In 2013, Marvel TV debuted Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC as the first television offshoot from the Marvel Studios burgeoning film universe, aptly titled the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show introduced a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents – led by Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who was introduced in the films, then seemingly killed off in The Avengers. However, though fans became invested in the characters, the show struggled; that is, until Captain America: The Winter Soldier saw the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. and turned ABC’s Marvel series on its head.
Since then, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has come a long way by turning one of its key team members against the others, introducing the Inhumans, and revealing the hacker Skye to be Marvel Comics character Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake, among other spy/superhero adventures. Now, as revealed at the show’s panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the upcoming season 4 will add Robbie Reyes a.k.a. Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna). But, that’s not all that was unveiled during the panel.
Marvel has since released all the videos and artwork debuted during the panel, including the gag reel from season 3 (above) as well as two screen tests between cast members from the original core S.H.I.E.L.D. team. The first depicts Iain de Caestecker as Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons testing out their on screen chemistry for partners in the S.H.I.E.L.D. lab; the second shows Chloe Bennet as then-Skye prepping for a mission with Brett Dalton’s Grant Ward. Take a look at the screen tests:
In addition to the videos, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also released a poster for season 4 drawn by Marvel Comics artist Mike Perkins. The poster features all of the remaining core cast members wielding their weapons of choice. Coulson, Daisy, Fitz, and Simmons are joined on the poster by fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie (Henry Simmons) and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). Check out the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. poster:
While Marvel and S.H.I.E.L.D. fans are undoubtedly excited to see Ghost Rider join the cast in season 4, the show will also pick back up with its heroes. As teased in the last scene of the season 3 finale, Daisy is on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. and using her Inhuman powers as a vigilante. Meanwhile, Coulson is on the hunt for Daisy – and he’s no longer the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Additionally, this end sequence introduced viewers to LMDs, or Life Model Decoys, which will surely play a large role in season 4.
Of course, the time jump in the season 3 finale may have disoriented fans and, following the underwhelming ending to the season’s villain (as well as the largely predictable answer to which agent would die in the finale), season 4 could help to win some viewers back to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side. That said, the show has proved many times to take Marvel Comics lore and spin it into entertaining television so it’s likely season 4 will do just that.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premiere September 20th, 2016 in its new timeslot, 10:00pm EST on ABC.