Purpose of the Agency
With the surprise advent of individuals entering a cocoon state then emerging with fantastical abilities all over the world triggered by their consumption of fish by-products contaminated with Terrigen dumped into the ocean by Daisy Johnson, the U.S. Government has determined there is a need to seek out, identify and control those "enhanced" individuals that make their appearance within the borders of the United States. With the dissolution and banning of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its operations and operatives due to the shocking emergence of Hydra from within its ranks, the government finds itself in need of an organization to fill the shoes that were abandoned when S.H.I.E.L.D. was cast down.
Clearly, politicians cannot condone or tolerate any entity or individual who could work in contradiction with those who have put them into power (and, that would not be “The People” of the United States of America, i.e. voters). So, the politicians need agencies devoted to insuring such entities or individuals are harnessed and assigned to the assurance of the continued profits of those who pull the strings on such politicians.
And, S.H.I.E.L.D. is no longer a viable option.
Marvel has announced the casting of Constance Zimmer as the head of a (new) U.S. Agency whose responsibility, apparently, is to track down Inhumans (and, likely any other “enhanced” individuals and artifacts) presumably to insure they are not bent on destruction and pandemonium. Seeing as this is a U.S. Government Agency, the probability is fairly extreme that the true purpose of this Agency is to insure those “enhanced” individuals (and artifacts) are under governmental control.
“When casting this role, we needed someone that could go toe-to-toe with Coulson”, said series Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb. “Constance brings a level of wit and spark to the role we could have only dreamed of, and we’re beyond excited to add her to our already stellar cast going into the new season”.
Constance hails from her villainous role on Lifetime’s “UnREAL” (as Quinn King) and also pulls credits from Netflix’ “House of Cards” (Janine Skorsky) & HBO’s “Entourage” (Dana Gordon).
Her character has not yet been named.
Date of Birth: 11 October 1970, Seattle Washington, USA
Birth Name: Constance A. Zimmer
Height: 5’4” (1.63m)
Spouse: Russ Lamoureaux (9 October 2010 – present) (1 child)
Constance Zimmer decided to pursue a career in acting after she fell in love with the craft as a high school student. Once out of high school, Zimmer was accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, and began appearing in local theater. She was the recipient of a “Best Actress” Dramalogue Award, for one of her first stage appearances in “Catholic School Girls”.
She is well-known for playing a number of standout characters in notable projects. Starting in 2005, and for six seasons, she played the role of Dana Gordon on HBO's critically acclaimed series Entourage. She will reprise this role when Warner Brothers releases the Entourage film on the big screen in June.
She also stars in Lifetime's new drama series UnReal, premiering on June 1st. On the show, she plays “Quinn” the executive producer of a fictional dating show.
Other upcoming projects include the feature film Results opposite Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders, which premiered earlier this year at The Sundance Film Festival, a recurring role on USA's new series Complications, and a guest starring role on the IFC series Maron, and Cartoon Network's animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. Zimmer was most recently seen starring in the first and second season of the Netflix Emmy® nominated original series House of Cards, executive produced by David Fincher, as well as HBO's The Newsroom, executive produced by Aaron Sorkin.
Zimmer was also a series lead on ABC's Boston Legal, created by David E. Kelley, which earned her a SAG Award nomination and had major roles on Grey's Anatomy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld and the sitcom Ellen.
Zimmer's feature film credits include The Babymakers, opposite Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn, Demoted, opposite Sean Astin and Michael Vartan, and the Warner Bros. feature Chaos Theory, starring Ryan Reynolds and Emily Mortimer.
She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Russ, a director, and their daughter.
1) Makes handmade jewelry, candles, greeting cards and has many other self-designing endeavors.
2) She is also the recipient of a “Best Actress” Dramalogue Award, for her work on stage in “Catholic School Girls”.
3) Is a heavily involved AIDS activist and attends a lot of celebrity benefits for charity.
4) Was a gymnast until she hit puberty.
5) Daughter, Colette Zoe, born 5 January 2008, weighing 8 lbs, 10 oz. with Russ Lamoureux.
6) Has become a partner in the store opening of House of Petro Zillia on Third Street in Los Angeles this summer.
7) Her parents, Ingrid Mueller and Gunter Zimmer, are German.
8) Prior to her acting success, she worked with the American Cinematheque for their tribute to Rob Reiner (1994).
And, like Blair Underwood (who plays Melinda May’s ex-husband, Dr. Andrew Garner – another recurring character on the show), Constance appeared for a couple of episodes of “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (as Amy Hunter, daughter of Scott Bakula’s ‘Papa Jeff’ Hunter). TNAOC also starred one Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson on “AoS”) as the ex-husband and constant irritant of the shows titular character played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
It appears she already has at least one agent assigned to her staff. Andrew Howard is set to play a recurring role as a hard-assed (read: authoritative and intimidating) “agent” who will bump heads with our heroes over the course of Season Three.
Note: It isn't really specified that he will be an agent in Zimmer's employ - there is some conjecture he might actually be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent? Or, maybe he's from yet a third entity out looking for "enhanced" individuals and he may be, not only in opposition to Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D., but also Zimmer and her agency.
