Throughout the first season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, fans met and in some cases fell in love with Skye, Agent May, Agent Fitz, and Agent Simmons, and many are still in counseling overt the betrayal of Agent Ward. Along the way, the show utilized many SHIELD agents comic fans were familiar with, including Victoria Hand, Agent Koenig, and even Agent Tripp, the grandson of original SHIELD agent and Howling Commando Gabriel Jones.
But these aren’t the only SHIELD agents that Marvel fans are clamoring to see. There are many more from the comics that Marvel could choose from for Agents of SHIELD season 2 that would open up a veritable universe of story possibilities to make sure that the second season of Agents of SHIELD is even better than the first. So come open the Fury Files and see what agents we could all be watching come the Fall!
First Appearance: Astonishing X-Men #3 (2004)Created by: Joss Whedon and John Cassaday
Well, would you look at who co-created Ms. Brand! If that’s not synergy I don’t know what is. This emerald-tressed badass may fall under FOX’s X-Men deal, but if not, man, would she rock your television right off your entertainment center. Abigail is the Nick Fury of space; she, and her organization, the SHIELD offshoot, SWORD, is the first line of defense between Earth and any alien incursion. Fans first met Agent Brand when she helped the X-Men take down Ord and the soldiers of Breakworld, but she has been a staunch ally of the Avengers as well since her introduction.
Brand is a master of high tech weapons from many worlds and is not afraid to get blood on her hands, whether it is red, green, or blue. In case you haven’t heard, Marvel will soon be exposing an unsuspecting world to the Guardians of the Galaxy, which means space is about to get a whole lot bigger in the Marvel Universe. If say, the Centauri, should return to Earth or a new alien race arrive, Earth will need a protector to lead SHIELD’s troops through the void. Plus, that alien blood in Skye and Coulson and the dead alien warrior in SHIELD’s basement? Those two otherworldly plot points could open many new doors for Agents of SHIELD…doors that Agent Brand traditionally is guarding.
La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine
First Appearance: Strange Tales #159 (1967) Created by: Jim Steranko
A super-agent so hot, the Comics Code Authority once made Marvel redraw a wordless panel in which she seduced Nick Fury. For years, the Contessa was a SHIELD mainstay and Fury’s lover and staunchest ally. In recent years, it was revealed she was a traitor, and then a Skrull. Her status quo is a little confuzzled at the moment, but this Italian femme fatale would surely bring some attention to ABC. SHIELD’s liaison to MI5 would bring a sense of the classic Bond-esque SHIELD vibe that defined the comic for years, and that the show mostly lacks. The Contessa may not end up with Fury, but with Coulson’s heart-wrenching parting from his beloved cellist in season 1, good old Phil will need a little romance in his life.
First appearance: Yellow Claw #1 (1956) Created by: Al Feldstein and Joe Maneely
The four issue run of the silver age Yellow Claw comic was known for its ahead of its time atmospheric storytelling, some great Jack Kirby artwork…and for being skin crawlingly racist. Putting that aside, the book did give the world Jimmy Woo, an agent charged with bringing down the criminal empire of the Yellow Claw. Fast forward to 1967, where Woo made his Marvel Age return in the pages of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Woo has had an utterly fascinating career, and his surrealistic background would make him awesome fodder for Whedon and company.
In the 1950s, Woo was responsible for bringing together the first team that called itself the Avengers, he was a staunch ally to Nick Fury during the Cold War, and even (hold onto your socks true believers) fought GODZILLA! Yes, old Jimmy Woo was charged by SHIELD to bring down Godzilla in the 1970s Marvel series featuring the nuclear powered legend. Woo piloted the giant Red Ronin armor to go mano-e-lizardo with Godzilla. Finally, in the modern age, Woo reunited with his ’50s Avengers to form the Agents of Atlas, one of the hippest and most underappreciated comics of the last decade. Now, if you don’t think Joss Whedon can use a team whose members include Gorilla Man and M-11, the Living Robot, you just haven’t been paying attention.
First appearance: Inhumans #5 (1999) Created by: Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee
Newbies to the Marvel Universe certainly will be familiar with the concept of the Black Widow after Scarlet Johansson sizzled up the screen on three separate occasions, so introducing another Black Widow will certainly peak everyone’s attention. Maybe SHIELD will need a new Widow operative after Natasha went full Avenger or now that she burned her cover in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Wouldn’t it be perfect if Coulson and company try to turn another Russian agent? Belova is plagued by doubts as she is constantly compared to Natasha which leads her down some dark paths and an eventual fall from grace, a perfect dramatic tragedy for television and a great foil for Whedon’s cast of Agents, especially Agent May.
First Appearance: Civil War: Choosing Sides #1 (2006) Created by: Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester
This one might have to wait until after Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie (assuming, of course, that the character isn’t already in that movie), but Eric O’Grady, the asshole SHIELD slacker that steals Hank Pym’s tech in the opening salvos of Marvel’s Civil War would be a perfect character to create all sorts of havoc for the new Agents of SHIELD. Think about it, a completely irredeemable douche of the highest caliber forced to work with SHIELD to keep his crimes a secret.
