The clumsily-named Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been unleashed on audiences. It might not be the unparalleled success we were hoping for, and it was certainly more by-numbers than we usually expect from Joss Whedon, but it’s certainly worth sticking with.
The first episode was stuffed full of allusions to mysteries that are obviously going to drive the rest of the series. Let’s recount them here, and speculate wildly as to the solutions.
5. Coulson lives
As far as Agent Coulson tells Ward, he was simply ‘down’ for a few seconds after Loki stabbed him, before being revived by doctors. But a brief exchange between Maria Hill and doctor Shepherd Book indicates that this is not the case. S.H.I.E.L.D. are lying to Coulson about how exactly he’s back from the dead. Clone/robot seems the obvious solution.
Speculation: The new, post-Avengers Coulson is the Vision, reimagined for the Marvel Movieverse. He’s a synthetic human with the real Coulson’s brain patterns – which could provide a nice amount of angst down the line.
4. Agent Ward’s ‘family history’
A short reference is made to Agent Ward’s family history, in a none-too-flattering way. It seems that S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Ward is the black sheep of his family, which suggests that his family aren’t particularly heroic. Given his arrogance and his reluctance to play nicely with a team, supervillainy may be in his blood.
Speculation: Could he have a family connection to Hydra, the villainous organisation led by the Red Skull in Captain America and which, in the comics at least, is still active in the present day? It would tie in nicely with the Movieverse, and he wouldn’t be the first S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to deflect from Hydra – Jessica ‘Spider-Woman’ Drew fills that role in the comics.