For a series that has a hard time getting referenced in Marvel's films, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually the most connected entity in the whole of the MCU. It fleshed out the world of the titular spy organization and helped show the fallout of the Avengers' various escapades. Along the way, the series shone the spotlight on a number of heroes, villains, plots, and locations from across the comic universe that aren't likely to show up on the big screen anytime soon. Along with the Netflix series, AoS has provided Marvel fans with weekly doses of entertainment, while helping the TV universe rival (and often exceed) the movies.
After introducing the concept of the Inhumans to the MCU, S.H.I.E.L.D. dedicated the first part of their fourth season to the Spirit of Vengeance. Though Johnny Blaze and other Ghost Riders have been teased, the main focus was on the latest to bear the cross, Robbie Reyes. The inclusion of the character helped elevate the series further and solidfy its unique place in Marvel's live-action universe. With Robbie's story brought to a conclussion (or at least a temporary stopping point) during the midseason finale, ABC is already teasing the next major comic book concept that will drive the show.
We know that the midseason premiere will add 'LMD' as the show's subtitle to highlight the rise of the Life Model Decoys that have started taking a life of their own. Thanks to CBM, we now have a look at a new poster for the premiere which is packed full of Easter eggs.
The poster features Melinda May, who was revealed to have been replaced by an LMD at the end of the final episode of 2016. The remainder of the season looks to continue that story and may also feature more of AIDA's work with the occult. Many comic fans will recgonize the tag 'Strange Tales' as a reference to the Marvel Comics series that introduced Doctor Strange. This helps establish another connection to the Darkhold that helped AIDA gain sentience and create some similar mandalas to the ones the Sorcerer Supreme used in the film. The inclusion of '135' on the poster provides a number of other hidden refrences as well.
Strange Tales #135 not only first introduced the world to the concept of LMDs, but it featured Nick Fury being brought into the present day (of 1965). Even more interesting is that both S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, and the Helicarriers were all also introduced for the first time in this issue. That's a lot of firsts and a heck of a lot of Easter eggs to pack into one poster. Whether the tease means the return of Samuel L. Jackson's Fury to the show, only time will tell, but it's a great connection to a seminal comic book.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with 'Broken Promises' January 10 on ABC.