Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired its Season 2 two-part finale “S.O.S.” back in May, and news has since been sparse about what to expect when the series returns in the fall. However, now that Season 3 has begun production, Marvel is throwing fans a bone by announcing some new casting. For the ABC series’ third outing, Bates Motel actor Andrew Howard is being thrown into the fray as a guest star.
Howard has been cast as the mysterious government agent Banks, who will “challenge Coulson and his team in their mission to find and protect powered people.” This description doesn’t offer much to chew on, but it sounds similar to Adrian Pasdar’s Brigadier General Glenn Talbot. Banks will be another authority figure doing his best to block Coulson at every turn. Although Howard is the first new actor to be announced for Season 3, Banks is the second new individual that’s been added to the series, following Lash, an Inhuman villain who can absorb and convert energy.
After stopping Jiaying and her Inhuman followers from wiping out humanity in the Season 2 finale, Coulson (who just lost his hand) and Skye decided to put together a team of superpowered people, chosen from Coulson’s “Caterpillar Initiative,” that could help S.H.I.E.L.D. protect the planet. It has since been revealed that this team will be the Secret Warriors, based on Nick Fury’s team of young operatives from the comics. None of the team’s lineup, which will mostly be comprised of Inhumans, has been announced yet, although I suspect that Skye’s friend Lincoln will be on it. Now that Banks has been announced, it sounds like he could also be connected to them.
The Secret Warriors revelation last month also mentioned that S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t be the only ones trying to find Inhumans. Banks being identified as a government agent means that he’s not affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D., whose reputation is still damaged after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even though Coulson and Talbot have a loose alliance, that doesn’t mean everyone in the U.S. government is supportive of the clandestine organization. Throw into it more Inhumans popping up around the Earth due to shards of the Terrigen crystals being mixed into fish oil tablets,and it would make sense that Banks would track down these superpowered individuals for his own agenda. If this proves to be the case, this also has me worried that Banks may end up siding with people worse than him just to get what he wants, like HYDRA, which is now under Grant Ward’s control.
Other notable TV projects Howard has appeared on include Burn Notice, Hatfields & McCoys and Hell on Wheels. Now we can include him in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which will debut its Season 3 on Tuesday, September 29 at 9/8c on ABC.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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