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Marvel Reveals "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

ABC/Bob D'Amico(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- After months of speculation and a top-secret production, ABC has pulled the sheet from its upcoming Avengers spin-off Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

At ABC's Television Critics Association presentation in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, ABC screened the first episode of the series for critics, before staging a Q&A with the show's stars like Clark Gregg and Ming Na, as well as executive producer Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the first episode.

The series will follow the operations of the titular government agency, which deals with the emergence of superheroes and other powers beyond the "regular" world.  While Iron Man and the movie's other Avengers won't appear in the series, Whedon says the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents' beat will be busy.

"Every week it's not going to be some new hero," he explains.  "There could be a device, there could be a mystery."

Whedon explains the show picks up after The Avengers' climactic Battle of New York.

"There are so many aspects to what's happened since everybody in the world found out there's a superhero team and that there were aliens that invaded New York," Whedon told critics on Sunday.  "We want to be able to change it up every week.  We want to be able to deal with every aspect, the spy stuff, the hero stuff, the heartfelt stuff...every week you get something that feels a little bit different, so it's not just, you know, turkey every day."

Gregg has played S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Agent Phil Coulson in all of the Marvel films from 2008's Iron Man on -- save the WWII-set Captain America -- and he was apparently killed in action by Loki in The Avengers.  However, Coulson -- and Gregg -- are back in action in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., his death apparently explained in the series pilot.

The actor was thrilled how much bang for the buck Whedon and company got on a TV budget.

"You know, I thought after the pilot the next episode would bound to be us stuck in an elevator because they'd spent all the money," he joked.  "And instead the second one if anything is bigger, more exciting.  I probably I shouldn't have said that.  I'm so sorry."

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres on ABC Sept. 24.

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