared her excitement after finding out she booked the part too. "It's your dream, it's what you always wanted to do," she said.

The show brings its tag line, "Not all heroes are super," to ABC for its series premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 24.