What to Expect From ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” one of the most anticipated television series of the year, finally makes its debut on ABC today.

The series continues where Joss Whedon’s 2012 hit film, The Avengers,” left off and picks up during the aftermath of the superheroes-versus-aliens battle that leveled much of midtown Manhattan. Joss created the show along with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife, Maurissa Tancharoen. The pilot episode was directed by Joss Whedon.

Because Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a spinoff of sorts from the previous Marvel Comics movies, there may be some confusion over what the new series is actually about — even though Marvel has done an extensive job preparing viewers with interviews and behind-the-scenes looks.

Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), whose death was pivotal in The Avengers, will reappear and his far-fetched return is expected to be addressed in the series, which will focus heavily on him and his team of agents.

He assembles an assortment of experts in hacking, science, seduction, combat and so forth, to keep tabs on new superheroes. This includes alpha-male loner agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton, “Killing Lincoln”), weapons expert Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen, “ER”), computer genius and fan-girl Skye (Chloe Bennet, “Nashville”), techno expert Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker, “The Fades”) and his colleague, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge, “Hollyoaks”), an expert in human and alien biology.

Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is the only other character from the films brought over to the series, but she is only expected to make a guest appearance.

The first episode will introduce viewers to the characters and back story, but there will be some well-crafted shocks and twists in the pilot and who is on the side of good or evil is gradually unveiled.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t emulate the Marvel movies. There will be superheros, but they will play background roles to the highly skilled but very mortal secret agents. While the Marvel films span galaxies and even universes, the series will be more down to earth. With a small-screen budget, the scope of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mandate is limited to investigating global threats worldwide.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on ABC, Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EST. Tune in to see the season premiere tonight. Check out a cast interview and some sneak-peek footage below.

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