Joss Whedon and Clark Gregg on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Connections to Iron Man 3, Marvels

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: MAURISSA TANCHAROEN, JED WHEDON, JOSS WHEDON, JEFFREY BELL

Last night on a special Fandom edition of Earth’s Mightiest Show, which aired on Disney XD, moderator Blair Butler spoke with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg and executive producer Joss Whedon about what to expect from the new series, in which Gregg reprises his role as Agent Phil Coulson to lead an elite team of secret agents in the war on supervillains.

We brought you a little bit of what they had to say earlier, but that was mostly general stuff about the show. As the interview continued after a break, the pair discussed some of the specific influences that have gone into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far--including Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross's iconic miniseries Marvels which, like the TV series, dealt with how everyday people interact with and respond to superheroes--and whether there's any truth to the rumors that elements of Iron Man 3's storyline will resonate through the pilot and possibly beyond.

Check out the conversation below. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuts on ABC Tuesday nights this fall.

CLARK GREGG, J. AUGUST RICHARDSButler: Is this a little surreal for you? There are people wearing "Coulson lives" t-shirts - and they're going insane when you walk on the stage.

Gregg: That's more than just a little surreal - I came here before, and try to buy up all my old comics and now I see people dressed like me - It's kind of a dream come true for a nerd.

Butler: You know there was a really great comic book series called Marvels who was a photographer who was photographing all these superheroes - this series, it seems to have some echoes of that - the common man looking at Gods - thunder gods and Iron Men - can you talk a little about that cool approach?

Whedon: Marvels is… it's a touchstone - it's one of the great comics because of that. Because it say What is it like for us - when they're here and before. That's exactly what we want with this show. We want to say - and that's what Coulson did in the movies - to say - what is it like for the guyu that doesn't have super powers - and has to clean up after the guy that does.

Butler: I've heard that in the first episode of AOS there are echoes, not only of The Avengers but of some events from Iron Man 3 play a part as well?

Gregg: …Yeahhhh… [hesitating, looking at Whedon]

Whedon: We can neither confirm, nor deny...

Gregg: I've heard that rumor. I think you're going to see all kinds of, the people that really study the Marvel Universe - they're involved in these movies. You're going to see echoes moving back and forth.

The one other thing I do love about - that I think does come over from The Avengers is - it's funny. And for me The Avengers was the funniest movie of that summer, if I can say it. What I really wanted to be in was something that had that kind of action, that kind of effects on TV and was still really funny - and didn't take itself too seriously. And that's what I think people are responding to so strongly here.

Butler: Did you ever imagine that you would become a superhero?

Gregg: Ehh, no, no, no… Let's just say there's not a lot of fifty one action figure characters - this has been an amazing ride for me. I was a huge Warlock fan, a big Jim Starlin fan -

Whedon: Me too…

Gregg: I look back at some of my books and it's clear why I went into the arts - because they're just filled with my drawings of Adam Warlock - so to kind of come here and be part of this at first and have Coulson step out and have Coulson be someone the fans not only adopted but who really represents them...

You know, Joss really picked up on it so magnificently in The Avengers: all the things that were there. And made him a kind of guy with an embarrassing Cap fetish - to then go to a place where I have an action figure. Coulson lives: and the fans really made it happen. I think if there hadn't been this "Coulson lives" movement I wouldn't be standing here right now….

Whedon: And I guess neither would I, so...

Gregg: I'm really grateful to the fans, and I'm really grateful to Joss It's really given me the greatest thing that's ever happened to me.

Butler: You're the real life Tinker Bell - they clapped loudly enough…

Gregg: That's actually on my vanity license plate: "real life Tinker Bell."