SPOILERS AHEAD for Jessica Jones and Agents of Shield Season Three
Season 2 of Marvel's Daredevil premieres worldwide on March 18 of this year, and after the conclusion of Marvel's other Netflix endeavor, Jessica Jones, many fans have been left wondering if these characters will cross over onto each other's shows, similarly to how Claire Temple, a character introduced on Daredevil, appeared on Jessica Jones. Additionally, fans have been clamoring to see characters from Marvel's Agents of Shield, such as Director Coulson and Daisy Johnson, appear on Marvel's Netflix shows, and vice versa.
Of course, we know that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will be uniting on the small screen for 'The Defenders', a Netflix mini-series set to debut after Iron Fist's solo outing. However, the main villain of this series still remains shrouded in mystery: will it be Wilson Fisk, will it be the Hand?
On a totally unrelated note, whatever happened to the IGH?
You know, that mysterious organization responsible for the pills Frank Simpson used to nearly kill Jessica Jones? Although Jessica Jones has not yet been renewed for a second season (unlike Daredevil, whose second season was announced within two weeks), the end of the show left quite a few loose ends. And by quite a few, I mean A LOT. Of course, these issues could be resolved on Daredevil or Luke Cage, but I like to think that it would take more than just two superheroes to solve all the problems that Jessica Jones left unanswered, one of these being the IGH.
As I mentioned, the IGH is still shrouded in mystery, having only been introduced two episodes before the end of Jessica Jones's first season. Unfortunately, we can't just look to the comics to see who the IGH really is: there is no comic book counterpart. However, the name 'IGH' bears a suspicious resemblance to Marvel's 'MGH', and if the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taught us anything, it's that nothing is a coincidence. Or maybe that was Commissioner Gordon...
Either way, in the comics, MGH is an acronym for "Mutant Growth Hormone". BUT WAIT, I hear you thinking (that's right, I can hear thoughts): Marvel can't use mutants in their movies, Fox owns the rights to the X-Men!
Well then, who could Marvel use? What group of superheroes could replace the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If only there were a bunch of in-humans (like mutants) running around in the MCU, being persecuted by the population for fear of their power, when they only really want to help...
OH WAIT! THERE ARE! They're called Inhumans, by the way. And what a coincidence! IGH is a perfect acronym for "Inhuman Growth Hormone"! But we're not allowed to believe in coincidences anymore.
Inhumans are commonly referred to as an "offshoot of humanity", but this description really explains nothing, so I'll try to make a better one. Millions of years ago, an alien species called the Kree (like Ronan, from Guardians of the Galaxy) waged war, and running short on soldiers, they decided to recruit a local alien species. This species, as it just so happened, was the human race; the Kree kidnapped these primitive humans, genetically modifying them and exposing them to a rare mineral called Terrigen crystals. These crystals, plus the genetic enhancements, gave the humans superpowers, and these "Inhumans" were intended to fight for the Kree. Soon after, however, the Kree realized that this was a terrible idea, and they scrapped the whole project. However, some of these Inhumans remained on Earth, and as they procreated with the rest of the population, their altered DNA spread. Until recently, the Inhumans were hidden away, and it was a rite of passage for young Inhumans to be exposed to the Terrigen crystals and recieve their powers.
At the end of the second season Agents of Shield, a load of Terrigen crystals spilled into the ocean, causing worldwide panic as Inhumans started popping up around the globe. On the show, Shield has been trying to bring in Inhumans, recruiting them to fight for good.
But let's get back to the IGH (don't fret, we'll come back to Inhumans later). What else do we know about this mysterious organization? We know for sure that they provided Frank Simpson with his red, white, and blue pills, bringing him closer to his comic book counterpart, Nuke. We also know that the IGH paid for Jessica Jones's medical bills after her entire family was killed in a car crash. Now in the comics, the truck that Jessica's family crashed into was carrying a load of radioactive material (just like every other superhero ever), but what if the show took a different route? What if the IGH was involved in the origin of Jessica's powers? And this is where it gets fun to speculate, because what if the IGH had a hand in the experiments that gave Kilgrave HIS powers as well? And while we're at it, let's take a look at the synopsis for Marvel's Luke Cage:
After a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage becomes a fugitive trying to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem, New York City. But he is soon pulled out of the shadows and must fight a battle for the heart of his city - forcing him to confront a past he had tried to bury.
