‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ fan theory suggests Grant Ward is about to become an Inhuman

Out of all the Marvel Studios properties, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. includes the most obscure comic-book references. With that in mind, could yet another one of its main characters be a Marvel superhero (or villain) waiting to happen?

At the end of last season, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Skye became Daisy Johnson, the Marvel hero known as Quake. Based on a similar set of clues, some fans are beginning to wonder if Grant Ward will go through the same kind of transformation.

Ward was introduced as a rather bland action-hero character, but halfway through season 1 he was exposed as an undercover HYDRA operative. Since then he’s racked up a terrifying body count, betrayed seemingly everyone in the show, and earned a new status as the villain everyone loves to hate. And according to one popular fan theory, he may also be the Marvel comics character Hellfire.

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Hellfire (aka J.T. James) has the ability to manipulate hellfire through a long, flaming chain. He also has enough in common with Ward for this theory to be kind of plausible. Let’s take a look at the evidence:

  • Hellfire is romantically linked with Daisy Johnson, much like how Daisy and Ward had a will-they/won’t-they relationship in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Hellfire was a member of the Secret Warriors, the team Daisy has been trying to assemble this season.
  • Hellfire is a HYDRA double agent, just like Ward.
  • Ward has an affinity for fire, burning down his family home and even describing himself as a “pyro.”
  • Ward’s brown leather jacket looks very similar to the one worn by Hellfire in some of the comics.

Now that the Inhumans are a major part of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s perfectly possible for any character to gain superpowers (or, more likely, drop dead) through exposure to the Terrigen Mist. Actor Brett Dalton has also promised a huge plot twist for the midseason finale, giving us a plausible timeline for when that transformation might take place.

Is this fan theory about to become canon—or is it all smoke without Hellfire? Hopefully we’ll find out soon. 

Photo via Marvel

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor