Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is really heating up (I could not resist) with news that the spirit of vengeance Ghost Rider will be appearing, and a new S.H.I.E.L.D. director will be taking up the post. And this got me thinking about all the comic book characters that have been featured on the show so far, and thus this post was born.
But before I get into my list let’s break down the news quickly. We first heard about the inclusion of Ghost Rider at San Diego Comic Con with a teaser trailer (see below). We also found out that it will not be original Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze (which Nicolas Cage played in those awful movies) but teenage mechanic Robbie Reyes who rides a flaming muscle car in lieu of a motorcycle. He will be played by actor Gabriel Luna. I presume the addition of Ghost Rider means that we will have more mystical elements this season and possibly a magical big bad, which makes sense with the inevitable Doctor Strange episode tie-in.
Also joining the cast is Jason O’Mara (“Terra Nova”, “The Good Wife”) as the new director, taking the reins from Phil Coulson. According to Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb O’Mara will be playing a character that dates back to Marvel’s history 1940s, but we’ll have to wait somewhat for that reveal.
But Ghost Rider and mystery director and not the only Marvel comic characters to grace the small screen on AOS. So here is my ranking of the Top 12 characters, with a SPOILER ALERT up to Season 3:
#12 Jasper Sitwell
This secret Hydra agent had a brief cameo on the show but his treacherous ways were fully exposed in The Winter Soldier. The character is also an agent in the comics and first appeared in “Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as part of the Strange Tales comic in the mid 1960s.
This banished Inhuman turned henchmen of Hive was a mouthy character with some nifty pyrotechnics and his fire whip scene coincidentally (or not?) foreshadowed the appearance of Ghost Rider. In the comics his name is J.T. Slade and he is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. super powered agent team “Secret Warriors”, though he was later revealed to be a Hydra double agent.
#10 Andrew Garner/Lash
Agent Melinda May’s ex-husband and psychologist Andrew is revealed to be the alter ego of the Inhuman-hunting Lash. He was a powerful and intimidating character with a superb design. He also had a tragic story with a tragic end. In the comics Lash is an Inhuman supervillain with a plan to cleanse the planet of Inhumans who he believes should have never received Terrigenesis.
#9 Mike Peterson/Deathlok
Poor Mike. He was experimented on and given superpowers (as shown way back in the pilot episode), then he was blown up and then he was turned into a cyborg. Really cannot catch a break. He begins as a Hydra henchman under duress but eventually turns on them and becomes an ally to S.H.I.E.L.D. We have not seen much of him of late but he always brings the cool when he does show up. In the comics there have been three characters who have been Deathlok (all reanimated by cybernetic technology) but Peterson is a show original.
#8 Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez
She’s speedy, she’s sassy, she’s Yo-Yo! The Colombian Inhuman really fired things up when she appeared on the show with her personality and cool powers. Her mistrust of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also an interesting plot point and I enjoyed her relationship with Mack. In the comics Yo-Yo is Puerto Rican and a member of the above mentioned Secret Warriors. Her powers of moving super fast and “bouncing back” to where she started is the same as her TV counterpart.
#7 Calvin Johnson/ Mr Hyde
In Season 2 we meet Skye’s father, Calvin Johnson, and learned about her true identity as Daisy Johnson. We also learn that Cal is super crazy and has a habit of transforming into a rage monster (think Hulk but smaller, less powerful and no green skin). Kyle MacLachlan was fantastic in the role and really made you feel for this broken character who did horrible things just to have his family back. In the comics the character is a supervillain called Dr Calvin Zabo who uses a chemical formula to transform into the super strong “Mr Hyde”.
#6 Grant Ward/Hive
No character on the show has had such a complex arc af Grant Ward. First he was an agent, then he was revealed to be a Hydra double agent, then he was a lone villain, then he tried to take over Hydra, then Coulson killed him and then his body was taken over by the ancient Inhuman “Hive”. Hive was a super creepy and fascinating baddie and kudos to actor Brett Dalton on his portrayal. In the comics Hive is a Hydra genetic experiment and, similar to Ward/Hive, is composed of genetically-engineered parasites.
#5 Carl Creel/Absorbing Man
Season Two started with quite the bang courtesy of this powerhouse character brought to life by great special effects. His power to absorb any physical matter and bond with it made him great at both frontal attacks and stealth. Creel was revealed to have been brainwashed by Hydra and later became a bodyguard to Brigadier General Glenn Talbot. In the comics Creel is a villain who was given his powers by Loki to defeat his brother Thor.
#4 Daisy Johnson/Quake
She rocks. Literally. The character who began as super hacker Skye was later revealed to be Inhuman Daisy Johnson with seismic powers. Both a skilled agent and powerful hero Daisy is not higher on the list because her comic book counterpart, a member of Secret Warriors, is not as well known as our top three. But it does not take away in the slightest from her cool factor.
#3 Nick Fury
This former S.H.I.E.L.D. director really does get around. As AOS was still catching its feet Samuel L. Jackson aka Nick Fury showed up a couple of times to lend some Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) cred to the TV show. Though the cameos were brief they were pretty cool moments. In the comics Nick Fury first appeared as a solider in 1963 World War II series “Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos” and later as Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
While Sam Jack was fun the best MCU tie-in to the series was the appearance of the Thor character Sif, played by the lovely Jaimie Alexander. The character, first seen in the Thor film, was strong, unwittingly amusing and kicked a lot of backside in Season One episode “Yes Men”. She returned in Season Two in an amnesiac state and, while her first episode was better, “Who You Really Are” was still a decent episode. In the comics Sir, based on the eponymous Norse goddess, is an Asgardian warrior and first appeared way back in 1964 in “Journey Into Mystery”. She is a longtime ally, and some time lover, of Thor.
#1 Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird
The number one comic character appearance, the best of the best, has to be Bobbi Morse played by the stunning Adrianne Palicki. She is strong, highly skilled but also funny and vulnerable. And when she pulls out those batons you know fools gonna jump up to get beat down. It was fantastic when she joined the cast full time in Season 2. The character proved so popular that Marvel had planned a spin off with her and her scoundrel ex-husband husband Hunter called “Marvel’s Most Wanted” but sadly the project was cancelled. Having Mockingbird on the series as a regular character has to best appearance of a comic character on the series and I am hopeful she returns in Season 4 in some capacity.
In the comics Barbara “Bobbi” Morse aka Mockingbird first appeared in “Astonishing Tales” in 1971 and is a long time agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers member. She was previously married to fellow Avenger Hawkeye though the two subsequently parted ways.
So what is your favorite Marvel comic character appearance on AOS? Did I miss any? Feel free to comment below.
For more Marvel TV goodness you can check out my post on the Netflix trailers for “Luke Cage”, “Iron Fist” and “Defenders” here and on the movie side you can check out my review of Captain America: Civil War here. And for more super powered TV posts you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012 for updates.
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