By Ani Bundel
Prior to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel at San Diego Comic-Con, ABC confirmed the show would over after next year’s Season 7. That sense of ending permeated everything about Marvel TV’s longest-running series. The Hall H presentation felt like a “This Is Your Life” retrospective. At the press roundtables later that weekend, the actors mostly reflected on the show’s legacy and how they hope the long lens of history will view it
Speaking to the reporters gathered, Ming-Na Wen, who plays Agent May, said she felt like the show’s legacy was already happening: “This show is wrapped around such humanity and such heart that it’s affected a lot of our fans. They’ve been so incredibly supportive, and they love us. So, for that, as a legacy, I just hope it continues on for generations to come.”
Clark Gregg has played Agent Phil Coulson across both the Marvel Studios films and the Marvel TV series. He said he felt like the world had finally caught up to what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to do back when it launched in 2013.
“When this show came out of the gate, there wasn’t this kind of representation on television. To go to Cons back with Seasons 1 and 2, together as a squad, and see young girls of all different colors, genders… every flavor of human. [And they were] all dressed up as Quake, as Agent May… and then as now-Director Mackenzie and Yo-Yo,” Gregg said. “To have that silently just be part of what S.H.I.E.L.D. is, is just a little closer to what we hope the world will be like.”
They weren’t the only ones aware of the show’s impact. Henry Simmons, who plays the aforementioned Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, and Natalia Cordova-Buckley, who plays Yo-Yo, both agreed they were aware of how much their presence on TV makes an impact. And they were excited to see that legacy continue with Marvel’s Ghostrider, starring Gabriel Luna. Cordova-Buckley declared it overdue for Luna to star in his own series. When asked if either of them might crossover to the new Hulu series once it gets off the ground, neither could say for sure if it would happen. But Simmons said he would work with Luna on whatever project came down the line in the future because that was the kind of person he wanted to work with.
Speaking of Ghostrider, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb insisted the upcoming series is not a direct spinoff of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fans should not view it as an extension of one to the other. Luna is still the same character who happened to have an adventure with the cast of S.H.I.E.L.D., “and that will be referenced,” but the show is “definitely its own thing.”
As for Marvel TV’s future at ABC, Loeb was cagey but promised that just because the latest shows were slated to go to Hulu doesn’t mean they’re abandoning the broadcast platform. “There are things in the works, things we can’t talk about,” he insisted. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be done, but some things will never change.