ByEd Looney, writer at Creators.co
Native TEXAN! Love comics (and their presentations on TV / cinema), sports and my wife and kids. Particularly fond of both Marvel and DC.
Ed Looney

The Poster

The [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](tag:722469) season 3 Comic-Con poster was released into the various blogospheres at the start of July. It was... awesome (of course!).

But, if you take the poster apart and analyze the parts? There's some stuff we knew already (everything revolves around Coulson... Daisy will have a BIG role... Bobbi and Lance will still be together... Ward will be back...) and some stuff, we had hoped (Jemma appears whole, normal and restored to the team... Coulson has a new golf stroke - has to be able to accommodate that shiny new hand! ... Mack and Lincoln are on board... May's still got Coulson's back...) and, it, possibly, gives us some information we didn't already have.

Phil Coulson's Shiny New Hand!

Take a look at that picker!
Take a look at that picker!

Philster (Clark Gregg) will still have a central role in the show. Everything that happens will revolve around the decisions he makes and the organization he creates. (And, he and May are the only ones - other than Bobbi - who seem to be able to reach outside the "circle".)

And, he has a new hand!

If you remember the finale of Season Two, Agent Mack lopped off his arm just below the elbow to stop the petrification and death of our beloved Director. He had to grab that Terrigen Crystal, didn't he... Proved he wasn't an Inhuman, though, and that the injection of that Kree extract didn't provide him any immunity from the Diviner metal.

Oh yeah... uh... thanks, Mack!
Oh yeah... uh... thanks, Mack!

Now, the $64 Question: Who built Phil's new paw? Was it derived from the same technology as Deathlok? Did SHIELD scientists (whatever is left of them) already have the technology on hand? Was Tony Stark consulted? It doesn't appear to be the work of Dr. Helen Cho (who would have "printed" him up a more normal one) or the Extremis Serum (which also would have looked more normal).

Does Tony yet have any idea Phil is alive?

Hey! There's Jemma!

She's still in the picture...
She's still in the picture...

Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who we last saw being consumed whole (burp!) by that black Kree stone is there - in the poster - right between May and Jemma's beloved Fitz! And, she doesn't have horns... or elongated hair... or polka dots... not even oversized eyes! She looks... normal?

There are a bunch of theories, queries and dumbfounded straw-grasping running around - kind of like a herd of startled rabbits - all over the Internet:

Gotcha! ................................... <burp!>
Gotcha! ................................... <burp!>
  • Did she die? (And, if so, when will the studio tell Elizabeth?)
  • Was she transported somewhere?
  • Is she being transformed / transfigured?
  • Is she just stuck in that thing??? (How would they get her out?!)
  • Is she an Inhuman (what triggers that thing's liquification, anyway?)
  • Did it make her into an Inhuman-seeking Weapon-of-Destruction?
  • Is she "Enhanced"? (Maybe Daisy can user her on her team...)
  • Does that thing become a part of her and she transitions into and out of it?

We... dunno... yet. But, apparently, we are going to find out in the Season's Opening Episode - which takes place about six months after the conclusion of Season 2 (so, they've been looking for her for quite a while).

Who Is ...?

...from the poster...
...from the poster...

There are a fairly large number of individuals who have made appearances on the show who have anywhere from a possibility to a high likelihood of reappearing. Some have interesting roles on the show and some have the capability to have important roles. Some of the more significant ones:

Mike Peterson / Deathlok (J. August Richards) does not appear on the poster. That doesn't mean he won't appear over the course of the season, but it does seem to imply that he will not have a significant role on the team Daisy Johnson has been tasked by Coulson to put together - "The Secret Warriors". Mike would be a natural fit for the team, but hey... it's still early. Maybe they're still trying to work out contract details.

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s old friends...
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s old friends...

Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood) isn't there - granted, he could be the one driving Lola... well... maybe not. Last we saw Dr. Andy, he and his ex-wife, Melinda May, were off to the beach and she was bringing an itsy-bitsy teensy-weensy bikini - and, her Glock 19 pistol. Interesting that the locker number from which she took it out was ... 33. Dr. Garner would be a natural at assisting Lincoln as Lincoln assists the newly "gifted" Inhumans once they consume enough of the fish by-products to trigger their transformations. They are going to need someone to whom they can air their concerns, after all.

Update (7/31/2015): Per Variety, Marvel has confirmed Dr. Andrew Garner will be returning for "multiple episodes" in Season Three as a recurring character. You go, Doc!

The Brothers Koenig (Patton Oswalt) and their sister are not in the poster. This is probably just an oversight by the artist... after all, the Replicating Lady will need someone who could relate to her. She could take any five of the brothers on dates at the same time!

Most complicated date night... ever!
Most complicated date night... ever!

Alisha / Ginger Ninja/Replicating Lady (Alicia Vela-Bailey) isn't shown. Ginja is the only surviving Inhuman (other than Lincoln and Daisy) from Season Two for which we knew her powers (now that Jiaying, Gordon and Raina have all died). We can assume she will be on the show, we just may not see her as Alisha - Alicia is Adrianne Palicki's stunt double. And, Alisha is likely available should the story line call for her...

Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) & Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) are nowhere to be found! Sacrilege! Rumors abound that Sam Jack's contract is about to be up and his Nick Fury may be moseying toward the sunset of his story in the MCU. Cobie, on the other hand, is always excited about her involvement in the series and has even been known to attempt to blatantly subvert Kevin Feige's troops to slide over to the television side from the MCU movieverse. It would be fun to see her more.

Stately... beautiful... powerful!
Stately... beautiful... powerful!

Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) isn't on the poster? Sadness. When you consider "enhanced", you would certainly start with this beauty. What's more enhanced than an Asgardian goddess? Her headlining her own new series, Blindspot, could soak up any loose time she would have had, though. Professor Elliott Randolph (Peter MacNicol) is another Asgardian who could reappear on the show... Coulson secreted him off in the Pacific Northwest... somewhere...

Update (9/23/2015): Apparently, this one hit pretty well... In Episode 2, Fitz consults "an Asgardian" to help him solve the riddle of Jemma's stone encasement. And, rumors are that Asgardian is their hidden-away friend, Professor Randolph.

Akela Amador (Pascale Armand) and her bionic eye isn't there... She was fun but had her run now she's off to obliv.i.on... Her skills as an agent and her enhanced eye could be of use to S.H.I.E.L.D. again one day...

Exceptionally talented agents...
Exceptionally talented agents...

Agent Anne Weaver (Christine Adams) isn't there. If the Agent Weaver from the academy were to come back, I'd love her personality and charisma as a regular on the show. The one that came with Robert Gonzalez (Edward James Olmos)? Not so much.

Agent Tomas Calderon (Kirk Acevedo) hasn't been seen since he tried to off Skye rather than use I.C.E.R.S. like Bobbi directed... I wonder if that character is even still alive? I don't think Bobbi was very happy with him...

On the sidelines...
On the sidelines...

Donnie Gill / Blizzard (Dylan Minnette) isn't there, either! He would be someone Daisy would want on her team. Maybe she'll go find him once she gets her legs and gets her group off the ground.

So, all of the regulars are back and they are joined by newcomers Lincoln & Mack. As for the drop-ins and fly-bys, we should be able to expect any number of them guesting as the season goes on.

In case you wanted more...
In case you wanted more...

With the exception of Grant Ward (who is now a head of Hydra), the original team of six is still intact and has been joined by Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter (Season Two) and later, Mack Mackenzie and Lincoln Campbell. And, although Grant has transitioned from S.H.I.E.L.D. over to Hydra, he still considers himself a member of his old S.H.I.E.L.D. team - even though he is determined to destroy them because they are the reason Ward gut-shot his beloved Kara Lynn Palamas.

Some of those originals have already been mentioned (Phil and Jemma), Grant will be detailed later and the rest? Their upcoming Season is described here.

