New York Comic Con was held last weekend and we were happy to be able to go along and catch up with all the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. news, meet up with other fans and generally have a great time.
One of the highlights of the event was definitely seeing Lola up close and personal, and while obviously no touching was allowed many fans took the opportunity to take their photos with Lola while she was closely guarded on the showroom floor at the Marvel booth. This was one of three Lola's, she's used for static shots, there's also a Lola used for driving and one that has wheels that move when she takes off.
During the weekend Marvel had a number of exclusive items for sale in addition to the great Marvel tradition of having lots of giveaways.
There were also several signing events, one of which featured the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. guests present at the convention, Executive Producer Jeph Loeb, Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Simmons) and Iain De Caestecker (Agent Fitz). Fans had to line up first thing Saturday morning to take part in the lucky draw for autograph tickets and the lucky ones returned at mid day for the signing event.
Lots of fans also took time to pick up the limited edition custom made S.H.I.E.L.D. ID badges from the efx Collectables booth.
The day finished with Jeph Loeb (Executive Producer), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Simons) and Iain De Caestecker (Agent Fitz) taking part in a Q & A panel to celebrate Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Jeph Loeb started the panel by making note that it was a year ago this weekend it was revealed at NYCC that "Coulson Lives" and helped the audience coordinate a chant of "Coulson Lives".
Introducing Iain and Elizabeth, Jeph pointed out that Nick Fury mentioning FitzSimmons in the "Fish Tank" scene in the episode "0-8-4" means they are now officially part of the Marvel universe.
The audience were invited to ask questions and the first question came from a college student who asked if the FitzSimmons were related. Iain said they're not related they have a brother-sister relationship or "an old married couple."
Another member of the audience asked how much back-story we'll get and Elizabeth responded by saying now that they have more episodes (ABC picked up the back-9 bringing season 1 to a full 22 episodes) so they have time to tell lots of back stories. She says there are lots of secrets we'll find out. Jeph went on to add that Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen and Jeffrey Bell have all worked with Joss Whedon before and what's terrific about the show is each of the characters has secrets and is growing and as the characters are getting to know each other so is the audience.
We were then interrupted by what I suspect was a planted question from a young viewer asking if we were going to "see something from the show today" and they then went on to show the entire Episode 4 "Eye-Spy".
The episode was very well received and speaking to people afterwards it seems many agreed this was the best episode yet. The episode airs tonight so I'll refrain from posting spoilers about the episode here except to say there's a little bit of a reveal about the mystery surrounding Coulson's "resurrection" as well as a little more insight into his past. There's some nice use of futuristic/alien tech involved and some good character development all around.
After the episode finished the panel members came back on stage and continued with the Q&A.
Jeph pointed out that they really did film some of this episode in Sweden.
A question was asked of Elizabeth and Iain about whether or not they were worried about Joss Whedon's reputation for killing off characters when they auditioned for the role and Elizabeth said you never know "when it's going to end" so you just show up and do your best work every day and enjoy every moment... and then if you get killed watch the reruns. Jeph added that with the main set of the show being a C17 flying at 30,000 feet you just never know what may happen.
When asked if there would be any more appearances from characters in the Marvel universe he responded that you never know. They are working closely with the studio to ensure continuity but they want to be able to tell stories that are brand new with new characters, like FitzSimmons, but there are obviously winks and nods to the movies they do all the time. He said it's a delicate place.
When asked about limitations due to rights owned by different studios Jeph responded that he can't really get into what they can and can't do but they may be able to do things that are unexpected. He also said you have to be realistic about what you can do on a TV series and there won't be "30 Iron Men that come in and save the day" also that they want to take some time and get to know the new characters.
Iain said that while FitzSimmons "come together" but they are two separate people and there will be times when they're forced to be apart which will be hard be cause they rely on each other so much.
Jeph said about character back stories "Just hang on, they're coming" and asked that people keep watching live because they want people to enjoy the experience of it.
When asked about "the Cellist" Jeph said " there's nothing that's been introduced by Joss Whedon that we aren't going mine all the way to the bottom of the line".
There is a chance, the longer the show is running, the characters from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may well show up in the cinematic universe. He added that having the show at NYCC was a thank you to the fan, and that they are sticking around and not going anywhere. They're going to keep telling the best stories they can.
When asked if any of The Avengers will show up Jeph hinted "oh, wouldn't that be great!?", he said when things like that happen they have to make a lot of sense, he said for example that it made sense for Maria Hill to be the one to "reintroduce" Agent Coulson into the world".
Jeph also said they're not going to take six years to answer all our questions (about the mysteries on the show like how Coulson is alive.)
There was a question asked about if we'd ever get to see Fitz get a spy monkey. Iain responded he hoped so and that we should all rally around the idea of getting Fitz a brave monkey.
Elizabeth's superhero is Loki. She said she thinks he needs a sit down with a cup of tea and a hug, he needs someone to talk to. Iain's choice was Hulk because the ability to grow extremely muscley in a few seconds is exciting to him but if you're asking about super powers his super power would be to look like Brett Dalton (Agent Ward).
Elizabeth's favorite part about filming the show so far has been getting to know everyone. Iain agreed that all that was good and that he loves all the gadgets.
That wrapped up the panel to enormous applause from the crowd and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. portion of the event was over.
Back at the Marvel booth I had the opportunity to chat briefly to a few of the fine folks from Marvel including Arune Singh, Marvel's Executive Director of TV Communications and Publisher (and Jeph Loeb's boss) Dan Buckley who said they are happy with how the show is going saying he had seen up to episode 6 and says the episodes keep getting better and better. He also said episode 6 will make us cry but "in a good way".
Overall NYCC was a fantastic and we can't wait to see the Marvel team and cast & crew of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back at the next convention.