As if The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods didn't bring a touch of perfection to my Spring cinema visits, the news of the Whedon-helmed S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot promises to give a much-needed Marvel injection to 2013.
Check out some of my early thoughts on the show below (NOTE: Contains 'Avengers' spoilers):
1. ABC will go for a 13-episode first season order
To be honest, they'd probably be mad not to. Considering the critical and commercial success of The Avengers (it's reputed to have earned a whopping $1.5 billion at the box office), the franchise's popularity has surely secured Marvel's reputation as a prominent cinematic blockbuster brand.
As such it makes sense that their next step would be to conquer television. With shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (a series with a ceaselessly devoted fan-base and one that has exceeded its small screen limitations and become a rather successful comic book francise) under his belt, Whedon is undoubtedly the best person to launch S.H.I.E.L.D and steer it in the right direction.
At the very least ABC have to place some kind of order for the series, and while there's no guarantee it will be a success, franchises such as Stargate: SGI have proved that it's possible to launch a highly successful series off the back of an equally successful feature film.
2. There Will Be Blood (and Cameos)
As if Agent Coulson's death wasn't enough of a surprise in The Avengers, Whedon went on to shock the fandom when it was announced that actor Clark Gregg would be reprising his role as the ill-fated character in the TV series.
Joss has never been afraid to kill the characters his audiences most fall in love with, and it's unlikely that he'll break with tradition with this much-anticipated return to television.
So expect the characters you love to get butchered, sliced in half, killed by Reavers, or all of the aforementioned (and not necessarily in that order).
I wouldn't be surprised if The Avengers heroes make more than a few appearances of their own. As far as superheroes go at the moment, the Marvel A-Team are all hot property in their own right, but I wouldn't rule out Robert Downey Jr. dropping into S.H.I.E.L.D HQ, if only for a quick drink and some much needed ego-stroking.
3. It will be Iain De Caestecker's breakout role
|Iain De Caestecker (above) was great in BBC drama The Fades|
As fate would have it, it appears that there is one teeny, tiny upside to the BBC's frankly insane decision not to renew supernatural drama The Fades. De Caestecker was fantastic as lead character Paul, and I can only hope he gets to reveal and explore his full range in Whedon's stateside drama.
He's currently doing good work in Joe Ahearne's BBC adaptation of The Secret of Crickley Hall, and I for one can't wait for him to be handed the keys to S.H.I.E.L.D HQ.
4. Summer Glau will feature... somewhere, somehow
Because she should feature in everything from now until the end of time.
Joss has been enamoured with Summer since she first played a tormented ballerina in Angel episode 'Waiting in the Wings'. Since that time she's proven herself to be one of the most versatile and popular actresses working within genre TV (River Tam, anyone?).
Fingers crossed she will get the introduction to the Marvel universe that she well and truly deserves.
5. The showrunners will take the mythology in new and interesting directions
With people like the Whedon brothers, Maurissa Tancharoen and Jeffrey Bell reportedly behind the scenes, we know that what we're going to be treated to will be far more than a watered down version of The Avengers - between them, they've worked on shows such as Alias, Angel and Dollhouse, meaning they won't be afraid to take us to dark and compelling places.
Bell was the driving force behind Angel's fifth, final (and in my opinion, finest) season, where the vampire with a soul took over a demonic law firm in an attempt to do battle from within the 'belly of the beast'. I couldn't imagine better hands for S.H.I.E.L.D to be in.
I would like to think that I'm a moderately competent seer, but if I'm sure of anything, it's that my predictions barely skim the surface of the surprises in store for us when the S.H.I.E.L.D pilot hits in Spring 2013.
What are your thoughts on the S.H.I.E.L.D TV series? Are you looking forward to seeing Whedon and co. establish Marvel on the small screen? Leave your thoughts below!