Skye/Daisy Johnson/Quake (Chloe Bennet)
Skye will no longer be referenced by her heretofore self-appointed moniker - she will henceforth be referred to as Daisy Johnson in deference to her dad. But, they have mentioned that they will be utilizing her Code Name: Quake, in the course of the stories as the season progresses.

Also, Daisy is getting a new coif! Gone are the long, flowing, lustrous locks of glory. Beginning Season 3, her look will conform more closely with the comics; although, she has confirmed that it won't be that short!

In honor of Dad... and Daisy.
In honor of Dad... and Daisy.

Daisy will head up Coulson's new "Caterpillars" team - a team that will be comprised of enhanced individuals and should, likely, include Lincoln Campbell. Her team will be tasked to track down all those individuals who like fish and fish by-products and who will, after they consume enough to trigger the event - provided they have the required DNA (Inhuman) - cocoonize and emerge from that state as... something... else.

Many (most?) will still look the same, but there will be those... Rainas... who will find themselves with a whole new "look" who likely are going to need some serious counseling (I wonder if Dr. Andrew will offer his services?).

Warriors in secret...
Warriors in secret...

Her team will also track those individuals who gain their "enhancement(s)" via other means (i.e. Deathlok; Donnie Gill; Amela Ekefor; any Asgardians, Olympians, Kree, Skrulls and such; and those who have found the recipe that gave us Captain America and Mr. Hyde). If the individual can create a boosted case of havoc (or help suppress it), Daisy's team will be looking for them.

Melinda May/The Cavalry (Ming-Na Wen)
Ms. Wen, the actress who plays May, is hoping there will be an arc instilled into the story that allows her to further explore her return to "humanness" after finally facing and addressing her issue with killing that Inhuman child prior to the first season - the event that begat her Code Name. Hopefully, hubby Andrew will be a part of that process.

She's taking what? Yeah? ...and, what ... ?
She's taking what? Yeah? ...and, what ... ?

At the conclusion of last season, May was seen in a much happier spirit. She and Andrew were preparing to leave on a vacation together and Melinda even brought her itsy-bitsy bikini - and, her Glock 19 pistol.

Leopold "Leo" Fitz (Iain DeCaestecker)
Iain spent a lot of this off-season touring England with new bud, Nick Blood (who plays Lance Hunter). He's excited about the coming season and hopes it takes 22 episodes to get Jemma out of that rock (there really needs to be a sarcasm font).

Still, his character, Fitz, is clearly going to be desperate to find his friend (and wannabe date). He'll probably take the point on the project and completely immerse himself into finding Jemma. I wouldn't be surprised if he finds a way to trigger the stone's transformation and get himself sucked in - just so he can see, first-hand, what happened to her.

Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) & Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird (Adrienne Palicki)
These two were in a bad place as Season Two concluded. Lance (with the help of Melinda May) had rescued Bobbi from the clutches of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Grant Ward and Kara Lynn Palamas/Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) while Bobbi had saved Lance from the bullet Ward had set up to kill him by flinging her own body into the path of the deadly projectile.

Ms. Hunter?  Morse?  What's with the Blood?
Ms. Hunter? Morse? What's with the Blood?

Lance and May had managed to get Bobbi back to S.H.I.E.L.D. base in time to save her life, but the events left her wondering if she was moving in the right direction.

Marvel TV head man, Jeph Loeb, has stated her final words indicating she "is done with all of this" was left intentionally ambiguous and vague allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions as to whether she was quitting S.H.I.E.L.D., quitting her relationship with Lance, putting aside her ability to have feelings - her ability to care for others in order to better perform her job, or whatever.

It has been revealed that her injuries incurred during the Season Finale will linger and she will have to work around missing part of one lung and the balky knee that won't allow her to go full Mockingbird on all those bad guys.

So... why's she outside the "circle"?
So... why's she outside the "circle"?

