(Note: If you haven't seen the most recent episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 'Afterlife' - yet, then SPOILERS abound below...)
So. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
If you've already seen last night's episode, then you're most likely already massively over-excited (and if you haven't, go and watch it! We'll wait...) about the re-appearance of an old-school fan favorite: Deathlok.
The thing is, though: The cyborg killing machine we saw last night wasn't quite the Deathlok we knew and loved in the first season of the show. Instead, that was very much Deathlok 2.0. Sure, he's still Mike Peterson (sort of), but from the looks of things, he's changed a whole lot from his first appearances in the show.
Long gone is the (somewhat criticized) look from Season 1:
And in its place is a brand new, considerably less shiny variant (our first official, not-in-episode look at Deathlok, which is below):
Which, it seems, reflects the changes that the character has been going through since we last saw him.
As J. August Richards - Deathlok himself - puts it:
"Coulson has had Deathlok in his back pocket since we saw him last. So he pulls me out of hiding to help him out with this really huge mission that is vital to SHIELD. I got a lot of upgrades while I’ve been gone. My costume is very different. There are things that are still the same. The character has been evolving since we’ve seen him last; this is like Deathlok 2.0."
It's also, however, a Deathlok far more under the thumb of Mike Peterson than we've seen before. As Richards suggests:
"When I’m playing him now, I like to think Mike is now owning Deathlok. Before, I think he was really reluctant. Even back when I was playing the character [before], I didn’t know how to move, or act. I felt that was really Mike, with this body that got forced on him — like with this artificial leg that we jokingly say cost $10 million, or the rockets on his arm. He didn’t know how to incorporate that into his life, or his movement."
Now, though, it seems we're set to see a very different Deathlok - and with Mike set to help in the search for a certain Grant Ward, it looks like we're about to get a reminder of something very important...
...It's never a good idea to mess with Deathlok.