From adventurer to leader, former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury has made his name known in the pages of Marvel Comics time and again. His comic history has depicted him in a variety of situations, some that would surprise even the biggest Marvel fan.
One thing most people don't know about Nick Fury is that he once put together a team of covert S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with supernatural abilities, dubbed Nick Fury's Howling Commandos (not to be confused with the WWII-era Howling Commandos). Coming from different walks of life, the members varied from mummies to werewolves, plus all kinds of other Marvel monsters created specifically for the horror sub-genre of Marvel.
A Scary Good Team
While a group of monsters might not necessarily be the best construct for a team — along with their first interaction together not going over so well — it still worked out in the end for Nick Fury. Despite the initial disagreements amongst Fury's Howling Commandos, eventually they put their differences aside to work together, similar to how the Avengers have put their differences aside to work together. As to why Nick Fury's Howling Commandos are relevant to the MCU and Marvel TV has to do with the most recent episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Meet The New Boss" dropping a huge reveal on the entire Marvel universe. A reveal which will very likely see numerous Marvel monsters joining the ranks of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. some time this season.
Spoilers for the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 follow.
In "Meet The New Boss" , a minor reference alluding to the "Darkhold" of Marvel Comics, was mentioned in the dialogue between the spectral figures that were released from those mysterious boxes found in Momentum Alternative Energy Labs — the same lab that Robbie Reyes seemed to know something about, and the same lab he showed up at later in the episode. Although Reyes wasn't himself when he returned to Momentum labs (the Rider was in control). Ghost Rider disintegrated one of the spectral figures as if it were nothing and the scene ended with Ghost Rider exiting in the same mysterious manner we witnessed in Episode One of Season Four. More importantly, the dialogue between those spectral figures hinted at a grander stage being set up on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
With the spectral figures speaking in detail of concepts that pertain to the Darkhold, there's potentially going to be a massive exploration of it in the Marvel TV universe built around Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Seeing as how the Darkhold is a gateway to many supernatural doors in the Marvel universe, and Marvel comics' tell a very unique story.
Marvel Comics' History Of The Darkhold
In Marvel Comics, the Darkhold was originally crafted by the demon Chthon. His intent was to have every type of dark magic travel through him when a dark-magic user took it upon themselves to use his creation, the Darkhold.
The Darkhold itself was also responsible for the creation of several Marvel monsters like vampires and werewolves, including the transformation of Nina Price into Vampire By Night. It also opened the door for a massive catalog of Marvel monsters to have their own exclusive comics, along with several Marvel monsters making appearances in other well-known issues of Marvel Comics.
Being a major set piece of the Marvel Universe, the Darkhold brought several mystical artifacts into its existence, including the Book Of Cagliostro. Interestingly enough, the Book Of Cagliostro has made its way into the pages of the Doctor Strange prelude comic — so considering that the Book Of Cagliostro is potentially canon in the MCU, it creates the basis of the Darkhold existing as well. Without the Darkhold, there's no Book Of Cagliostro.
Considering that Marvel TV and the MCU have the obligation to construct a tie-in between Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Doctor Strange this year, the Darkhold and the Book Of Cagliostro would be an ideal selection for the tie-in. Not only would those two supernatural books see Marvel TV and the MCU connected in a meaningful way, but the inclusion of the Darkhold could lead to more than just the spectral figures/ghosts we encountered in the episode "Meet The New Boss." Maybe even some Marvel monsters like Nick Fury's Howling Commandos?
Marvel Horror Icons Joining Marvel TV And The MCU?
Looking at the current state of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the newest revelations which have seen Ghost Rider and the spectral figures/ghosts making their debuts provide two clear examples of Marvel monsters joining Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is likely going to lead to more monsters joining them.
Now it may be some time before numerous Marvel monsters burst onto the MCU scene, but it's plausible that some of the more well-known monsters of the Marvel Universe are going to pop up on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. when their particular expertise is needed to combat threats of the supernatural kind. But before any Marvel monsters throw down with each other, though, a division of S.H.I.E.L.D. will probably respond to the supernatural threats.
S.H.I.E.L.D. will likely be the first agency to respond to the existence of supernatural creatures, and will probably get involved as soon as the existence of supernatural creatures becomes known to the public. Then the time will come for someone like the new director (Jeffrey Mace) or Nick Fury himself to start recruiting supernatural characters to combat the growing threat of volatile Marvel monsters.
However, the team of supernatural characters recruited by either Fury or Mace might not go by the name of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., since Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been on a sabbatical from Marvel Entertainment, and no one expects him to show up anytime soon. Meaning that for a team of Marvel monsters to be assembled, they'll very likely be renegades until someone from S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits them for an unorthodox mission - not Fury's Howling Commandos, at least not right away.
S.T.A.K.E.: The Special Threat Assessment For Known Extranormalities
There's also another team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents comprised of known Marvel Monsters that go by the moniker of "Special Threat Assessment For Known Extranormalities" (which definitely sounds like a name created by S.H.I.E.L.D.), and that similarity might see Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. put together a team of Marvel monsters similar to the likes of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos — or Dum Dum Dugan's Howling Commandos, yet another team of supernaturals.
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With the increasing number of supernatural threats appearing on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the progression of the series is eventually going to lead to supernatural creatures fighting supernatural creatures. We know from last night's episode that it takes a supernatural to defeat a supernatural, evident by the display put on Robbie Reyes's Ghost Rider towards the conclusion of the episode. So we can safely assume more supernatural brawls are on their way.
Here are some of the Marvel monsters we can expect to see join either Marvel TV or the MCU in coming months:
Man-Thing, otherwise known as Theodor Sallis, has a well developed origin in Marvel Comics. He's had encounters with numerous Marvel heroes and villains. But more importantly, he's been one of the biggest players on Dum Dum Dugan's Howling Commandos.
Originally one of the first recruits to be asked to join Nick Fury's Howling Commandos, Manphibian joined the likes of Vampire By Night, Warwolf and the Living Mummy on the team.
Undead Agent Jasper Sitwell
In a very peculiar phase of Marvel Comics history, a character arc was devoted to Jasper Sitwell's resurrection after being murdered by a brainwashed Black Widow. Sitwell returned from the grave as an undead and became a member of S.T.A.K.E. (Jasper Sitwell of the MCU is currently dead, which raises the potential for his undead self to appear on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. We've just seen ghosts, so why not zombies?)
Martin Reyna is the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in charge of keeping the S.T.A.K.E. team functioning properly. Reyna also comes equipped with a mechanical arm that contains a Warwolf gene package, which allows Reyna to transform into Warwolf on command — of course, Reyna has limited use of this ability.
Vampire By Night
Otherwise known as Nina Price, the Vampire By Night (as she likes to be called) was one of the first supernatural creatures to originate from the Darkhold. Out of all the members of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos, Vampire By Night probably has the best chance at appearing on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., since the Darkhold being introduced this season could birth her into existence.
Outside of these picks, there's still a plethora of Marvel monsters that could appear on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season. We still have some of the big bad monsters like Dracula, then there's also the Legion of Monsters — not touched on directly — as well as several additional members of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos at various points in Marvel Comics history.
With the possibility of an entire catalog of Marvel monsters joining the Marvel TV and the MCU, which Marvel monsters do you want to see? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and check out this clip from the next AoS episode.
Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres Tuesdays, at its new time of 10 p.m.