The spin-off Marvel was proposing to ABC that would have moved Bobbi and Lance over into their own "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" type spy/action comedy wasn't picked up, so leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't going to happen this season. They will still be on the show, but their relationship "adjustments" are yet to be explored as will the aforementioned physical adjustments she'll have to make..

Update (8/20/2015) That tossed aside "spin-off" that was to feature Palicki's Bobbi Morse and Blood's Lance Hunter? Totally happening: ABC has announce they have ordered a pilot for the new series and that the series ... will not be a spin-off? Apparently, it will feature Palicki and Blood, but will not remove them from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Cool.

It is not specified whether the new series will precede the duo's assignment into Coulson's team; if it will occur in the years after they leave Coulson's team; or if it will spin tales expanding on their roles working as agents on Coulson's team.


Stay tuned!

Alonzo "Mack" Mackenzie (Henry Simmons)
Mack is no longer trying to bring down Coulson and his flavor of S.H.I.E.L.D. He has decided that Phil's side has triumphed over the challenger faction of which Mack (along with Bobbi Morse) had been a part and, with the death of Robert Gonzalez (Edward J. Olmos), S.H.I.E.L.D. is now solely led by Coulson. But, now Phil has a "board" to which he has to answer and Mack, Bobbi, Melinda and Agent Anne Weaver (Christine Adams) comprise that board. It's not yet been defined whether Agent Tomas Calderon (Kirk Acevedo) has retained his position on the board after he crossed Bobbi and attempted to gun down her friend and fellow agent, Skye.

Friends with "Tremors" & "Turbo"... not... Gordon.
Friends with "Tremors" & "Turbo"... not... Gordon.

It is known, however, that Agent Oliver (Mark Allan Stewart) is no longer on the board as he was turned into a charcoal statue by Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) aboard the Iliad when the Inhumans stormed the ship and took it over.

One of Mack's chief grievances with Coulson was Phil's propensity to seek out enhanced people, things and places. Mack don't like strange stuff.

So, to appease Mack (and to give him a sense of control over the situation), Coulson appointed Mack as the Head of Alien (and other odd) Artifacts. Of course, this included a certain Kree Stone that tends to liquify suddenly, swallow whatever (whomever) is in its path then reconstitute back into its original stone form - the one that gobbled up Simmons at the end of the Season Two Finale. Yeah, he'll be pretty focused on finding Jemma. Plus, he loves his little brother, Fitz, and he knows Fitz loves Jemma. They'll find a way.

Update (8/13/2015): Looks like Mack will be partnering with Daisy in an "X-Files" Mulder/Scully-type relationship. This should be an amazing pairing.

Lincoln Campbell/Spark Plug (Luke Mitchell)
Lincoln is a transitioner - one who assists Inhumans who have been exposed to the Terrigen Mists and have metamorphosed into their enhanced state. And, I would think, with all those Terrigen-laced fish by-products on the shelves these days, there will soon be any number of newly enhanced individuals who will be needing his transitioner skills to help them come to grips with who they have become as they emerge from their Terrigen-induced cocoons.

Have a seat...
Have a seat...

But, Lincoln is still reeling from the discovery that his "community" of Inhumans in peaceful Lai Xi had been betrayed by their long-lived matron, Jiaying. This community had been quietly learning the ins and outs of being an enhanced Inhuman within the walls of Lai Xi and Jiaying's betrayal had shaken the entire community to its core.

She had led them on a destructive mission of hatred and revenge against humans - specifically, S.H.I.E.L.D. - in retaliation for her mutilation at the hands of Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond). Those who have been with us from the start remember that Whitehall was secretly working for Hydra which was hidden away within S.H.I.E.L.D.

The love and peaceful sanctuary within which the Inhuman community had been allowed to grow into their new abilities had been shattered.

Hey, look!  He made Season Three!
Hey, look! He made Season Three!

Now, Lincoln will need to find out who he really is, what is his destiny and how Daisy Johnson and her S.H.I.E.L.D. will fit into his life. He will probably go home to Cincinnati for a while for some reflection and introspective. Then, he likely will find Daisy is just who he needs to lead him and those like him (Inhumans) in becoming integrated and at peace with their places in the world.

