‘Agents of SHIELD’ Hints At Graviton For First Supervilliain In Episode 3: ‘The Asset’
I expect I wasn’t alone in my disappointment among long-time Marvel readers when the cast and characters for ABC’s Marvel Universe-set TV show Agents of SHIELD were revealed and there was no Clay Quatermain, no Jimmy Woo, no Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine. Was this show going to use any Marvel characters to build its world?
The synopsis for the third episode of the show finally confirms that it will. ‘The Asset’ features the first alter ego of an established character, and hints at his transformation into his super-villainous self.
According to the synopsis, Ian Hart, who played Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer/Philosopher’s Stone, will appear in the role of scientist Dr Franklin Hall, better known to comics readers as Graviton. The synopsis reads:
“The Asset” – When the brilliant scientist, Dr. Franklin Hall, is kidnapped, Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents must race against the clock to locate him. Skye is their only way in–pushing the team to their limits when the entire plan turns upside-down.
Whether Franklin Hall will don a costume or use the name Graviton remains to be seen, but turning things “upside-down” is a good start for the gravity-controlling supervillain. In the comics, Hall gained his powers when a miscalculation in his experiments merged his molecules with graviton particles. Oh, whoops.
Created by Jim Shooter and Sal Buscema in 1977’s Avengers #158, Graviton is arguably one of the most powerful supervillains in the Marvel universe, but also one that’s not especially well loved, nor one that’s indelibly linked to any major stories. He’s basically exactly the sort of character the TV show can lay claim to without frustrating the ambitions of the people making the movies. Hopefully we can take this as a sign that the TV show will indeed take full advantage of Marvel’s wealth of weird ideas. (Swarm for sweeps week!)
The first episode of Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesday, September 24th. The third episode, featuring Dr. Franklin Hall, airs October 8th.