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The final day of San Diego Comic-Con featured a special panel honoring the women of Marvel and talking about the expansion of female-driven titles and honoring three actresses that have made Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD a popular Tuesday night show for ABC.

Chloe Bennett (Daisy), Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Jemma Simmons) talked about their characters and how they’ve made an impact. They were joined by Ann Foley, who designs costumes for the show.  She says it’s been a great job designing clothes for the women as their characters evolved over the years. “You still recognize who they are from season one to season two to season three but they’re such a great change,”Foley said, “they’re such a great arc and it’s awesome getting to create these characters and figuring out that arc with those actors.”

Chloe Bennett admits that when she puts on her Quake costume, it’s not hard to feel more empowered. “I think she’s so bad ass because she’s able to feel so much and she’s so empathetic and she cares for people so much,”she says. That’s part of the reason why Daisy is going rogue, for SHIELD’s own good, after she lost Lincoln in the season finale. “She cares about the team so much and she feels that she has to kind of, she would bring harm to them,” she says, “so she’s going to separate herself and put herself through that pain for them while wearing a ton of eye makeup.” Coulson, though, wants her back, and we’ll see how that goes this fall.

Ming-na Wen talked at great length about the classic May vs. Fake May fight in season two , and how they had to make the costume for that scene. However, she was concerned about something else. “I was more worried about the lingerie more than the dress, and then it became where the lingerie was so comfortable to fight in.” She says it worked out well, and proves that “you can still fight in heels and a dress, and still kick ass. That’s what a woman can do.”

Elizabeth Henstridge’s character of Simmons has also changed a lot as a scientist who can hold her own in a crisis, the perfect combination of beauty and intelligence. She talked about how Simmons was stuck in Maveth for several episodes last year. ‘It’s such a huge honor to be given something that big to tackle,” she says. “It was so cool for Simmons to have that to show that she can do that as well, and also that she’s scrappy. All that got her through that was her strength of character and her resourcefulness which is a huge part of being a human and a woman and a scientist.”

Here’s more from our video of the panel…

Here’s some footage from the Q&A session, too. There’s a very funny story about how someone got a bit too eager about getting free churros, which was mentioned by some of the guys from the show thanks to this Nerd HQ video. They also explain how they balance strength and smarts.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD will return on September 20th at 10 PM Eastern and Pacific on ABC. Filming for the new season is underway, and one bit of big news is Gabriel Luna will join the show as Ghost Rider.

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