Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a show that had some really big boots to fill. It was the first experiment in extending the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which had been limited only to films) to the world of television. The experiment was a wild success, and this has helped lead to a variety of success MCU TV shows such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Runaways.
As these other shows have thrived, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has continued to grow and evolve. We have gotten new heroes as well as new villains that present new threats to the world that not even the Avengers can handle.
Sometimes, it seems like there's more characters on this show than you can shake a Cosmic Cube at. Some of them are powerful enough to one day work alongside Captain America and Iron Man. Others, however, aren't even fit enough to shine the tractors out on Hawkeye's farm.
How can you tell which of our favorite characters are the strongest and which are the weakest? Fortunately, you don't have to recruit Daisy to hack into a S.H.I.E.L.D. database... all you have to do is keep scrolling in order to learn all about Agents Of Shield: 10 Most Powerful (And 5 Most Worthless) Characters, Ranked!
15 Worthless: Lincoln
Lincoln Campbell is a character that looks really good on paper. He's an Inhuman with a tortured background that includes both alcoholism and working with dangerous Inhuman forces. He ends up developing a relationship with Daisy, but the character never really amounted to much of anything.
His power is “electrokinesis” and the show basically made up a new, weird use for this every episode: sometimes he could heat up water, sometimes he could control metal, and other times, he'd power objects and kickstart hearts back to life. Nothing about his powers was very coherent and he was no good in a fight.
His relationship with Daisy also fizzled (due in no small part to the actors having zero chemistry), so when he gets his heroic sacrifice to help kill Hive, many fans were not sad to see him go!
14 Powerful: Mack
Mack first joined our familiar S.H.I.E.L.D. team under a shroud of secrecy. He was a double agent who was working for that other S.H.I.E.L.D. team under Commander Gonzales. Over time, though, he has become a reliable and powerful member of Agent Coulson's team.
Unlike some of the people on this list, Mack doesn't have any super powers or other special abilities. Instead, he's got lots of physical strength and the ability to create some pretty amazing weaponry. One of our best glimpses of this is when he creates a combined shotgun ax to take out some of Hive's special soldiers.
This is Mack in a nutshell: he combines raw brawn with the brains to make inventive weapons and the experience to use it to dominate his enemies!
13 Powerful: Mockingbird
Bobbi Morse, also known as Mockingbird, was another transplant from the S.H.I.E.L.D. forces commanded by Gonzales. She also came with a bit of history, having been married to (and eventually divorced from) Lance Hunter, another new ally of Coulson's. Bobbi ended up being the closest thing the team had to their very own Black Widow.
First, she's got a lot of skills: we see her take down foe after foe using her martial arts training and her awesome battle staves which are able to shock her foes into submission. She's handy with a variety of other weapons, too, and boasts an impressive record of successful undercover missions. Altogether, this made her one of the deadliest non-augmented and non-powered beings on the team, and Coulson's crew is much worse without her.
12 Worthless: Deathlok
In a perfect world (or maybe a better show), Deathlok would be among the most powerful characters. He's got a variety of cybernetic upgrades that give him abilities like super-strength, super-healing, and even over-the-top weapons like rocket launchers. He's what you get if you smash the Terminator and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent together. Why, then, is he actually one of the most useless characters?
The simple fact is that he is constantly being hacked and mind-controlled. The Clairvoyant has used him as a spy and a weapon and Hydra shuts down his weapons. Pretty much anyone with a computer is able to turn one of the world's deadliest men into the world's ugliest paperweight. Unless his next upgrade is some really nice computer security software, Deathlok is going to remain pretty worthless.
11 Powerful: Yo-Yo
Over time, our familiar S.H.I.E.L.D. crew began gathering Inhuman allies who could help in the struggle against forces like Hydra and Hive. One of those allies is Elena Roriguez, better known by her codename “Yo-Yo.” She has a particular set of speed-related powers that gives S.H.I.E.L.D. a powerful edge over their enemies.
Yo-Yo gets her name from the fact that she can move at incredible speeds in the space of one of her heartbeats before she “yo-yos” back to where she was. The ability isn't as useful as the kind that heroes like Quicksilver have, but it lets her do everything from spy on their enemies to quickly taking out unknowing foes. In this way, she's a much more versatile asset than most agents!
10 Powerful: Melinda May
Every team of heroes is destined to have a brooding loner. For our S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, that loner is Melinda May, sometimes referred to by her nickname, “The Cavalry.” She's got a history with Coulson and more than a few skeletons in her closet, but she brings an unprecedented level of power and experience to the team.
There is almost nothing May cannot do. She's the team's go-to pilot, and she consistently flies better than either their enemies or their allies. May is also the team's martial arts master, and she's the one responsible for training members like Daisy to become better fighters. She's got acrobatic skills that would make Daredevil envious and she's absolutely lethal with any kind of gun.
May is basically a one-woman army, and at times, the rest of the team is little more than her support staff!
9 Worthless: General Talbot
On paper, General Talbot is a really good foil for Phil Coulson. He is another seasoned military man with trained soldiers at his disposal. In addition, he speaks with the authority of the United States government, and this lets us see how and why the government sometimes oppose S.H.I.E.L.D.'s goals and methods.
In practice, though, Talbot is pretty useless. The man himself has no actual powers, and he often seems to squander his own military power. Most of his time onscreen is spent either just missing the people he's trying to track or reluctantly teaming up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to clean up a mess (often a mess caused by Talbot). Unless the payoff is eventually convincing Coulson to grow a mustache, we don't think Talbot brings a lot to the show.
