SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Marc Guggenheim and German Peralta's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." #5.
Grant Ward has been a major staple of ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" television series, but he's never appeared in Marvel Comics -- until now. In Marc Guggenheim and German Peralta's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." #5, Ward reveals himself to be not only the man in the outdated Iron Man armor but an old friend of one Agent Phil Coulson.
According to this issue, Coulson and Ward go way back. Earlier in their careers, the two concocted a plan -- "Operation Wiseguy" -- which sent Ward deep undercover in Hydra. There, he won Gorgon's trust and eventually became his lieutenant, while reporting to Coulson and Director Maria Hill.
However, somewhere along the way, Ward stopped being a double agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. and became a full-fledged Hydra agent; the transition isn't explained in this chapter, though it will likely be explored in future issues. As it turns out, Ward is the one who's been hunting down the axiom drive; when that failed, he took the two things that would provide a sufficient substitute: Coulson himself and his telepathic ex-girlfriend Lola Daniels. Using her powers, Lola extracted all of Coulson's anti-hero tactics from his mind in order to save her sister's life from Hydra, which effectively puts the information on the axiom drive into Hydra's hands.
Additionally, Agent Jemma Simmons revealed to Deathlok that she only has a week to live. After picking up an infection in the first issue, her condition has steadily worsened over the course of the series. When Deathlok approached her about her sudden weakness, she filled him in on what happened and made him swear not to tell the rest of the team, as she -- an expert an biotechnology -- can't figure a way out of her fate.
Guggenheim and Peralta's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." #5 is now on sale.