When it was announced at New York Comic Con last year that Clark Gregg would be headlining the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot there was a lot of confusion going around - and rightly so. After all, one of the most emotional scenes in Joss Whedon's The Avengers was when Loki snuck up behind Gregg's Agent Coulson and stabbed him through the heart (an act that, eventually, motivated Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye to work as a team). But anyone that knows comic books knows that beloved characters never actually stay dead.

While there has been speculation that the drama would actually be a prequel set in the years before The Avengers came together, that idea has officially been crushed and dismissed. IGN recently caught up with ABC President Paul Lee who confirmed that the new S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot will take place after everything we've seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Asking about how the show would fit in the timeline, Lee said, “There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York." That battle for New York, of course, was the entire third act of The Avengers (unless he's being incredibly sneaky and referring to the end of The Incredible Hulk).

He went on to talk about how the project will be independent in the sense that it will only focus on the government agents. Said Lee, "This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly comes from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us." Just yesterday it was revealed that Whedon is currently working on scripts for episodes beyond the pilot, despite the fact that they haven't gotten a series order yet.

When you really think about it, this is the only way it really makes sense. The show couldn't be set before Iron Man because it's in that movie when they go from being the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division to being S.H.I.E.L.D. This just confirms it.

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