Marvel Entertainment has been keeping details about the upcoming Marvel’sAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. under wraps, but they have now revealed the first confirmed super-villain for the series. In a post on their website Thursday evening, Marvel revealed a synopsis of the series’ third episode that mentioned a scientist by the name of Dr. Franklin Hall, who in the comics eventually became the Avengers villain Graviton. Here’s what the official synopsis says about the episode, titled “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--on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Harry Potter actor Ian Hart (who played Professor Quirrell) will play the role of this S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist, but we can’t confirm if the character evolves past his civilian identity into that of Graviton. Hall took the identity of Graviton after a laboratory accident gave him power over gravity. Created by Jim Shooter and Sal Buscema back in 1977’s Avengers #158, Graviton popped up in several other titles over the years such as Thor, Amazing Spider-Man and a big stint in Thunderbolts, and was last seen in recent issues of Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers run as a member of the High Council of A.I.M.
While the Graviton character has long been a part of the Marvel U, he’s never been a particularly major component of the universe. But Marvel’s used him several times recently, both in the aforementioned Secret Avengersand also in the animated series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. There are several parallels between Marvel’s in-house animated programs and their live-action properties in the choices of characters they use and how they’re handled. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes spotlighted the Guardians of the Galaxy well before that team’s live-action movie was announced (they’ve since also appeared on Ultimate Spider-Man), and the current animated flagship Avengers Assemble is said to be even more closely attuned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s goals according to Jeph Loeb.
So who will Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. choose from within the tens of thousands of items Marvel has in their library to continue growing the cast? Not every character is tailor made for its own movie franchise, so we’ll likely see many more of the lesser-known characters of Marvel Comics get a chance on television with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.