Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made reasonably clear by its 2015 finale that Ward was no longer himself, recently alluding to a familiar comic name for his 2016 return. Now, S.H.I.E.L.D. producers confirm a “Hive”-y new turn for Marvel’s most treacherous Agent, along with an unsettling new photo of the transformation in progress.

After series star Elizabeth Henstridge seemingly spilled the beans on Ward assuming the name of parasitic Marvel Hydra villain “Hive,” Nerdist confirmed as much with showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, offering up a new photo of the character’s sickly-looking appearance:

Agents of SHIELD Ward Hive Photo
Marvel / Nerdist

Of course, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s take on the character “is going to have its own unique twist and be very different from what fans have seen so far. We will see similarities that pay homage to the original character, but fans will see that Hive is taking an exciting new direction in the world of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

So reads the official 2016 premiere “Bouncing Back” synopsis:


In the midseason premiere, “Bouncing Back,” in the aftermath of his trip to Maveth, Coulson is more determined than ever to get to Gideon Malick and put an end to Hydra once and for all. Meanwhile, Daisy and the team encounter more Inhumans who have powers like they’ve never seen before, but will they be friends or enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

No longer able to keep powered people out of the public eye, Daisy and Mack press forward to find more Inhumans, building a team of secret warriors whose mission is to train and protect powered people. However, the growing presence of Inhumans proves to be a polarizing issue, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team must face conflicting public opinions and defend their team from groups who have a more extreme ideology.

The divide between those who want to protect Inhumans and those who seek to destroy them is constantly widening, and Hydra, now strengthened by Grant Ward, looms once again. However, Ward is no longer the same villainous traitor that they once knew, and the team faces an all-new enemy, whose motivations, goals and strengths are unclear. Uncertain about who (or what) they are facing, the stakes for S.H.I.E.L.D. and their assembled group of Secret Warriors are higher than ever, bringing some members of the team closer together and driving others apart. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. be able to stop one of the most powerful Inhumans to walk the Earth?

Those won’t be the only names surfacing when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. resumes Season 3 on March 8 either, as Brian Patrick Wade will reprise his role as Marvel’s Absorbing Man, soon to be followed by Adrian Pasdar’s General Glenn Talbot and Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, alternately known as Marvel Secret Warrior “Slingshot.”

Well find out more when Season 3 returns, but take a look at returning Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. photos below, and stay tuned for more on our 2016 premiere.

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