Just when you think that Agents of SHIELD is in its own little universe, they manage to find a way to show us that it’s still connected to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Avengers: Infinity War made that clear, very clear. They really named-dropped him this time, Thanos. So in true comics form, if you don’t see your hero participating in something, it means they’re doing their own thing. While the Avengers are fighting the Black Order and Thanos’ armies, Coulson and his team are busy preventing the Earth from cracking up.

So, for us demanding a more solid connection to the MCU, it looks like we just got it. Not only is Thanos just a name-drop, Thanos becomes the motivation for the story to move along. So have the writers and producers known the Infinity War plot all along? We guess not necessarily. Let’s recap the events for a bit.

So the Confederacy shows up at the Lighthouse base, the group of Aliens General Hale was colluding with. And these aliens want their gravitonium. Their soldiers attack the team until events led to General Talbot entering the Particle-Infusion Chamber and using up the remaining gravitonium, giving him the power over gravity. Unlike Ruby, who couldn’t handle the voices of Franklin Hall and Ian Quinn (who are trapped in the mass of gravitonium), Talbot seems to have both under his control, due to his military training and maybe a side effect of HYDRA’s conditioning. Technically, we have the MCU version of the very powerful villain Graviton. Except here, Talbot thinks of himself as a superhero.

I first got acquainted with Graviton in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He’s like Magneto, except he controls gravity and took the combine powers of the Avengers to take him down. Imagine if Talbot gets loose in the MCU films. Powerful as he is though, he’s still no match for Thanos powered with most of the Infinity Stones. Anyway, in comics, Graviton’s real name is Franklin Hall. Fanboys may have immediately associated the scientist with the villain since Season 1, and when we watched him get absorbed into the gravitonium, fans have been waiting four seasons for Graviton to actually appear. And here he is, sort of.  Well, it’s completely okay and interesting since this isn’t the first time Marvel slapped the mantle of a hero or villain on another character. In another universe, Bruce Banner isn’t the Hulk; he’s Spider-Man. And what’s great about Talbot/Graviton here, is that his costume is explained as a ceremonial Confederacy garb.

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We are now into episode 20. Two more episodes to go before we see the Earth remain crack open of remain whole. Two more episodes to go before we find out whether the bubble bursts or the bubble keeps floating. So Talbot takes Coulson to the Confederacy ship where he takes over the ship and meets with the rest of the Confederacy members. Talbot kills one of the members earning himself a place in the ranks. There, Talbot meets with Kasius’ father Taryan who tells him that while the group was formed to ‘help’ the Earth fight a greater unknown threat, they cannot fight against Thanos’ forces, and the only way to fight Thanos is with more gravitonium.

Talbot is motivated to save the Earth himself and becomes easily manipulated by Taryan. While this is happening, the rest of team SHIELD make their way to the Confederacy ship to save Coulson. Phil finds out that the Confederacy leader is Kasius’ father and tells Talbot that dealing with him is a very bad idea. Plus, he thinks that the presence of the rest of SHIELD on the ship is undermining his authority. Talbot loses it when Daisy arrives and tries to lifts Coulson up to kill him. Coulson is put down when Hale interferes and attempts to use Talbot’s mental conditioning. Talbot kills Hale and battles Daisy, easily defeating her. Coulson and the rest of SHIELD gets detained. At the end of the episode, Daisy is put into Taryan’s custody.

Now things are getting more and more exciting as we find out whether the earth is going to crack or not, and this episode just made things more exciting with its Infinity War tie-in. Will Talbot get his chance against some of Thanos’ forces or totally miss the fun? And since this episode tied itself into Infinity War, who will we see turn to ash at the end of the next episode or in the season finale? Yes, season finale sounds good, but the title of the last episode doesn’t though. But as our sources have confirmed, season 6 is on the horizon. What could SHIELD come up with next? Could they somehow tie in with Captain Marvel, maybe usher her into Avengers 4 which could be hitting theaters to undo Thanos’ quest in the middle of season 6.

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Could they pull off the new season with half of the primary cast which has vanished into the ether, not to mention half the population of the world? This makes the final episodes of Agents of SHIELD very exciting now, more than ever. Plus, how will the Marvel Netflix shows that are connected to the theatrical MCU move forward?

Avengers Back to Basics Issue #5 Marvel Comics

Enjoy the latest copy of Avengers Back to Basics #5 which you can get here to read.

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