While May will kick off Marvel's cinematic output, it will also see the conclusion of what's bound to be one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most audacious arcs yet. After introducing Ghost Rider and LMDs to the MCU in its first two plots of the season, the show will return next month with our heroes trapped inside the Framework. And as if being stuck in an artificial reality weren't bad enough, this one will see Hydra in charge of the country and many of our protagonists ill-equipped to fight back. Photos from the return episode have teased at least one returning character, and a recent photo may suggest the return of more from the dead.
Meanwhile, there will be a resistance to the new world order. It's unclear how far Hydra's power reaches, but it's safe to assume SHIELD and their efforts to protect the world are no more. Instead, the Inhumans will step up to face the threat. A recent batch of promotional posters teased the fact that Inhumans won't be welcome in this new society, so they've got a reason to fight. And while their hated status is a bit confusing given S.H.I.E.L.D. itself revealed that Hydra was formed around the idea of Inhumans in the first place, we're likely going to have to wait a few more weeks to learn what's changed.
In the meantime, the show continues to promote the new status quo. The Agents of SH.I.E.L.D. Twitter posted a new image today highlighting Coulson's new identity as a teacher, along with a few hints at the new reality.
The message on the chalkboard is a variation on the one we saw in the cliffhanger a few weeks back, but is more explicit about Hydra's distaste for Inhumans. Given they'll be getting their own show soon and it will have at least some connections to S.H.I.E.L.D., it'll be interesting to see if hints regarding the Royal Family will pop up in this new reality. After all, though the Framework will feature some familiar faces, it may also serve as a clever way of introducing comic elements that didn't easily fit on the show before.
The image also shows a book titled How Hydra Saved America, which would be a fascinating tome to get our hands on in the real world. There's also the prominent placement of a folder bearing the heading "History of the Cambridge Incident." So far, no such event has popped up on the show or the moivies, so this is likely an allusion to some sort of catastrophe that took place in the new reality to put Inhumans in Hydra's crosshairs. Perhaps it's even akin to the Stamford Incident that killed hundreds of people and school children in the comics and kicked off Civil War. With the return of the show right around the corner, we'll likely find out soon, especially if Marvel keep dropping hints on social media.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with ‘What If…’ April 4th at 10pm on ABC.
Source: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Twitter