Antagonists

Ticklers of the last nerve...
Ticklers of the last nerve...

S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed, over the course of just two seasons, to run across any number of folks who have engendered desires to do harm to our heroic friends. Shoot, even some of their own members have taken shots at the home team from Melinda May spying on Phil Coulson to Bobbi Morse and Mack Mackenzie infiltrating the organization to bring down Phil Coulson to Skye-cum-Daisy kicking May's butt (but... she cheated - she "quaked" her) to Skye putting four bullets into Grant Ward's side to Ward torturing Bobbi to Fitz lying to Jemma about Skye to Ward tossing Fitz and Simmons into the ocean in a box ... you get the picture - kind of like a bunch of siblings with too much time on their hands on a hot summer afternoon in a small town in West Texas after Mom and Dad have gotten home from work. "HE DID IT!!!"

Then, there's Hydra, the Inhumans, the U.S. military, a renegade doctor (and his team of misfits) searching for his daughter and, hey! While we're at it, let's toss in yet another faction of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Did I tell you the one about the Kree warrior that came to Portugal and kicked the living daylights out of S.H.I.E.L.D.-friend, Sif? He blue.

Grant Ward (Brett Dalton)
Ward, in a fit of anger over being an idiot and accidentally killing his own girlfriend has decided to blame S.H.I.E.L.D. and has moved on - over to that other, more accepting organization: Hydra.

And, he is taking over. At least, he's taking over one cell of that organization.

Needs a little closure...
Needs a little closure...

He still sees himself as the good guy who need closure on all the bad things that have happened to him and he sees Hydra as a tool he can use to obtain that closure.

And, oh yeah... somebody in Hydra has just gotten their hands on some Pym Particles... hmmm...

Lash (Matt Willig)
Marvel (through TV head Jeph Loeb) has announced the comic book character, Lash, will be one of the main antagonists in Season Three. Lash is an idealist and a purist. He is very single-minded and determined to keep enhanced Inhumans to only those who are deserving of the honor.

Lash is heartless and ruthless. And, Lash is an Inhuman - an Inhuman that, in the comics, has no good thoughts regarding the Inhuman royal family headed by Black Bolt and his queen, Medusa.

Coming to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Coming to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Lash believes there should be only a select few Inhuman descendants who would be allowed to transition and blossom into their "true selves" (with the assistance of the Terrigen Mists). And, he believes those who manage to transition without being appropriately selected need to be carefully weighed, meticulously measured and definitively obliterated if they don't have the make-up to be a proper Inhuman - as defined by none other than himself.

He is the Enforcer.

And, Lash is going to clash with the lass who will be heading up Coulson's Caterpillar Project: Daisy Johnson, an unmeasured, unweighed, unselected Inhuman interloper who will need to be graded to determine if she qualifies to have transitioned into her enhanced state. Can't just have stray "transitioneds" wandering around willy-nilly all over the place!

Butting heads...
Butting heads...

And, he's going to be busy. Some idiot dropped a box of Terrigen Crystals into the ocean and now they have contaminated the fish supply which has now been distributed all over the world giving potentially millions of Inhumans their transitions meaning Willy and Nilly have been set loose and the world will be all havoc and chaos and Inhumankind will be doomed!

Time to go to work.

Update (8/27/2015): Matt Willig (all 6'8" of him), a former NFL offensive lineman who played for 6 different teams (plus a second stint with the Rams) helping the St. Louis Rams win the Super Bowl in 1999 while losing with the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

His resume includes Cold Case, Chuck, NCIS, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Year One, and We’re The Millers.

General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar)
Last I'd heard, S.H.I.E.L.D. was cast down by the Avengers (specifically, Nick Fury and Captain America), outlawed by the various world governments (including the good ol' U.S.A.) and hunted, hounded and harassed just because they (S.H.I.E.L.D.) feel like they should continue to exist.

