ABC has released a set of promotional images ahead of Agents of SHIELD season 6, and seemingly confirmed the name of the character Clark Gregg will be playing. It’s probably fair to say that Marvel Studios’ television output is going through a transitional phase at present, with Netflix culling its MCU-related content on one hand, and the Disney+ streaming service announcing exciting new ventures on the other. Remaining steadfast throughout all the upheaval is ABC’s Agents of SHIELD, which is currently gearing up to premiere its sixth season, with a seventh, and possibly final, run already confirmed to be in the works.
Viewers will remember that SHIELD season 5 concluded in highly dramatic fashion. Fresh from escaping a post-apocalyptic future and defeating the twisted villain known as Graviton, the time comes for Gregg’s wisecracking father figure, Phil Coulson, to keep his end of the Ghost Rider deal made in season 4. Essentially, Coulson was allowed to borrow Ghost Rider’s powers but, in return, the Spirit of Vengeance demanded Coulson die as nature intended from the wound inflicted by Loki in The Avengers. The final moments of season 5 saw Coulson resigned to his fate, spending his last days on a beach paradise with Melinda May.
Related: Captain America Should Know Coulson Is Alive In The MCU
Despite this, Gregg will be back in SHIELD season 6, but the actor has confirmed that he’ll be playing a different character who’s supposedly a mixture of several influences from the Marvel comics. ABC (via TV Line) have now unveiled some stylish promo shots featuring the main cast: Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson/Quake, Henry Simmons as Director Mackenzie, Natalie Cordova-Buckley as Yo-Yo, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, and Jeff Ward as Deke. Finally, there’s also an image of Clark Gregg, listed as “Sarge.”
Despite the confirmation of Gregg’s new character, the name predictably doesn’t provide too many clues as to his role in season 6. There’s no immediately obvious direct character connection to the Marvel comic books that could reveal exactly who Sarge is, and the title itself is deliberately vague. However, there’s a clear military connection to Gregg’s new character, which might imply that he belongs to some kind of outside special ops division, the likes of which have cropped up in SHIELD on various occasions. In considerably less intriguing news, the photos also reaffirm that Mack has taken over as Director of SHIELD.
The key question regarding Sarge’s role in SHIELD season 6 is why he bears such an uncanny resemblance to Phil Coulson. Is Sarge a Life Model Decoy with a Coulson-shaped shell, or was Coulson’s dead body recovered by a group of shady bad guys and implanted with a new persona? And of course, the question most fans will be desperately asking: will the real Phil Coulson ever return? Considering the success of Captain Marvel, in which Gregg reprises his SHIELD role, it would seem logical to capitalize on the character’s big screen exposure and have him return to the show properly before too long.
More: Agents Of SHIELD: Quake’s New Costume Inspired By Marvel Rising
Agents of SHIELD season 6 premieres with “Missing Pieces” May 10th on ABC.
Source: TV Line