WHO IS MADAME HYDRA?

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After a shocking cliffhanger marked with a dead cast member comeback, Agents of SHIELD roared back with What If?

The episode took fans into the Framework in New World Order and welcomed an infamous comic book code-name into the ranks of the cinematic universe…but with a twist.

Agents of SHIELD season 4 cast courtesy Marvel

In the LMD finale before the break, Daisy and Jemma entered The Framework to rescue their teammates. This training station was twisted by Dr. Radcliffe and evil A.I. Ada into a bizarre prison similar to The Matrix.

Daisy and Jemma ended up in a dark mirror, mirror world. Jemma was dead. Hydra ruled. Daisy was in love with…Ward – Grant Ward.

Into the Agents of SHIELD arc arrives Madame Hydra…but not the one comic book readers may recognize.

Before we continue breaking down this week’s big episode and the comic book origins of this new femme fatale here’s a SPOILER ALERT!

If you have not seen this week’s Agents of SHIELD episode stop reading now.

Seriously.

OK.

Here it comes.

In this new world Hydra rules. The Triskelion (destroyed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) stands tall as Hydra’s headquarters. Daisy is still Skye and has no powers. Skye and Grant Ward (welcome back Brett Dalton!) are lovers and Inhuman hunting Hydra agents.

Phil Coulson teaches anti-Inhuman rhetoric to students, May is more ruthless than ever as a Hydra operative. Simmons escapes her own grave to walk in this nightmare world.

The biggest twist: Fitz is pure Hydra-ized evil and lover of Madame Hydra.

Mallory Jensen takes on her third role this season. After playing Radcliffe’s lover Agnes, then her LMD Ada, Jensen rules Hydra and the new world order as Madame Hydra.

How is she different from her comic book counterpart?

Created by the legendary Jim Steranko, Madame Hydra also goes by Viper. Ophelia Sarkissian was an orphan raised by Kraken (Daniel Whitehall – a Hydra founder seen on season one) to be a ruthless operative. Viper has on super powers but is immune to poisons and trained to be an expert martial artists and weapons expert.

In comics Madame Hydra is a frequent enemy of Captain America, The Avengers, The X-Men, Daredevil, SHIELD and the Secret Warriors.

Viper’s most bizarre scheme involved blackmailing Wolverine into marrying her to secure her criminal empire based out of Madripoor, an island nation founded on crime, smuggling and arms dealing. Viper appeared in The Wolverine film as a mutant scientist.

Hydra and her own criminal kingdom aren’t enough, Madame Viper has leader of a member of the Serpent Squad, Hellfire Club, The Hand, Secret Empire and H.A.M.M.E.R. a twisted take on S.H.I.E.L.D. – but that’s a whole other series or film franchise!

Will Jemma and Skye escape with Team Coulson? Will Ward someone find a way back into the real world – maybe via another LMD?

Agents of SHIELD  airs Tuesdays at 10pm on ABC.

By Editor