Now, let me make this clear... we will get you
Now, let me make this clear... we will get you

And, General Talbot was determined to bring them in. Now granted, Phil Coulson has managed to somewhat appease Talbot by dropping him little bits of technology here, Crusher Creels there and, generally, trying to make the general's life better in the eyes of his peers and superiors.

But, S.H.I.E.L.D. is still an outlaw organization. I think the writers have neglected that aspect of the story and have failed to properly utilize it to keep the edge on the overall plot and the intensity and danger that should be constantly nipping at the heels of your favorite agents.

Kind of like you felt when David Janssen's Dr. Richard Kimble was running from Barry Morse's FBI Lt. Philip Gerard in the early '60s drama, The Fugitive. S.H.I.E.L.D. is, after all, an outlawed organization; they are wanted by the U.S. government; they are, supposedly, on the run and they should be watching their backs rather than just strolling down the streets of Hometown, U.S.A. without a care in the world.

Wanted by the F.B.I. ... and, the one-armed man
Wanted by the F.B.I. ... and, the one-armed man

If Agents of SHIELD is truly going to be a spy/espionage/undercover operation, this is a plot device that has been severely under-utilized.

New (Unnamed) Government Agency

Update (7/29/2015) It appears Marvel has just cast Andrew Howard for Season Three as a recurring character. Apparently, Andrew will play Agent Bates (CIA? FBI? It isn't specified). Agent Bates will be the "hound" the American government is sending out after all the newly "enhanced" Inhumans that are popping up all over the country. This will put him in direct conflict with Daisy Johnson and her Secret Warriors team as their job is to protect those hatchling Inhumans to give them the opportunity to blossom and become who (what?) they were meant to become.

His M.O. is that of an intimidating G-man who won't go easy on S.H.I.E.L.D. when he comes across their presence in his endeavors.

Update (7/30/2015) Marvel has also announced the casting of the woman who might be Howard's boss? Constance Zimmer has joined Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lineup as a recurring character who it is said will head an unspecified government agency who is competing with Coulson and his team to identify / recruit / detain newly-enhanced individuals.

Update (8/27/2015) Marvel announced the name of Zimmer/Banks' "government agency" – it will be the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit). This has the "feel" of a subset of a larger organization. Also, the fact Marvel still hasn't passed on the name of Constance's character means it is likely a known character from Marvel comics - my guess is she will become the eventual head of the CSA – Commission on Superhuman Activities – and her name will be Dr. Valerie Cooper.

Another name that has been tossed around was Abigail Brand, but that character was black and making Constance that character could cause some hellacious fallout.

The article also notes that Agent Banks will be her "partner"... but, I'm guessing still an underling; although, he will likely be her most depended upon lieutenant.

Marvel Announcements

The show is to return to ABC with fresh episodes, starting Sept. 29.

Season Three filming has begun!
Season Three filming has begun!

According to the Marvel website:

The series will begin introducing new friends and foes inspired by the critically acclaimed Secret Warriors comic series, as well as the Inhuman Lash.

Also:

In the aftermath of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s battle with Jiaying and the Inhumans, Director Coulson will search the world for more powered people and assemble an extraordinary new team to deal with threats unlike the world has ever seen. However, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will soon find out they're not the only ones tracking down these new Inhumans.

Luke Mitchell (Lincoln) and Henry Simmons (Alonzo "Mack" Mackenzie) have both been upgraded from "recurring character" to "series regular" for Season Three.

And, hey!  Lola's still around!
And, hey! Lola's still around!

Apparently, S.H.I.E.L.D. is building a new plane to take the place of the Bus. They're going to call it Zephyr One.

Fitz is working on the plans.

It'll be boss!

From the poster...
From the poster...

Back to the Poster

It looks like Hunter will remain "in the circle" while Bobbi steps out. But, he'll have her back.

Fitz and Simmons are still hanging together.

May still has Coulson's back.

And, Ward is on the lam.

Watching over everything? Daisy.

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