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.
Here we go!
Drive All Night Til Dawn - Agent Mack is signing along to a Henry Wagons song by this name at the beginning of the episode. Full disclosure: I only know this because Reddit told me so.
Franklin Hall - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced its first supervillain this week with Franklin Hall, who fans might know as Graviton. Created by Jim Shooter and Sal Buscema, Graviton first appeared in Avengers #158 when he took over a research facility after gaining his powers during an accident during an experiment, forcing the Avengers to intervene. Graviton became a recurring foe of the Avengers, with several of his misadventures focusing on his search for a bride (creepy, right?).
As his name suggests, he has control over gravitons, the theoretical subatomic particle that define gravity, and uses them to selectively control gravity's effects on other objects.
Graviton eventually kills himself while fighting Iron Man (during Stark's time as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) but gets better through as of yet unexplained reasons. He's now the Minister of Science at A.I.M. Island and has appeared several times in Secret Avengers.
Graviton also made a notable appearance in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. He appears as the show's first major villain and nearly destroys Manhattan (lifting it into the sky) before being stopped by the Avengers.
You might recognize Ian Hurt, the actor who played Hall, as Professor Quirrell from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Barnroof Point, Colorado - This is an actual place in the southwest corner of Colorado, close(ish) to Navejo State Park.
Gravitonium - Obviously a reference to Graviton, this fictional element has the atomic number 123, which would place in the theoretical "g-block" of elements. These elements would be highly unstable and have extremely short half lives, so no wonder Quinn needed Hall's help to stabilize the element.
Coulson's Card Collection - Hey, did you know that Coulson DIED in The Avengers? Do you remember that he SACRIFICED himself while fighting alongside superheroes? And do you remember his collectable Captain America cards?
Ian Quinn - While Quinn's a new character to the Marvel Universe, David Conrad, the actor who played him, does have links to Joss Whedon. The actor unsuccessfully tried to get the producers to cast him as an enemy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer several times over.
The Arabian Blade - When Skye speaks to Qasim Zaghlul (a new character, by the way), she mentions that he designed the Arabian Blade, a building in Dubai. The Arabian Blade was a proposed (but unbuilt) skyscraper designed by Claudio Catalano. I only mention this because the building designs look pretty cool.
Malta - Malta is known as a tax haven. However, the country's also a member of the EU, so it's odd that he moved there to escape the grasp of meddling governmental type organizations.
DRTC - Despite both my wife and I searching for hours, we couldn't figure out exactly what the DRTC was, unless the Dale Rogers Training Center (an Oklahoma based vocational center) has some sort of shadowy governmental wing we don't know about.
Agent Tyler - The agent Coulson speaks to at the end of the episode is named Agent Tyler. While it's probably just a coincidence, there is an Agent Stephen Tyler in the comics, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who infiltrated the Eternals' city in Neil Gaiman's Eternals (drawn by John Romita Jr.) and was killed there. Agent Tyler was played by Josh Cowdery, who had a bit role in The Avengers as a maintenance worker.
That's all I found this week. There were a couple of things (the vault number L23-826-59, the DRTC) that I couldn't place, but feel free to berate me about how obvious that clue is in the comments.