Is it H.A.M.M.E.R. time for the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Entertainment Weekly has revealed that the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has cast Constance Zimmer in a recurring role for its upcoming third season.
According to the article, Zimmer will play "the head of a mysterious new government agency that will cross paths with S.H.I.E.L.D. as both seek out new Inhumans following the events of last season. Zimmer’s character will go toe-to-toe with Coulson (Clark Gregg) and act as his antagonist when the show returns." The character will debut in the Season 3 premiere.
Zimmer, 44, is perhaps best known as Dana Gordon on the HBO series Entourage and as Claire Simms on the ABC series Boston Legal. She currently appears as Quinn King on the series UnREAL, and has appeared on episodes of House of Cards, The Newsroom, Grey's Anatomy, Pushing Daisies, Joan of Arcadia, The X-Files, and Babylon 5.
It's possible that the Marvel Comics' H.A.M.M.E.R. could be the "new government agency" that Zimmer's character is heading. Created in 2008 by Brian Michael Bendis, H.A.M.M.E.R. is an espionage and law enforcement agency that was originally led by Norman Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, that was an integral part of the "Dark Reign" and "Siege" storylines that ran from 2008-10.
Following the alien Skrulls' invasion of Earth, a massive restructuring of the United States' defense network was implemented. At the time, the country's primary peace keeping agency was S.H.I.E.L.D., led by Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. However, because the Skrulls were able to compromise S.H.I.E.L.D.'s StarkTech technology, it was decided that S.H.I.E.L.D. was no longer an effective organization and Tony Stark was personally held accountable for the entire Skrull invasion. As a result, Thunderbolts leader Norman Osborn manipulated the U.S. government into allowing him to serve as director of a replacement agency called H.A.M.M.E.R. Under Osborn's leadership, H.A.M.M.E.R. had administrative control over a Fifty State Initiative.
H.A.M.M.E.R. has been teased on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before, with the appearance of Victoria Hand, Osborn's second-in-command, who was played by Saffron Burrows. Hand first appeared in the Season 1 episode "The Hub," but was later murdered in the episode "Turn, Turn, Turn" by Grant Ward, who revealed himself as a double agent working for HYDRA.
And if H.A.M.M.E.R. does turn out to be the "new government agency," it's most likely that Zimmer's character will turn out to be Diedre Wentworth, better known as the supervillain Superia. In the comics, Wentworth assumed command of H.A.M.M.E.R. after Osborn is captured and taken into custody.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC for Season 3 on September 29, 2015.