He can be to SHIELD what Andrew was to Buffy, an immoral wild card doofus that may discover the meaning of heroism. He can further exploit concepts introduced in the Marvel Movie Universe, and isn’t that what this show is all about? Plus, O’Grady was conceived by none other than The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. Things created by Robert Kirkman tend to do well on television.
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight #32 (1977) Created by: Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin
Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, is an awesome character. A powerful woman with a complex past and fascinating motivations and chances are because she has “Spider” in her name, she will probably never appear in a Marvel Studios film, which is a damn shame because Jessica is an awesome character that would enrich any world she appeared in. While Spider-Woman may not appear, maybe Agent Jessica Drew, she with the spider like powers, can pop up on Agents of SHIELD.
Jessica was raised by HYDRA operatives and served as a double agent for SHIELD, she is staunch ally and friend to many Marvel mainstays, and you can be sure Whedon and company will have a blast with her pheromone powers. What’s in a name? While we may not ever be treated to a Spider character in the Marvel Universe, Agent Drew would spice up and slice up the screen if given the chance.
First Appearance: Captain America #217 (1977) Created by Don Glut, Roy Thomas, and John Buscema
I mentioned that Marvel is about to get cosmic, so it would be only natural to introduce the Cosmic Protector. Wendell Vaughn was a SHIELD agent who became the wielder of the Quantum Bands and was the successor to the original Marvel Boy, who also was a member of Jimmy Woo’s Agents of ATLAS. See how neatly this all fits together? Vaughn changed his name from Marvel Boy, to Marvel Man, to finally, Quasar. He also became the head of Project Pegasus, a top secret SHIELD energy research facility that was used as an Easter egg in the Avengers film, and he may have had a sneaky name-drop in an episode of Agents of SHIELD already.
All the established prerequisites are in place for Vaughn to make his first appearance, and wouldn’t it be cool if Agents of SHIELD allowed fans in on the ground floor of the origin of Marvel’s Cosmic Protector? Vaughn’s status as a relatable everyman has made him cult favorite and Whedon can have fun with his “Aw, shucks” personality. From SHIELD agent, to legacy hero, to Cosmic Protector, Vaughn’s story can be a riveting one and allow for crossover with the more cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
Marcus Johnson aka Nick Fury Jr.
First Appearance: Battle Scars #1 (2012) Created by: Matt Fraction, Chris Yost, Scot Eaton, Cullen Bunn, and Paul Neary
For old time fans, one aspect of Agents of SHIELD that remains strange is the relative absence of Nick Fury. I’m sure Sam Jackson won’t balk at another guest spot or two, but this is likely to remain the Phil Coulson show. The presence of Nick Fury is somewhat expected by longtime fans, and with Marcus Johnson, Marvel can have their cake and eat it too.
Marcus Johnson’s story is a tragic one, involving the murder of his mother (who was once mistress to Nick Fury, Sr.), torture that led to the ironic loss of an eye, and finally, finding out he was the son of Nick Fury. From there, he became a high level SHIELD Agent, partnered with his old comrade in arms: you guessed it, Phil Coulson. It just wouldn’t seem right watching the story of SHIELD unfold if someone named Fury wasn’t one of the regular players.
First Appearance: Strange Tales #163 (1967) Created by: Jim Steranko
Another classic SHIELD Agent who has a rich history with many Marvel characters, Quertermain served as a SHIELD liaison to “Thunderbolt” Ross and his team of Hulkbusters (like Adrian Pasdar’s Glenn Talbot), and eventually ending up aiding the fugitive Bruce Banner and Rick Jones by going on the run with them. A long time Hulk supporting character, Quartermain has been one of Nick Fury’s most loyal agents. His classic good looks and confidence enhance the heart of a true hero and he would add a classic sense of SHIELD history to the television proceedings. His history with the Hulk alone makes Quartermain a perfect crossover candidate between film and television.
First Appearance: Reading, Pennsylvania, November 5, 1938 Created by: Mr. and Mrs. Steranko
All these characters have fascinating backgrounds and histories, but Mr. Steranko here trumps them all. From the flying cars, to the jet packs, to the helicarrier, to HYDRA, to the Life Models Decoys, there is not a single aspect of the core concepts of SHIELD that Steranko did not add his own personal touch to. But why would that make him a great character you ask? Let’s just say he makes the Most Interesting Man in the World look like an insurance salesman.
Other than being the greatest living comic artist (this is not debatable), he is also a master graphic designer, a film production illustrator, a historian, and a magician/escape artist. His youth was spent working sideshows as an escape artist/magician and in his heyday; it was rare to spot Steranko without a couple of exotic women on each arm. He is like Jack Kirby, Houdini, Norman Rockwell, Joseph Campbell, and James Bond all rolled into one. It may seem like a silly idea, but if you delve deep, Steranko’s real life reads like fiction.
Imagine an older SHIELD agent with those credentials and you have one fascinating character, now think about the fact that the dude is 100% real! What film characters did he create the concept art for, you ask? Oh, just Indiana Jones to name one…and he probably did it while escaping a strait jacket. The young agents of SHIELD will clearly be looking to Coulson for advice, but who will Coulson look to? How about the man who helped conceive the tone, feel, and look of everything SHIELD? I don’t always cast creators into television roles, but when I do, you can bet Lola it’s Jim Steranko.