8 Powerful: Hydra/Hive Ward
When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first began, Grant Ward seemed rather plain. He was the generic, straight-jawed hero who seemed destined to someday take Coulson's place. However, he was eventually revealed to be a HYDRA double agent, and later on, he was taken over by a malevolent entity. All of this combined to make him one of S.H.I.E.L.D's most powerful foes.
As a HYDRA agent, Ward was dangerous enough: he had access to soldiers, research, and other resources all across the world. After he is taken over by Hive, he got special powers, including super-strength, a healing factor, mind control, and possession. He was as deadly as several Inhumans all rolled into one, and it took exploding him in the vacuum of space to finally get rid of his monster.
7 Powerful: Phil Coulson
When we first saw Phil Coulson in Iron Man, he seemed like any other S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Sure, he was smart, quick, and capable, but he was just a man. This was seemingly confirmed when Loki killed him in the Avengers movie. However, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showed how Coulson returned from the dead and slowly became more than he was before.
He came back from the dead as smart and strong as ever, able to hold his own in any fight while also being the brains behind his team. Coulson eventually gets a bionic arm that gives him a new range of powers that ranged from super-strength and a sweet energy shield to X-ray vision and remote-controlling S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicles. All of this combines to make Coulson more than human, and a major threat that foes would be wise to avoid!
6 Worthless: Hyde
Hyde (better known as Dr. Calvin Zabo) was an early antagonist of S.H.I.E.L.D. and, as we later discovered, secretly the father of Daisy. Like his daughter, Hyde has special powers. Unlike his daughter, though, those powers are pretty useless.
Basically, Hyde has super-strength thanks to a special drug he has developed. It lets him turn into an animalistic version of himself that makes the man very dangerous. However, in a world of really complex power sets, having “only” super-strength is rather unimpressive. To top it off, Hyde is rather dumb for a smart guy, even when he's in his normal form. He never seems to know what's going on and frequently changes his allegiances, making himself more of a nuisance than a genuine threat.
5 Powerful: Aida
The character of Aida was a twist that fans were not expecting. Many fans expected the show to reveal Coulson had a Life Model Decoy as a way of explaining his resurrection. Coulson ended up being the real deal, though, while Aida represented the nightmare scenario of a rogue Life Model Decoy: a killer robot with her very own agenda.
To make things worse, she eventually gets various Inhuman powers. This means that Aida not only has super-strength and a strong healing factor, but she can shock her enemies and even teleport friends and foes wherever she wants to take them. All of this is backed by her keen mind, which has observed our favorite agents and devised unique ways of taking each of them out.
4 Powerful: Lash
Despite having an unfortunate codename, Lash represents the ultimate Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde foe for the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. He was originally Dr. Andrew Garner, a gifted psychologist and husband to Melinda May. After their divorce, he was exposed to Terrigen Mists which gave him terrifying new powers.
He becomes Lash, a big blue monster with super-strength and a super-healing factor. He also completely destroy things at a molecular level simply by touching them. He takes it upon himself to hunt down and kill various Inhumans. This is a testament to his power: Lash goes up against some of the most powerful people on Earth and manages to come out on top. Our favorite agents can't really get an edge on Lash until they pit him against Hive, essentially letting the two monsters duke it out for supremacy.
3 Worthless: Holden Radcliffe
Dr. Holden Radcliffe is another character that works in theory but not in practice. His super-intellect has helped him develop weapons for both the bad guys and the good guys, and he's got an innate survival instinct that let him live much longer than he otherwise would have. Ultimately, though, the guy is worthless.
His main accomplishment is creating the Life Model Decoys, particularly Aida. However, he didn't achieve true ambition until he was corrupted by the Darkhold, making him seem more like a mystical puppet than someone pulling the strings. The show makes this perfectly clear by having Aida kill him and then use his brain to try to take over the world. Being outsmarted by his own creation is a bittersweet moment for any mad scientist, but all of it underscores that he wasn't that smart or that strong to begin with.
2 Powerful: Ghost Rider
In terms of raw power on the show, Ghost Rider is clearly the man to beat. Most of the time, he is Robbie Reyes, a young gearhead with strong ties to his family and his neighborhood. However, Robbie has been possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance, and this gives him access to the powers of Hell itself.
In his Ghost Rider form, Robbie is nearly unstoppable. He has super-strength, which makes taking out most foes trivially easy. He also has an enhanced healing factor that lets him quickly shrug off any of the rare wounds he receives. Most famous, though, are his fire powers: he can make things catch on fire while being immune to fire himself. His favored use of this power is giving his chain Satanic fire powers and then using it to sentence evildoers to their final judgment.
1 Powerful: Quake
In many ways, the entire Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show is about Daisy, also known as Quake. She has grown more than any other character, going from being a kind of anarchist hacker recruit to being a highly-trained secret agent. And when her Inhuman powers bloom, it takes her to an entirely new level of power.
She can manipulate vibrations in a variety of creative ways. Initially, this lets her create miniature earthquakes (hence, her inventive name). Over time, she learns to destroy surfaces with a touch and fire concussive blasts at her foes. She has borderline super-hearing and can even achieve limited flight by directing her vibrations. Ultimately, Quake is powerful not just because of her Inhuman gifts but because of the creative ways she has found to use them.
The season 5 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed that, in a future timeline, Quake would inadvertently shake the entire Earth apart - whether this is subverted later in the season remains to be seen, but as of now, the show has established that she's strong enough to destroy an entire planet.
What are your favorite (and least favorite) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters? Let us know in the comments!