The heroes of this show are only going to be as good as their villains, and thankfully, Marvel still has dozens of foes left for S.H.I.E.L.D. to battle during the course of the series. Here are three villains that non-comic fans should get acquainted with, because we have a feeling they will make a big impact on the show at some point:
First appearance: Strange Tales #135 (1965)
It would be a sin against the comic book gods if HYDRA doesn’t rear its ugly venomous heads at some point, especially considering this was the first terrorist organization S.H.I.E.L.D. ever fought. In the comics, HYDRA is a cult led by Baron Strucker that is dedicated to the destruction of freedom and democracy. With the screams of "Hail, HYDRA”, this global threat would share some real world similarities with real terrorist organizations we see on the news every day, which would help give the show some gravitas.
An appearance by HYDRA would also tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe even more because the group first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger. However, their movie debut left much to be desired, so we would hope they get a facelift for S.H.I.E.L.D.
First appearance: Strange Tales #146 (1966)
We know that A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) technically made its debut in Iron Man 3 this past summer, but it was such an inconsequential disappointment that we wouldn’t mind if the folks behind S.H.I.E.L.D. ignored it altogether and gave us a fresh look at this terrorist organization. In the comics, A.I.M. is a group of genius scientists who use their brilliance to build sophisticated weapons of destruction in order to overthrow the governments of civilized society.
We could see A.I.M. being a constant threat to S.H.I.E.L.D. that lurks in the background of the entire series. Unlike HYDRA, their plans aren’t as bombastic and public. Instead, A.I.M.’s goals are slow and meticulous, and we would love to see the conflict boil over during the course of a season or two.
First appearance: Avengers #72 (1970)
Alright, so we chose the first two S.H.I.E.L.D. threats because they were classics from the comics and they are more grounded in the real world for a TV budget. Zodiac is none of those things, which makes this group a whole lot more interesting. In the comics, Zodiac is the name of multiple groups of villains based on the astrological signs of Taurus, Aries, Virgo, and the rest of the horoscope standards. Armed with advanced weaponry and gaudy costumes, the members of Zodiac are the perfect foils for the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents because they would bring that trademark Marvel action to the small screen.
Obviously some much-needed updating would be necessary for Zodiac to be considered legitimate, especially since the group’s most diabolical scheme in the comics involved them bullying some farmers out of their land. But with the right tweaking, this could be a serious threat for S.H.I.E.L.D. to face.