Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” may not have name-dropped “Secret Wars” until right before the launch of Season Three, but the show’s been connected to Jonathan Hickman’s Marvel Comics opus for a very long time now. The reveal that Hydra had infiltrated and corrupted S.H.I.E.L.D. from within, the major turning point of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season One (and also “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), plays out in the 2009 comic. “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” connections to the comic continued to be forged in season two with the addition of villain Daniel Whitehall to the recurring cast and the reveal that — surprise! — Skye’s actually “Secret Warriors” lead Daisy “Quake” Johnson.
And now here we are, halfway through “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” “Secret Warriors” season and things are about to get even more “Warriors”-y. In the show, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is assembling a team to recruit Inhumans and counter threats posed to them and the world. The show cast Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Slingshot, one of Quake’s teammates, and has revealed that Grant Ward has been transformed into Hive. With the addition of major “Secret Warriors” players like Slingshot and Hive to the cast, who else could — or should — “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” introduce in the back half of Season Three?
J.T. James was the hellfire-chain-wielding bad boy of the Secret Warriors. He was more concerned with getting a paycheck from Nick Fury than living up to the legacy of his superhero ancestor, the Phantom Rider. Despite being the wisecracking comic relief, J.T. wasn’t exactly the most loyal member of the team, either; his final moments with them are among the darkest moments in the series’ entire run. If the “S.H.I.E.L.D.” spinoff “Marvel’s Most Wanted” moves forward and the show loses Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) permanently, Hellfire could easily fill the void left by the snarky and shady Englishman. Plus, introducing Hellfire, whose Hellfire chain would be super easy to manifest on the show’s budget, would be a great (albeit tangential) way to introduce the Ghost Rider mythology into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While the Aboriginal Australian Secret Warrior named Eden Fesi is a mutant in the comics, complicated film rights would mean that Manifold would have to be reimagined as an Inhuman. That’s fine — that’s exactly what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” did with Daisy Johnson, who was retconned into being an Inhuman after the TV show tweaked her origin. The specifics of how Manifold got his powers aren’t as important as the character himself; Eden Fesi is an infinitely cool rock and roll enthusiast with a straightforward, no B.S. attitude. His teleportation power is also incredibly impressive, as it allows for himself and those near him to travel anywhere in the universe instantaneously. If “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” gonna keep traveling to exotic planets in other galaxies, then Manifold could be the guy to get them there.
The son of Ares, the literal Greek god of war, the pre-teen Alexander Aaron took up the codename Phobos and used his fear-generating powers alongside the rest of the Secret Warriors. And yeah, he did all that as a kid. Alongside his mastery of fear, Phobos could also see into the future and he was really good at video games. The MCU has yet to dive into Greek mythology, but Norse myths have played a big part in the show over the past few seasons. Phobos could be the stepping-stone to Avengers characters like Ares and Hercules. Plus, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has yet to tackle the creepy kid with precognitive abilities trope; there’s precedent in the comics, and Phobos could bring a youthful — and creepy — vibe to Season Three.
There are major characters from “Secret Warriors” that aren’t good guys, and “S.H.I.E.L.D.” would be wise to bring them into the fold. Like the Gorgon of (again) Greek mythology, Tomi Shishido possesses the ability to turn people into stone with a look. Because of this, he’s often blindfolded — but that doesn’t slow him down a bit. This guy’s one of the best fighters in the Marvel Universe, which he proved by defeating Wolverine and capturing him for the Hand. In “Secret Warriors,” Gorgon becomes part of Hydra’s high council, both orchestrating and carrying out a number of atrocities. With both strong ties to the Hand and Hydra, Gorgon could actually be used to connect the ABC series to Netflix’s “Daredevil,” if Marvel wants to remind viewers that #ItsAllConnected.
Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine
While most of the high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the comics have made their way into the MCU, long-lasting agent Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine has yet to join the likes of Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan in live-action canon. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” could quickly change that, and having a character as integral to “S.H.I.E.L.D.” comics as the Contessa would give the show even stronger ties to the comics. Originally a European socialite, Valentina was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. and swiftly became one of the organization’s top agents. Her role in “Secret Warriors” was surprising, as she played agencies against each other for her own secret gain. “S.H.I.E.L.D.” needs another attention-commanding wild card now that Constance Zimmer’s Rosalind Price is off the show.