Monday, April 14, 2014

Marvel ramblings: Hail Hydra!

Some randomish bits of crazy talk in the wake of CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and AGENTS OF SHIELD: Turn, Turn, Turn.

Garrett/Clairvoyant: Hail Hydra? Yeah, yeah, whatev…

I hope/don't yet believe that the Clairvoyant is just a Hydra lieutenant. I stand by my theory that the CV is someone who's been involved in all parts of the SHIELD turducken, but only for his own goals. Even if Ward were free to express his own independent thoughts, he wouldn't need to "Hail Hydra" because that's not to whom he'd pledge his allegiance (extorted or freely given). His allegiance is to Garrett, who has so far enjoyed being taken for the CV. When SHIELD agents storm the room he and Coulson's team are in, he calls out Sitwell's recruits with a "Hail Hydra" out of convenience more than loyalty. He explains as much when he describes how he turned his sails.

I'm finding it less likely that Garrett has had access to the Insight Algorithm now. I was hoping that the CV would have stolen/duped a beta of the algorithm for personal gain and planned out most if not all of SHIELD's confrontations with Centipede. Now it seems that he's a gifted button-pusher and strategist whose taken genius-level advantage of the SHIELD's HR department's files.

Which, incidentally, are now out in the open, thanks to the events of WINTER SOLDIER, no? I'm gonna not go out on a limb here and say that Fury's super fancy secure tip top secret files were not released (Coulson's recovery, GH-325, among others), tho. So, Avengers Initiative files? Perhaps a seed for something like a Young Avengers team? The Index? Which could be tapped for super-skilled and super-abilified human resources for good and evil, no? Skye's history? Weapons designs? Project Pegasus? What else?

So, what IS Garrett's/the CV's motivation? Survival? Being on the winning side?

Hail Hydra: Ward?

Can Ward be a double agent? We're meant to understand that he killed all those SHIELD/Hydra guys in the corridor while Skye was hiding, right? He eyed that knife on the floor, got to it, used it.

Hrm… Any chance he's kept a sliver of the Berserker staff in his utility belt?

I've got two possibilities:

1. He's under Centipede-tech remote control, like Deathlok. He could've been implanted before or early in his tenure as part of Coulson's team, without his knowing. Not sure where that would've been likely in show continuity, but I'm sure there's a gap where it could happen. The connection might not have been activated for control until more recent events, and until then used for passive intel gathering. This certinaly fits into an explanation of his shooting Thomas Nash, the prop CV. He finds himself pointing his weapon directly at the man who's been manipulating him by remote for days, weeks, maybe months. What can Nash possibly do to Ward or anyone/anything Ward cares about (leverage) before he shoots and kills him? Nothing. Maybe there were even remote commands like "PLAY ALONG AND TAKE ME INTO CUSTODY," "ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN," playing in Ward's eyes. But Ward's doing that bullet math, and when Nash's mechanical voice starts explaining what will happen to Skye, he carries the one and fires. F it. At this point, the real CV would stop transmitting to Ward's implant. So, Ward would still have the hardware in his head, but see no more commands and believe that he's truly free and the CV is dead. Until it's revealed that he shot the wrong man, that is. New commands would have appeared in his HUD when Hand gives him the opportunity to execute Garrett. And, if that IS what happened, then the CV is still transmitting, which means that the CV can't be cuffed and restrained Garrett, right?

2. This is kind of a romantic notion, but he's legitimately in man-love with Garrett. He's not a Hydra agent, he's a Garrett agent. Garrett's training was such that he instilled unquestioning loyalty and respect in his agents. Ward believes in the man. If he's doing something that appears shady, he's doing it for the right reasons. Yeah, definitely a tough sell given that Garrett was involved in activity that led to Coulson's torture and Skye's near-death, but how's Ward been sold to us since the show began? The good soldier, the specialist, the guy who makes the tough calls in the field.

Frack, just came up with a third possibility…

3. What if Ward agreed to be implanted and it's to receive commands from Coulson. In this scenario, Coulson suspected Garrett, or someone close, early on, and had Fitz-Simmons implant him (w Skye's help?). So, when he turns on Hand to save Garrett, he's acting on orders given by Coulson. AND, his sidearm would've been replaced with something that wouldn't kill his targets, but make it appear he did. AND and, the drive with all the data from The Bus that Ward is carrying is a decoy with false or corrupted data.

Crazy talk?

Maybe. But I like it. =)

Hail Hydra: Heads or limbs?

I love that Garrett and Coulson have that little back and forth about the Hydra oath, Garrett thinking that it's "Cut off a limb…" but Coulson certain that it's "Cut off a head…" From what I think I remember from my Steranko NICK FURY reprints ("Dark Moon Rise, Heck Hound Hurt" anyone? =) and forward is "limb" but yeah, in the Marvel Movie Universe so far, it's been "head." I never thought twice about the "limb" in the comics, as that works scientifically (and graphically, for when agents do that Vishnu-looking pantomime standing behind one another) in reference to the microbiological hydra. The image of a gooey microscopic organism with tentacles around its mouth doesn't seem very romantic or inspirational, tho, does it? But in the comics, they pulled it off, and it fairly described the organism's actual structure. "Head," however, evokes the mythical Hydra. Much more awe-inspiring, no? And that dude was about being multi-headed.

You can see the legacy of the change in the design of the Hydra sigil. The figure is more Cthulu than Hydra, a (red) skull with tentacles below it rather than a body with multiple heads.

I wonder if the Garrett-Coulson exchange is a pet peeve of any of the writers, heh. In any case, I appreciated the in-story wink and nod to the comic book organization.

