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!
The Hub - Another one of S.H.I.E.L.D.s bases is introduced this episode, the largest one shown to date. While the Hub doesn't appear in the comics, it does contain a number of departments, as listed on a sign that Skye and Coulson pass in the beginning of the episode. Two of the more interesting departments at the Hub are Sci Ops, which Fitz and Simmons were stationed prior to joining Coulson's team (and I mistook for Psi Ops in the last column) and H.A.M.M.E.R. In the comics, H.A.M.M.E.R. was the name of S.H.I.E.L.D.s antagonistic successor, led by Norman Osborn and Victoria Hand. We'll cover that in a bit.
The Triskelion - The Triskelion is S.H.I.E.L.D.s headquarters in Marvel's Ultimate universe, and serves as the primary holding facility for many of that universe's captured villains. The Triskelion has been frequently attacked throughout the history of the Ultimate Universe, but S.H.I.E.L.D. always rebuilds the facility and eventually builds multiple Triskelions across the planet. The Triskelion will appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and was briefly shown in the movie's latest trailer. In the Ultimate Universe, the Triskelion was designed by Frank Gehry, the architect behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. and a number of other notable contemporary structures.
A triskelion is a set of three interlocking spirals/bent legs. While the interlocking spirals first appeared in Neolithic Europe and was frequently used by the Celts, the triskelion name was first given to an ancient Sicilian symbol that represented the general shape of the island.
Agent Sitwell - Jasper Sitwell is a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and frequent ally of Nick Fury. First appearing in Strange Tales #144, Sitwell started his S.H.I.E.L.D. career as Nick Fury's assistant, before moving on to become S.H.I.E.L.D's liaison at Stark Industries. Later, Sitwell becomes one of top interrogators before battling H.A.M.M.E.R. and Hydra and ultimately dying at the hands of a brainwashed Black Widow in 2012.
Sitwell, as played by Maximiliano Hernández, has appeared in several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shorts, including Thor, The Avengers, Item 47 and The Consultant. Hernandez has also appeared as law enforcement in several other shows, including FX's The Americans (his character shares a last name with Akela Amador) and Ringer.
Sitwell was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Victoria Hand - Victoria Hand is a recent addition to the Marvel Universe, having first appeared during Marvel's 2008-2009 Dark Reign event. Hand is a S.H.I.E.L.D. accountant who is promoted to Deputy Director after Norman Osborn takes over S.H.I.E.L.D. and renames it H.A.M.M.E.R. While she willingly assisted Osborn in helping to subvert various heroes' activities, she did so believing that H.A.M.M.E.R. could provide a better peace than the heroes could provide.
After Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. were defeated in Oklahoma, Hand turns herself in and is interrogated by Captain America, who has taken over as the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead of imprisoning her, Captain America assigns her as a S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to Luke Cage's Avengers squad, believing that her actions with H.A.M.M.E.R. were done with noble intent. Hand proves herself by infiltrating the remnants of H.A.M.M.E.R. as a triple agent and assisting the New Avengers fight the Revengers (a group of disgruntled former Avengers). She is later killed by Daniel Drumm, the brother of the deceased Brother Voodoo while attacking the New Avengers.
Victoria Hand is an openly lesbian character in the comics, and is one of the first openly gay Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
Hand was played by Saffron Burrows, who has appeared in a number of movies and television shows, including Troy, Boston Legal, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Hand was created by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato (although her first appearance was in Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man).
The Overkill Device - The Ossetian separatists' Overkill Device is based off of the Overkill Horn, a weapon first appearing in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Strange Tales, which is capable of detonating nuclear weapons and destroying any substance (including adamantium alloy). After Nick Fury learns that HYDRA has an Overkill Horn, he infiltrates a HYDRA base to destroy it (but not before almost inadvertently setting it off).
The Tardis - Fitz has a miniature TARDIS in his bunk. The TARDIS is the time/space traveling ship disguised as a blue police box from Doctor Who.
The Interrogator - In the comics, the Interrogator is a one off Captain America villain, a man named Severs who has an alien hand attached to him and gains mind control powers. Obviously, Agent Shaw isn't that Interrogator.
Robot Version - In case you missed it, there's another not so subtle reference or three to Coulson being a LMD (a life model decoy android capable of mimicking humans). Tahiti also gets brought up for a fourth episode.
It's really nice to actually get to talk about comic stuff in this column. See you all next week!