WARNING: Article contains spoilers for current season
Plot twist: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was an origin story the whole time.
Marvel has officially announced what some keen-eyed comics fans had already suspected after the last new episode of S.H.I.E.L.D., that the recurring character Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) is going to become the cyborg ant-hero Deathlok.
“We have been waiting all season for this moment where we can reveal that Mike Peterson’s story arc is an origin story,” said Executive Producer Jeffrey Bell. “We’re thrilled to have J. August Richards playing Deathlok and to have our audience enjoy this favorite Marvel character on the show.”
For the uninitiated, Deathlok first appeared in 1974 and has since had three different versions and identities, none of which share the name Peterson. The most consistent aspects of them all has been that a physically damaged dead human has been reanimated, bonded with cybernetic technology, and now has a computer in his brain that constantly talks to him. That should sound familiar to viewers of the show but so far, that’s all we know as to how much will be culled from previous Deathlok’s. After all, the first version, Luther Manning, time-traveled to our present from an apocalyptic future.
“If you would have asked when I was nine-years old what I wanted to be, I would have said a super hero and I’m so excited to be one now as an adult on TV!” added J. August Richards. “It’s a dream come true.”
While not quite a “top-tier” hero from Marvel’s roster, the company has been looking for just the right way to adapt him to the big or small screen for a long time.
Despite dropping ratings, S.H.I.E.L.D. has made a strong attempt to be the show it originally claimed to be in this second half of its first season, and the official addition of Deathlok could give the show not just a boost but also tone some say it has needed all along.
Add today’s news to the recent announcement that Jaimie Alexander would reprise her role as the Asgardian warrior Sif from the Thor films on the show and comic fans who have been clamoring for the show to have more of a connection to the Marvel Universe as a whole, should be pleased. For a little while at least.
See the first live-action appearance of the character in an all-new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Tuesday, February 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.