Heh. Would be awesome if AGENTS OF SHIELD encountered a, like, 5-agent rogue Hydra group that split off over the oath. =)


A drug/extract refined from the chemistry of an extraterrestrial (perhaps extradimensional) being, a blue-skinned being whose remains were held in some kind of stasis in a lab marked T.A.H.I.T.I. at an off-the-books SHIELD facility known as The Guest House. The Guest House has been destroyed. I'd love for the being to have slipped thru a portal between worlds to Earth, but at this point, I'm thinking we've got to go with alien, and if it's a blue-skinned alien in the Marvel Universe, it's got to be Kree.

084: Skye.

Skye was an 084 before she was injected w GH-325 to save her life. The search for her origin revealed that her parents were killed, but we never get names for them, nor any mention of their species (which in most any other TV show context would not be conspicuous =). The simplest, most basic details are given: she was orphaned, her parents killed or found dead. Now, let's add a few details…

In the wake of a massive energy discharge, SHIELD agents were sent in to investigate the source. At the epicenter of the phenomenon they found the baby who would be called Skye. Her parents were found nearby, killed by gunfire. One was human, the other, unknown. They were in front of a structure built to camouflage the wreckage of a spacecraft. The bodies of armed operatives in bright yellow hazmat suits were found surrounding them. Heh.

In the Marvel Comics Universe, the Kree are either pink- or blue-skinned. I'm not certain of the differences between them besides color, but both are capable of mating with non-Kree species. The Kree Empire has a history of mucking about with the genetics of other races (including Human), effectively producing Kree hybrids with unusual abilities/characteristics. This is what Skye is. A child of love and/or science, we can't know just yet, but I'm a sucker for the stranded alien/alien spy scenario, y'know? An extraterrestrial finds itself in dire straits on Earth. Stranded (or if a spy, assigned to gather intel), it learns Earthican ways and eventually falls for humanity in general and one human in particular, and decides to make a home and a family here. But someone notices, human scientists and military or alien superiors and military.

This partially explains why Coulson's physical reaction to the GH-325 was so violently different from Skye's. I say "partially" cuz—HelLO!—he was frickin dead, everybody, remember? Hrm… I wonder when in the series of surgeries and whatnot was the GH-325 administered to Coulson.

But you know, aside from the resurrection deal, Skye's Kree-Human hybrid genetics accepted the GH-325 whereas Coulson's simply Human flesh tried to reject it.

Hey, what if GH is Skye's father? Wack!

Are the healing effects of GH-325 one-time or forever? It seems like forever, as Simmons seems to believe that Skye's blood may be the key to healing others. Coulson's tests earlier in the season revealed that he was in tip top human shape, but nothing more than that, right? No evidence of a healing factor?

Artificial Intelligence: JARVIS.

JARVIS is the first we've encountered in the Marvel Movie Universe. Built with personality, but with no indication thus far of true sentience. No independent desires or preferences save what Stark has programmed to exhibit. Back when there was no sign of a Hank Pym in the MMU, I thought that a JARVIS on board one of Stark's remote IM suits might have a comic book moment (cosmic ray exposure, hostile takeover malfunction, interception by a ghost or alien intelligence) and become sentient and ultimately become Ultron.

Artificial Intelligence: Arnim Zola.

Arnim Zola was a living human being until his mind was backed up onto millions of miles of magnetic tape. He now exists as a disembodied electronic consciousness. Presumably once the transfer was made, his body died, but we do not know that for a fact. Leaves the possibility open for the electronic Zola to be a copy of an original that might be maintained by some kind of stasis or life support, eh?

I think it's safe to assume that as technology progressed, so did his storage media. If SHIELD/Hydra was smart, they'd do everything possible to keep Zola isolated and unconnected to ARPAnet and the present day internet. Perhaps he was contained in such a way on the Lemurian Star? Hrm… But what about his coordination with the SHIELD missile launch on the bunker? I guess that could've been analog, a radio signal or voice line, but not a data line.

Maybe there are limits to what a human consciousness can do digitally, and Zola *does* have access to the internet, but can't be everywhere and see everything and maintain his scheming genius self.

What WAS that Zola that addressed Steve and Natasha in the SSR bunker? Was that a Zola "agent" or drone code that the master Zola (on the Lemurian Star) embedded in the data that Natasha duped? She described the data as protected by an intelligent encryption, right? So, once the drive was plugged into the bunker machines, it unpacked itself into a (nearly) full version of the original and did what it did.

Loki's Sceptre.

Quite an oversight by Thor and Asgard, taking the Tesseract back to Odin's Vault, but leaving behind the Sceptre, which *somehow* holds a portion of the Tesseract's energy. So far, I believe it's been established by demonstration that the Tesseract generates energy and creates stable wormholes. Regarding the Sceptre, on the energy front, it's a fraction of the "Cosmic Cube's," but a fraction of the infinite is still infinite, right? I imagine it would do a more than decent job of powering up those WW2-era Hydra weapons and any new models based on that tech.

On the wormhole front, well, the Sceptre allowed Loki to be transported thru an unregulated wormhole created in Project Pegasus. It also allowed Loki to communicate and interact with Chitauri across galactic(?) distances, something resembling astral projection.

The Sceptre, in Loki's hands, at least, also demonstrated an ability to corrupt and control those touched by it. Perhaps the effect is dependent on the wielder, tho? If Cap had used the Sceptre on anyone, perhaps their most selfless and all-American qualities and desires would come to the forefront of their personality. It would still be imposed behavior mod, but—hey!—as long as it's for the greater good, right, Cap? Oh, right, forgot about WINTER SOLDIER's that whole freedom vs. security thing. My badd.

Well, in any case, Strucker and Hydra have a fraction of the infinite to play with. What do you suppose the Baron would do with such a resource? SATAN CLAW anyone? Highly impractical, but pretty frickin iconic, right?

Keep on keepin on~

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