Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the upswing in quality headed into its second season, more so now that the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier have stirred things up for global security on Earth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. Some part of that uptick in quality can also be attributed to the show becoming "a bit more 'Marvel'," as executive producer Jeffery Bell once put it. That includes, taking a leaf from DC TV series Arrow's book and incorporating more characters from the Marvel comic book universe into the mix.
This hold especially true when it comes to bringing in comic book-born villains for Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team to square off against. Admittedly, the S.H.I.E.LD. TV series previously included such super-powered threats as Lorelei and Blizzard to middling effect, but that could change in the future... or, rather, we remain hopeful that it will, beginning with Carl "Crusher" Creel (a.k.a. Absorbing Man) in the S.H.I.E.L.D. season two premiere.
Creel, as described by Marvel Studios in the official announcement, poses a danger to Coulson and his squad "with his ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches." The character is being brought to life on the small screen by actor Brian Patrick Wade, who recently portrayed another dangerous baddie (named Ennis) on MTV's Teen Wolf television show. You can get your first look at Wade in character as the Absorbing Man on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two, below.
Wade is another notable candidate on the list of new cast additions for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two. Overall, it's an intriguing roster of new talent, with such folk as Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) being cast as Barbara Morse/Mockingbird, Kyle MacLachlin (Twin Peaks) taking on the mystery role of Skye's (Chloe Bennet) father, and Xena: Warrior Princess and Spartacus alum Lucy Lawless being recruited to handle the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Isabelle Hartley - plus others who're joining the S.H.I.E.L.D. party for round two.
If nothing else, it's encouraging to see that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will begin its second season with a sense of direction, by exploring multiple plot threads that seem worth investigating further - be it discovering the truth behind Skye's parentage, finding out what happens now that the old S.H.I.E.L.D. has been disbanded completely, or learning just what is going on with Coulson as a result of him having taken the GH 325 serum - among other pressing matters, that is. Fingers crossed, the ball doesn't get dropped in the process of these mysteries being unraveled.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two premieres on ABC on September 23rd, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET.