Update: And now the series has a timeslot. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air Tuesday nights at 8pm/7pm central in Fall 2013, thought its exact start date hasn't yet been revealed. The series will be a lead-in to an all-new night on Tuesdays, with two new sitcoms and a drama about lottery winners. Elsewhere on ABC's genre schedule, the Once Upon a Time spin-off Wonderland will air on Thursdays at 8pm, as a lead-in to stalwart Grey's Anatomy.
Original Story: Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of comic book fans for the first time watched ABC's Once Upon A Time this Sunday, lured by the promise of the first look at one of the most anticipated genre shows in years: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Patient fans were treated to a thirty second tease of the footage that convinced a different sector of The Disney Company's media empire, ABC Television, to take a chance on a show that, for its potential fans, at least feels like a mortal lock to be a hit.
The teaser is narrated by fan favorite actor Clark Gregg in his role as stalwart Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. After the theatrical events of The Avengers the whys and wherefores around him appearing in this show has been a key mystery surrounding the premise of the program. A lot of theories were generated from this news and at least one of them, that the show is a prequel to the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been retired thanks to the information revealed as the promo runs.
As a massive S.H.I.E.L.D. branded transport plane pulls out of a hanger and takes off, Agent Coulson tells us that he/his team works the "cases S.H.I.E.L.D. has not classified," indicating that they will likely work in an investigative capacity; traveling around the world gathering information about extra-normal incidents, like those depicted in the short film Item 47 (included on the Marvel's The Avengers blu-ray) and their work around the original landing site for Thor's hammer. The description of Ming-Na Wen's character Agent Melinda May as an ace pilot lends credence to this theory.
After a few fuzzy shots of the four 'primary' Avengers, done in an oblique way: a distant Iron Man flying by, Cap's shield, 'a' hand catching Mjolnir and the CG face of the Hulk to avoid having to pay the actors for their appearances, an African American man in yellow pants and gray hooded sweatshirt leaps from the fifth floor of an exploding building with a brunette woman in his arms. He lands on his feet with a pavement cracking thud, completely unharmed. A feat not outside the capability of Marvel Comics' stalwart Luke Cage, perhaps? The yellow pants do fit his typical color scheme.
A second or two later (after a punch is thrown) two S.H.I.E.L.D Agents, indicated by how they dress, investigate the interior of that same burned out building (note the arched windows behind them) with the aid of flying scan-bots. Thanks to a conveniently placed flag, the quick shot of a motorcycle chase is revealed to be taking place in France. Though since that nation's most significant Marvel character, Bartoc the Leaper, has been earmarked for an appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he is unlikely to make an appearance on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Next we are inside what is clearly a bank where veteran Whedon player J. August Richards is slamming a guy down on the floor. Could he be the same man who leaped from the window? Richards' character's name has yet to be revealed, so the Luke Cage theory could line up (though there's also the possibility of lesser-known Rage, aka Elvin Haliday, a former New Warriors, Avengers, and Initiative character). After one guy gets a blender smashed into his face and a look at who might be Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons laying down on the ground, there is Agent Coulson walking by a holographic recreation of an explosion. Again, this might be the same event that required “Luke Cage” to jump out the window.
Finally, we see Coulson pull into the S.H.I.E.L.D. transport plane in his red 1961 Corvette (modeled, it seems, after Nick Fury's classic flying car from the comics), Lola, admonishing a man dressed as a carrier flight deck crewman not to touch his car. Notably, the crewman is wearing orange, not a standard color for an aircraft carrier so it might just be safety gear or the needs of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier require more people in different roles.
And that's all she wrote - it's only 30 seconds after all. Still, with what sure seems to be the first tease of another Marvel superhero appearing for the first time in Luke Cage, a flying car teased, tons of action, and an intriguing premise, is sure looks like the first televised chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe saga will be an exciting one. Watch below and tell us what we missed. Stay tuned, as well; a longer tease is promised later this week.