Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D. Dossiers, a weekly look back at some of the Easter eggs from ABC's new series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you've read Arrow Annotations, our weekly look at CW's Arrow show, you'll have a basic idea of what this column is about. While this won't be a comprehensive collection of Easter eggs and references to the comics/movies (I'm going to skip some of the more obvious references), I will do my darndest to catch as many as I can.
So here we go:
Shield 616: The Bus's call sign is SHIELD 616, a reference to the numerical designation for Marvel's comic universe. In comicspeak, Marvel's mainstream comic universe is known as "Earth-616", a phrase first used by Alan Moore and Alan Davis to differentiate our Marvel universe from the infinite multiverse of other universes. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes place in the Marvel Movieverse, AKA Earth-199999.
Skye's Clothes: Skye's starts off the episode wearing the same outfit she wore in last week's pilot. Consistency!
The Consultant: Yup, Stark's not a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he's just a consultant. Coincidentally, The Consultant was the name of a Marvel one-shot featuring Coulson and Agent Stan Sitwell, which first appeared on the Thor Blu-Ray
0-8-4: While having nothing to do with this episode, I did find a cool little tidbit about Strange Tales #84, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. That book, released in May 1961 (six months before the debut of the Fantastic Four) marks the first appearance of Magneto. Of course, hardcore X-Men fans can tell you that Magneto, a longtime foe/friend of the X-Men, made his first appearance in X-Men #1, which came out two years later in 1963. So how does Magneto have two different first appearances? They're different Magnetos, of course.
Hunk Larken was a large, clumsy man ridiculed for his size and girth. After failing at professional sports and at sideshow attractions, Larken volunteered for an experimental space program and was shot into space. His rocket passed through an anti-matter cloud, which granted him the ability to draw objects to him with one hand, and push them away with the other. Taking the name Magneto (which was changed to Magnetor when the story was reprinted a decade later), Larken terrorized Earth for a bit before leaving the planet.
There's a couple of elements that Lee and Kirby recycled from this story into later superhero stories. Magneto, obviously, was used as the mutant name for Erik Lehnsherr, and the anti-matter cloud scene sounds suspiciously similar to some cosmic rays used to irradiate the Fantastic Four.
Tahiti's a magical place: In case you missed it from last episode. Tahiti. Magical. Place.
In case you're wondering, I can't find a single superhero that hails from Tahiti, probably because it's a third the size of Rhode Island.
Llactapata, Peru: This is a real place, located southwest of Machu Picchu. Llactapata was discovered by Hiram Bingham during his exploration of Peru in 1912, and was "rediscovered" in 2003. The site is believed to have been a rest stop on the way to Machu Picchu.
Dengue Fever: Agent Simmons is correct, there is no vaccine for Dengue Fever.
Fitz's Drones: In case you missed it, Fitz's drones are named after the Seven Dwarfs. Corporate synergy, everyone!
Camilla Reyes: She's a new character for the TV show, but the actress who plays her, Leonor Varela, played Marta (GOBs telenovlla actress girlfriend) in Arrested Development. She also played Nyesa in Blade II.
German technology: That should have been your first clue that the 0-8-4 was a piece of Hydra weaponry. Fueled by the Tessarect (aka the Cosmic Cube), we first saw this sort of technology in Captain America: The First Avenger. Oh, and it emits gamma radiation, too, which is what turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk.
Pulse Bomb Staff: That pulse staff thingy used by Agent Ward looks awfully similar to one used by Simon Tam in Serenity. Coincidence, I'm sure, but it made me chuckle.
Matterhorn: Ward's reading Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. Written by Vietnam vet Karl Marlantes, the book details the struggles of a young lieutenant's struggles to retake the Matterhorn support base after it's taken by the Vietcong. The book's been praised for its realistic depiction of war and combat, as well as the internal conflicts faced by soldiers in combat.
Walkie-talkie wristwatch: As pointed out in our forums yesterday, the walkie-talkie wasn't actually invented until 1940, and Dick Tracy's famous walkie-talkie wristwatch wasn't conceived until 1946.
Nazi Scientists in South America: Reyes noted that several Hydra scientists fled to South America after World War II. In the comics, a clone of Adolf Hitler (created by Hydra scientist Arnim Zola) fled to the fictional South American country of San Pablo, where he became the Marvel villain known as the Hate-Monger.
Airplane Raft: We weren't the only one who thought the raft sealing the hole in the plane was a little silly:
Strongest raft ever.— Chloe Bennet (@ChloeBennet4) October 2, 2013
Nick Fury: As pointed out by everyone on the Internet, Nick Fury did indeed make an appearance in this week's episode. He's missing some of the scarring around his eyepatch, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few other big name heroes made appearances (especially around November when Thor: The Dark World comes out).
Winnebago: Not an Easter egg, but would anyone complain if Coulson was downgraded to this Winnebago?
And as we learned last week, S.H.I.E.L.D flying cars were introduced way back in Strange Tales #135, not #159. However, we weren't the only person misinformed:
That's all for this week!