Tuesday, March 3, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Care About … Daisy Johnson

Fresh off an Agent Carter-induced winter hiatus, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is back with new episodes tonight.

When we last left Phil Coulson’s team, Agent Skye had gone through terrigenesis and was revealed to be an Inhuman, gibing with the new Marvel philosophy in which dormant Inhumans are everywhere and just need to be woken up so the Marvel Cinematic Universe can have its own mutants.

We also learned that Skye – who as an Inhuman has earthquake powers – is the MCU version of Daisy Johnson, a character who has existed in the comics since 2004 and had key roles in several major events, including the Secret War (that’s War, singular) and Secret Invasion.

Here are some more things you may not have known about Agent Skye, if that is her real name, which it isn’t:

She’s the daughter of a supervillain: Daisy’s dad is Mr. Hyde, a superstrong, supersmart, supercrazy baddie who has bedeviled Marvel heroes from Thor to Captain America to Daredevil to Spider-Man. Hyde was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck and first appeared in 1963’s Journey Into Mystery #99, the book that would become The Mighty Thor. Hyde was played on Agents of SHIELD by Kyle MacLachlan, star of Dune, Twin Peaks, Portlandia and other things relevant to your interests. According to the comics, Hyde mucked with his genetic makeup so much that he ended up passing powers on to his daughter, whose mother was a prostitute.

She once fought on a team made up of the children of supervillains: Fury’s Team White, featured in the book Secret Warriors, consists of Johnson and the children of Ares, the god of War; Doctor Druid, a former Avenger; the Griffin; the Phantom Rider; and the Absorbing Man. A seventh member, Eden Fesi, is the protégé of Gateway, the X-Men’s teleportation buddy from their days in the Australian Outback.

She’s pretty high up on the SHIELD clearance scale: Johnson first appeared in 2004’s Secret War #2 as an agent of original-recipe Nick Fury during a covert op against the Latverian government. She has Level 10 security clearance within SHIELD, a classification only otherwise afforded to Fury himself and the Black Widow. For a time, she ends up leading the organization, between stints by Maria Hill.

She’s taken down Wolverine and Magneto: During Secret War, when a berserker Wolverine tried to attack Nick Fury, Johnson exploded his heart with a mini-earthquake. Obviously, he got better. Later, in New Avengers Vol. 1 #20, she did the same thing to Magneto’s brain, rendering him unconscious.

She’s not in the current SHIELD comic: At least not in the first three issues, anyway. Writer Mark Waid’s book straddles the worlds of the TV show and the comics, working Agents Coulson, May, Fitz and Simmons (and Fitz’s monkey OS) into monthly standalone stories featuring the other denizens of the 616. Fitting all that Daisy/Skye baggage into a book like that probably isn’t the best idea. Still a very enjoyable read, though.

Read this: Secret Warriors #1-28 by Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman and Stefano Caselli.

Watch that: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Tuesdays on ABC.

Dan Grote’s new novel, Magic Pier, is available however you get your books online. He has been writing for The Matt Signal since 2014. He and Matt have been friends since the days when making it to issue 25 guaranteed you a foil cover.

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