With all the new comic book-related shows coming to the 2014-2015 television season, it might be easy to forget the big developments coming in the returning favorites. Whether it's Agent Coulson getting the bump to Director Coulson; the Arrow expanding his mission to a greater universe; or Rick Grimes and his band of survivors taking on lots of zombies, there's never been a better time to gear up for the much-anticipated return of comic book-based series this fall.
With the upcoming TV season ready to unleash new seasons of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Arrow" and "The Walking Dead," here's a quick look at what fans can expect from the promising futures of their favorite returning series.
And be sure to check out our Fall TV Preview of this year's new series!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 9 PM on ABC.
Previously On "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D"....:
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was the best thing to happen to "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
The events of the blockbuster film -- especially the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. (thanks, HYDRA) re-energized the back half of the series' uneven first season. Nick Fury re-surfaced just in time to help Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) save the day, appointing Coulson as the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the process.
Why You Should Keep Watching:
Season 2 promises to hit the ground running, with Coulson and crew struggling with their newly-assigned fugitive status while trying to rebuild their organization.
Along the way, our team will be charged with stopping the bad guys that seeped through the cracks -- Especially the traitorous Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), who is now in jail for secretly being a HYDRA operative. The Absorbing Man is also set to frequently pester our heroes, along with the HYDRA assassin Kraken (Reed Diamond).
The comics' Major Glen Talbot ("Heroes'" Adrian Pasdar) is shaping up to be one of the season's Big Bads and a constant source of bureaucratic headaches for Agent Coulson. Fans will also meet Skye's (Chloe Bennett) father, played by Kyle MacLachlan, who happens to be a mad scientist who bleeds from the hands and is in league with -- clutch the pearls! -- the Girl in the Flower Dress, Raina.
Lucy Lawless will be on hand as veteran S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley, and we'll see fan-favorite Mockingbird finally get the live-action treatment in the form of "Friday Night Lights'" Adrianne Palicki.
But Season 2's most promising element stems from whatever role Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) plays in the overall storyline. Recently, Marvel and ABC revealed an image from the season premiere of both Carter and the Howling Commandoes in action. (All of this aims to set up Carter's spinoff series about the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will run for two months in the winter while "S.H.I.E.L.D." goes on a brief hiatus.)
But what's up with Coulson going all "Beautiful Mind" and etching alien-y glyphs on walls? Let's hope we get an answer by season's mid-point.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on the CW
Previously On "Arrow":
"My name is Oliver Queen..."
The action-packed season finale pitted Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his band of heroes against Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), with the Arrow managing to put Wilson down (for now). The fallout of that confrontation lead to major changes for some of our favorite supporting players, however. Sara (Caity Lotz) and Nyssa (Katrina Law) left Starling City. Ditto, Thea (Willa Holland) -- which was expected, given that she just found out her family's been serving her nothing but lies for years. But it's likely that nobody expected her to leave in the company of her biological father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman).
Why You Should Keep Watching:
Season 3 picks up 8 months after last year's events, with the series further embracing its comic book roots in some truly exciting ways. The notable changes? Arsenal is now in town (with Roy as his alter ego) and there may be a new Black Canary on the prowl in Laurel (Katie Cassidy).
The biggest event heading Season 3's way is Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable), whose presence was revealed at Comic-Con to much applause from fans. Expect the head of the League of Assassins to emerge as a Big Bad this year, with DC Comics mainstay Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) threatening to take Oliver's company and his love interest, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards).
Speaking of Felicity and Oliver, those hoping for a relationship between the duo should be pleased with the early part of the season, as the two go out on a date during Oliver's initiative to better balance his life between personal time and crime fighting.
Big changes are in store for Diggle (David Ramsey) and Oliver's relationship, and fans will see Thea come back for some potential fisticuffs with Arrow, thanks to Malcolm's training.
Plus, trailers have promised a return of the fateful words from season one, "You have failed this city."
If Season 3 is half as action-packed as Season 2, fans are in for another satisfying year from one of our favorite shows.
The Walking Dead
When: Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC
Previously On "The Walking Dead":
Lots of zombies. Lots of killing of said zombies.
Last season's gruesome, heart-pounding storyline ended with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus and Carl (Chandler Riggs) locked up all cozy inside a Terminus train car, poised to discover exactly what the horrors within Terminus could possibly be -- with many speculating that Rick and his group of survivors are on the dinner menu for cannibals.
Why You Should Keep Watching:
As if you need any convincing.
For the first time in the series' run, the fifth season premiere will pick up directly following the events of the previous season.
According to series creator Robert Kirkman, the premiere ep will reveal what Terminus is all about, with attention paid to that special room with all the candles -- the one that plays a big role in the town's origins.
At this year's Comic-Con, Kirkman also shared that this season will introduce elements from the comics very early on, with this season promising events from the books fans have been looking forward to since onset. Not to mention the trailer that teased a more expanded role for Beth (Emily Kinney) as she strikes out on her own, dire straits for Glenn (Steven Yeun), a despondent Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and more during the course of the season.
Fans can also expect more inventive ways to kill Walkers -- with one particular set piece centered on a room that's flooded and one very bloated zombie to contend with.
October 12 can't get here fast enough.
Looking for the all-new comic book shows that are airing this fall? Check out CBR's Fall TV Preview of this year's new series.