***This article contains spoilers for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, airing this fall on ABC.***
Marvel is screening the full pilot for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the show's currently ongoing panel Friday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and with it came the revelation of an Avengers movie character appearing in the initial episode — beyond Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson.
As further detailed in an article on The Hollywood Reporter, Cobie Smulders is reprising her role as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill in the show's pilot, though it's described at this point as a "one-off cameo role." Smulders is under contract to CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which starts its ninth and final season this fall. Yet the article does state that there's a possibility she'll return in a similar capacity in the future.
"I wanted very much to have Cobie in the pilot because as much as anyone else, she IS SHIELD," Joss Whedon, the Avengers writer and director who helmed the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, told THR in a statement. "She's cool and commanding, and has the dry humor that plays so well with Clark's."
As stated on Marvel's live blog of the presentation, Hill appears in one of the pilot's opening scenes, interviewing Agent Ward (Brett Dalton), one of the show's main characters.
Much of the speculation surrounding Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the early going concerned the superpowered character played by J. August Richards, and his possible identity. Marvel's live blog coverage of the pilot screening revealed that the character's powers come via Extremis, a major plot point in this summer's billion dollar-grossing Iron Man 3.
Also revealed in the live blog, Whedon TV veteran Ron Glass — who played Book on Firefly — appears in the pilot as a doctor.
Keep reading Newsarama for the latest. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which takes place in the same continuity as the Marvel Studios films, debuts Sept. 24 on ABC.