What if this "sabotaged experiment" was conducted by (you guessed it!) the IGH? That's FOUR characters so far that are possible results of the IGH, but why stop there? This might be a bit of a stretch, but what if the chemicals that sprayed into Matt Murdock's eyes as a boy were synthesized by the IGH?
But let's take off our speculation spectacles for a second; how would the IGH, which supposedly is an acronym for "Inhuman Growth Hormone", exist when Jessica Jones was a child, if Inhumans only became public recently? Well, to answer this question, we need to jump back to Agents of Shield, back to one, shadowy organization...
But what does Hydra have to do with Inhumans? Well, a few episodes of Agents of Shield ago, Hydra's entire history was changed. Up until recently, it was believed that Red Skull and his Nazis founded Hydra, and Captain America tried to take them down during World War II. However, it has been revealed that Hydra has been around for much longer than that. THOUSANDS of years longer, to be exact.
Thousands of years ago, an Inhuman was born who was so dangerous that he was exiled through a portal to another planet, called the Monolith (the portal, not the planet), and Hydra has been trying to get him back ever since. Hydra has known about Inhumans for centuries!
At the beginning of Agents of Shield's third season, after the spread of Inhumans around the world, a mysterious organization called the ATCU was kidnapping Inhumans for unknown reasons. While it was initially believed that the Inhumans were being held in order to find a cure, the truth turned out to be much more sinister. The ATCU was revealed to be a subsidiary of Hydra (without the ATCU's head's knowledge!), and Hydra was building an army: an army for the ancient Inhuman to lead in, it seems, total world conquest.
What if the IGH is also a part of Hydra? It would certainly explain how they knew about Inhumans so long ago. Perhaps the IGH is just another organization trying to supply Hydra with an army of super powered people. But this brings up another problem: Frank Simpson isn't an Inhuman, since his powers are derived from his red, white, and blue pills. Why would the "I" in "IGH" stand for "Inhuman" if their most famous subject isn't actually an Inhuman? Sure, we could say that some of their OTHER subjects are Inhumans. Or maybe the pills contain some extract from the Terrigen crystals that give Inhumans their powers. To be honest, there is no exact answer; after all, none of this is confirmed. However, it doesn't invalidate the idea that the IGH could be supplying (perhaps unknowingly) Hydra with an army.
So, if or when the IGH is exposed as a part of Hydra, Shield is going to take action. But guess who else is going to take action?
Being the first to discover the IGH, you KNOW Trish Walker and Jessica Jones are going to want to take them down; but if what we've heard about the IGH is true, they can't do it alone. Of course, Jessica is going to contact Luke Cage, but he won't be enough. If only she knew about another superhero...
When Claire Temple appeared on Jessica Jones, she mentioned her friend who "makes life hard for bad guys". Jessica immediately declined his help, saying she didn't want anyone else getting hurt because of Kilgrave, and ruining our chances of seeing Daredevil on Jessica Jones's show. Additionally, before Jessica Jones's debut, a comic written by Brian Michael Bendis (the writer of the original Alias comics) proved that Jessica Jones knew about Daredevil, saying "The Devil in Hell's Kitchen...never met him but I do like the sound of him." And guess what: this comic is in the same continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! But it doesn't stop there: by the time the Defenders rolls around, Iron Fist's show will have ended, and his friendship with Luke Cage will have most likely been established. Luke Cage could be the connection between Iron Fist and the rest of the superheroes. Furthermore, Daredevil and the Punisher will probably make up by the end of season two of Daredevil; maybe Daredevil will offer the Punisher a position, if they're desperate enough. And who knows, maybe Trish Walker will assume her comic persona of Hellcat and join the fight.
Of course, while trying to take down the IGH, the Defenders will meet Shield, where they could team up with even more superheroes like Quake and Slingshot (an Inhuman with super-speed, set to be introduced on Agents of Shield this season). The Defenders and Shield will join forces to take down the IGH and Hydra, an event that could possibly span both Agents of Shield and the Defenders.
We did it! We tied up the loose ends, and then some! Frank Simpson (Nuke) and the IGH are taken care of, being the main villains of the Defenders miniseries, the Defenders have been brought together, and Agents of Shield and Marvel's Netflix shows have been brought together. So we don't really need a second season of Jessica Jones, since her problems could be resolved on shows like Luke Cage, Daredevil, and the Defenders.
What do you think? Is this a viable theory? Do you have any other ideas for the main villain of the Defenders miniseries? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading!