By Chaz Lipp
Among the many big-name draws at Emerald City Comicon this year (March 27-29, 2015) was Saturday’s penultimate celebrity guest – Clark Gregg. Currently starring as Phil Coulson on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a role he previous played in four Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) feature films and two Marvel One-Shot shorts, Gregg was a wildly popular guest. In his panel, hosted by actress Clare Kramer, he spoke about his lifelong love of Marvel Comics.
Gregg’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-star Chloe Bennet appeared as the closing celebrity guest on Friday night. Originally Gregg and Bennet were set to appear together, but various cancellations led to a reshuffling of the schedule. Bennet’s panel was moderated by Grant Imahara. While it would’ve been fun seeing the two cast mates together, each delivered an entertaining panel on their own.
A very young girl in the Q&A line received an appreciative high five from Clark Gregg after exasperatedly asking “how many secret organizations are there” on S.H.I.E.L.D.. Gregg joked that the “other” S.H.I.E.L.D. – which was recently introduced on the current Season 2 of the series – is led by “Adama” (Edward James Olmos of Battlestar Galactica) and that he’s such a fan, he didn’t want to be pitted against him.
Moderator Grant Imahara tensed up when Chloe Bennet innocently granted (no pun intended) a fan in her Q&A line a selfie. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, Imahara was quick to remind those in attendance that selfies and other forms of personal contact were not allowed (a rule that was, nonetheless, broken from time to time). Bennet clammed up a bit when a fan brought up her past as a teen pop star in China (according to Wikipedia, her entire discography consists of a pair of singles). She did say she sounds “like Beyonce” when singing in the shower.
Gregg got into a funny bit about the gun he uses on S.H.E.I.L.D., which was originally called (in the script) “Baby.” He ended up insisting that Coulson call it “Bambino,” due to the fact that Gregg’s wife happens to be Jennifer Grey – who famously portrayed Baby in Dirty Dancing. Gregg didn’t want a “ten-thousand meme’s” showing up online depicting Coulson putting “Baby” in the corner.
Bennet discussed the physical challenges of working on S.H.E.I.L.D., which include fight scenes that have left her with hairline fractures in both arms. When the crowd cheered, presumably because of the effort she obviously invests in her fight scenes, Bennet jokingly shouted, “Hairline fractures are awesome!” She seemed stoked to finally know who her character Skye actually is within the Marvel Comics universe. “I am Quake,” Bennet repeatedly emphasized throughout the panel, with obvious pride.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has seven more episodes to go for season two, and both Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet promise startling revelations. The show airs on ABC on Tuesdays, 9/8 Central.
Emerald City Comicon 2015 Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet Panel Images: Sherry Lipp