ABC's highly-anticipated Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave Comic-Con attendees a big treat when they showed the entire pilot of Marvel's foray into TV at their panel. So what did people think of Avengers-director and general fan-god Joss Whedon's return and ABC and Marvel's big hope? Well, the crowd liked it, but question remain about whether it can click with a mainstream audience.
Reporters in the room tweeted about the positive response in the room:
Many fans responded individually with their cheers of approval:
#AgentsOfSHIELD pilot was totally awesome! Will be watching it again!— Kirk Landon Staley (@kauthor) July 19, 2013
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Twitter account took the chance to retweet many of them.
In his liveblog at SuperHeroHype.com Blake Wright wrote on their live blog (after powering down by order of the Marvel powers-that-be): " Wow! That was excellent." He added that it was "Pitch perfect Joss." (Wright also gave away the spoiler that explains Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson returning from the dead. We won't do that, but it sounds relatively simple.) James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly—in what he noted was not the publication's official review—admitted that naturally the show was going to gain fans at Comic-Con. He wondered if the show was "show accessible enough to be a hit," considering the pilot apparently plays to its audience with references to geek-culture. However, he concluded that even if you "forget The Avengers, ignore that it’s Marvel, and somehow delete from your brain this is Joss Whedon’s TV return" the show "still works."
Not everyone, of course, was overly enthused. Peter Sciretta of /FILM wrote on Twitter: "The S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is at times cooler than I expected, but with moments of silliness and over the top network tv-style action." HitFix's Daniel Fienberg teased a longer response and added that the show is "fine. It's not great, though. Endless potential." Charlie Jane Anders of io9 was also tempered, explaining that the stakes were lacking in the episode, and that Gregg is "clearly the best thing about the series, and he's the only character in the pilot who actually feels fully fleshed out."
Of course success at Comic-Con does not mean success in the real-world, especially on a network like ABC. The show, after all, has Avengers director Whedon on board. Whedon created great shows like the long running Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which The Hollywood Reporter's Graeme McMillan had ratings that weren't necessarily successful by ABC's standards, and Firefly, which was quickly canceled on Fox but lives on with an army of fans. We shall see if the Marvel world can live on a network. The show premieres September 24.