ByShannon McShortall, writer at Creators.co
I have been reading comics since before I could read. When I learned how to read, they became significantly better.
Shannon McShortall

Spoilers for the Agents of SHIELD Season 3 finale

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Agents of SHIELD ended with one of its typically phenomenal cliffhangers this season, but what can we expect of the Big Bad for the next season? Well here's what I think, but first, let’s deal with the context behind needing a new Big Bad:

As sad as it is, Ward is gone. Maybe the writers will figure out some way to bring Brett Dalton back, like the Flash writers did with Tom Cavanaugh, but at this point, it seems like Ward/Hive’s story is over. Since Ward is no longer a villain (which he has been since the back-half of Season 1) and Hydra is pretty much eliminated. Gideon Malick, Alexander Pierce, Hive/Grant Ward, Daniel Whitehall, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the HYDRA leaders ( Sheikh, Banker, Octavian Bloom and The Baroness), Arnim Zola and Red Skull are all dead. Other notable members like John Garrett, Werner Von Strucker, Dr List and Sunil Bakshi have also been killed.

Several other members are currently in custody. Only one member is currently alive and powerful and that’s Mitchell Carson from Ant Man, who escaped the end of that film with stolen Pym Particles. Although it’s not like he has anywhere to go, since Malick revealed the location of all the HYDRA bases to Talbot, who had them all taken down. So while there are a few strugglers, HYDRA is effectively destroyed. The organisation that has been Captain America’s enemy throughout his first two films and SHIELD’s enemy throughout the shows run. Given the spy nature of the show, the next enemy couldn’t just be a single villain, but an organisation.

Which organisation?

Well, AIM could definitely step up as the next eager terrorist cell. Although I personally believe that they’ll be relegated to Iron Man stories, given the fact that they’ve only appeared in stories featuring Iron Man. AIM in the comics are also inherently Iron Man villains, spawning such villains as MODOK. Also, Killian’s connection to them suggests a bigger connection to the Mandarin. Same with the Ten Rings.

The Hand are busy dealing with Daredevil and are far too different in genre to Agents of SHIELD to make much sense.

Roxxon has played a minor role in terms of mentions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so they could still play a big role.

The Serpent Society could work, but these are primarily Captain America villains. They could definitely come into the movies soon though, especially since they were joked about being the villains in Captain America 3.

Well how about....

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Zodiac!

Why though?

Here’s why:

1. The show needs a new organisation to face and Zodiac is a unique terrorist group that could provide some more colour to the formula that HYDRA as villains have displayed so far.

2. They’re actually SHIELD villains, so they make sense in terms of fitting there

3. Their powers could equate to or even raise the stakes from Hive this season.

4. They could lead to some Defenders tie-ins.

But here’s the two main reasons why Zodiac could definitely work. These reasons lie within two parts of the end of Season 3. One part states that there is a new SHIELD Director (or just a new person called the Director, who is in some way associated with Coulson and Mack, although it’s never made explicit that that “the Director” is in control) and the other is that of Holden Radcliffe working on resurrecting the old LMD procedure.

The New Director

In terms of the Director, the new Director could be someone who Fury trusts, has been put in charge because of blood relation, or is impersonating the Director. This person could be none other than Zodiac’s most infamous leader and Fury’s brother:

Jake Fury

Now this idea of a mole from a terrorist cell actually controlling Coulson’s actions could lead to some very interesting ideas. Also, Daniel Whitehall never became Kraken in Season 2, and in the comics, Jake Fury takes over that role and taking on the Kraken suit. Jake is also involved with the Secret Warriors (and has a mild association to Season 1 villain John Garrett), which makes his inclusion even more likely. But there’s even more to this...

LMDs

LMDs are a large part of SHIELD’s history in the comics, and as such, they have also played a major role in Zodiac’s as well. Jake Fury once created a Zodiac team entirely out of LMDs and has previously been an LMD as well, as well as being part of the creation of evil LMD Max Fury. With LMDs coming to the show, this seems like the likeliest way it’ll go.

So what do you think? Will the show feature Jake Fury? Will he be a villain? Will Zodiac be the new Hydra? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Also, Just thought I should say, this is so weird for me since I first started writing for Moviepilot with a piece about the season 2 finale of Agents of SHIELD. I took a little break and now I’m back for a piece about the season 3 finale. That's why this is so late, because I love traditions.

Anyway, glad to be back and I'm definitely looking forward to writing some more stuff!