Some of Andrews’ other credits include A&E Network’s “Bates Motel” (as Will Decody), History Channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys” (‘Bad’ Frank Phillips) and TNT’s upcoming series, “Agent X” (don’t see him listed on iMdB for this series, but it’s still early – probably a recurring role like the one on “AoS”).
Date of Birth: 1969, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Height: 5’11½” (1.82m)
Cardiff/Wales born, Los Angeles living Howard is known mostly for his turn as Gennady in Limitless and Bad Frank Philips in Hatfields & McCoys.
Stage roles included Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange, Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt, Orestes in Electra at theatres, including The Royal National Theatre (London) and The Donmar Warehouse (London).
Howard has made notable appearances in several major productions, including the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and the Guy Ritchie caper Revolver, as well as costarring alongside Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close in the 2003 TV movie The Lion in Winter. In 2001, Howard was awarded best actor at the Tokyo International Film Festival for his portrayal of Jon in Mr In-Between.
He co-wrote the screenplay for Shooters, a 2002 British crime drama in which he also starred. In 2009, he played Thomas Luster in the thriller film Luster under the direction from Adam Mason. In 2009, he was also in the film Blood River, for which Howard won the Best Actor Award at the Honolulu Film Festival and the Jack Nance Break-through performance award at the NYC Film Festival, Tribeca.
So far, these are the only two members of the Agency that have been announced by Marvel. Any others in the Agency may well only be fodder-in-red-shirts (Star Trek reference) used to populate the halls of the organization to make it appear as a functioning governmental operation. Or, we may have other announcements as the season goes forward.
Now, Some Theories
What is this Agency? It may be too early for the Commission on Superhuman Activities since the “Accords” (between all the various governments) referenced by Captain America in the end credits scene in “Ant-Man” won’t have come into existence. They won’t happen until “Captain America: Civil War”. So, the necessity to create that organization might not yet exist.
U.S. Governmental Agencies in Marvel's canon
A.R.M.O.R. – Altered-Reality Monitoring & Operational Response
Designed to monitor and respond to events occurring in the Marvel Zombies comics series.
Likelihood: Practically Zero
CSA – Commission on Superhuman Activities
Established to “supervise” American citizens who, by one means or another, obtained “enhanced” abilities. It had a secondary purpose of coordinating government projects aimed at creating government-controlled powered people.
In the comics, this commission was created in response to the accords reached between the various governments to “hold accountable” and control individuals with extraordinary abilities and skills. But, as we all know, the MCU takes its own license in regards to creation and utilization of stories that originated in the comics.
And, since the events of Season Three take place “approximately” six months after the conclusion of Season Two, plenty of time will have passed whereby numerous citizens who unknowingly carry the Inhuman genome around the globe have consumed enough fish by-products to have triggered their transformations. With this in mind, the President could go ahead and create this commission even though, in the comics, it was much later.
And, if it is the CSA, one of their chief individuals was Dr. Valerie Cooper.
Doctor Valerie Cooper was employed out of school by an organization she believed to be a government agency, actually the subversive Secret Empire. Later, Cooper became Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor of the U.S. President, Judge Richard Petrie, due to her driving concern about dangerous superhuman activity in the United States. Cooper believed that superhuman mutants were emerging throughout the world and that both governments and private interests had begun to exploit their abilities. Furthermore, Cooper disapproved of superhuman crime fighters operating without United States government approval. Hence, she was a prime supporter of the Mutant Powers Registration Act, though it was later repealed by the government after public outcry against it.
Of course, that would now be the intergovernmental accords between nations which became the Superhero Registration Act in the United States.
Likelihood: High (and growing)
Marvel has announced that the "government agency" that will be headed by Constance Zimmer's character 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 likely means it is a known character from Marvel comics – my guess is she will become the eventual head of the CSA – Commission on Superhuman Activities – and her character name will be Dr. Valerie Cooper.
It wouldn't surprise me, once the C.S.A. (Commission on Superhuman Activities) has been established / revealed, that the A.T.C.U. is rechristened as the S.R.U. (The Superhuman Restraint Unit – detailed below) realigning the MCU, somewhat, with its comic origins. It would also give Constance's character the opportunity to pass off leadership of the A.T.C.U./S.R.U. to Banks and allow her assume control of / establish the C.S.A.
Another character name that has been tossed around for Constance was that of Abigail Brand – but that character was Afro-American and reoriginating that character from a minority 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.
H.A.M.M.E.R. – (acronym has never been expanded)
H.A.M.M.E.R. was founded by Norman Osborn in response to the compromise of Tony Stark’s creations which were the basis of all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s technologies. With S.H.I.E.L.D. effectively neutered, Osborn, at the behest of the government, created H.A.M.M.E.R. to take over for S.H.I.E.L.D. This occurred during the Skrulls’ invasion of Earth in Marvel’s Dark Reign and Siege serae.
Likelihood: Low (Skrulls not yet introduced - Osborn would be complicated)
H.A.T.E. – Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort
Created to identify then eliminate and destroy terrorist organizations around the world. It was eventually undermined by their chief enemy, S.I.L.E.N.T., who created a dummy corporation that became H.A.T.E.’s biggest backer. When the agents of H.A.T.E. discovered this, they abandoned the organization and stole all its secrets to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.
Likelihood: Zero (we’re not chasing "organizations" here - just people)
M.R.D. – Mutant Response Division
Created in response to the “mutant situation” which is wholly controlled by Fox (along with everything else X-Men-related).
O*N*E – Office of National Emergency
O*N*E was also created to control and monitor the “mutant situation” and also is controlled by Fox.
O*N*E was also the creators of the Sentinel program witnessed in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" that almost wiped out all of humanity had Wolverine not been able to rally the "X-Men: First Class" group to save Dr. Bolivar Trask from assassination by Mystique then, once that was done, to save the President himself from assassination by a renegade Magneto.
It is also referenced as Sentinel O*N*E.
Created to research alternative (unusual) forms of energy. It has already been referenced in “Marvel’s Avengers” and in "Iron Man".
Likelihood: Low (unless Connie’s looking for cheaper energy resources)
S.A.F.E. – Strategic Action For Emergencies
Once S.H.I.E.L.D. was declared defunct, the U.S. Government decided it still needed an organization it could task with “protecting normal people from things they cannot handle – or even conceive”. Where S.H.I.E.L.D. became an unfunded international operation, S.A.F.E. operated solely within the borders of the U.S.
Introduced in Marvel's line of novels in the mid-1990s, S.A.F.E. (Strategic Action For Emergencies) is the United States' answer to S.H.I.E.L.D. It first appeared in Spider-Man & the Incredible Hulk: Rampage (Doom's Day Book 1), and may not be part of comics canon, although the novels it appears in have been referred to several times in Marvel's Handbooks. Whereas S.H.I.E.L.D. is a U.N.-chartered organization dealing with international incidents, S.A.F.E. is tasked with similar duties inside America's borders. It is run by Colonel Sean Morgan. A prominently featured agent is Joshua Ballard, who, among other things, survived an encounter with Doctor Doom and later Baron Zemo.
In the novel Secret of the Sinister Six, S.A.F.E. agent Clyde Fury (no relation to Nick Fury) distinguishes between espionage agencies (such as S.H.I.E.L.D.) and strategic action specialists such as S.A.F.E.
If the organization is S.A.F.E., Zimmer's character may well be an original to the show.
Likelihood: Decent (not a very sexy name, though)
S.R.U. – The Superhuman Restraint Unit
Basically, the operators of the jail in which S.T.A.R.S., under the jurisdiction provided by the C.S.A., housed its captured superhumans.
Likelihood: Zero (not yet applicable)
S.T.A.R.S. – Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad
Created by U.S. Marshalls as a response to the requirements of The Commission on Superhuman Activities, S.T.A.R.S. was tasked with monitoring, managing and, where necessary, merging activities regarding the supervision, apprehension and detainment of enhanced criminals in the U.S. It was S.T.A.R.S. who uncovered a Ruul plot to use Earth as a penal colony for alien criminals and ultimately was able (with the assistance of U.S. Agent) to defeat the Ruul plot.
Likelihood: Low (Ruul haven’t been intro'd & is more extraterrestrial in nature)
S.W.O.R.D. – Sentient World Observation & Response Department
Basically, S.W.O.R.D. is the cosmic brother of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is based on a space station orbiting the Earth.
If it is S.W.O.R.D., Zimmer's character would almost certainly be that of Abigail Brand.
Abigail Brand is the commanding officer of S.W.O.R.D., a S.H.I.E.L.D. offshoot that deals with defending the Earth from extraterrestrial threats. Almost no details about her personal life have been revealed, but she is known to be 28 years old as of the Skrull's "Secret Invasion".
Brand's high profile in the Marvel comics could lead to her inclusion in this season's run of AoS. And, since the MCU takes liberties with origins of characters and organizations, she might not be in S.W.O.R.D., but, more likely, in the C.S.A. and could then eventually transition into S.W.O.R.D. once the cosmic side is made known to the various governments of the Earth.
Likelihood: Low (more extraterrestrial in nature)
W.A.N.D. – Wizardry, Alchemy & Necromancy Department
A division of S.H.I.E.L.D. founded to… yeah… look into Doctor Strange and his ilk.
Unless the writers of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” are creating their own new governmental agency (creating original characters happens as often in the TV side of the MCU as the adoption of existing comics characters, so this is a distinct possibility), the most likely government operation would be the Commission on Superhuman Activities (C.S.A.) – even though, in the comics, it didn’t come into existence until the U.S. had joined the accords established by the U.N. to monitor and control the actions of enhanced individuals and artifacts around the world.
Alternatives would be S.A.F.E. (more likely) or S.T.A.R.S. (less so), but this would tend to indicate the C.S.A. is already in place as they were both products of that initiative.