Ward is dead...sort of! Following the mid-season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward and Coulson had their final head to head, resulting in Phil finally taking the steps to put an end to Ward once and for all. With the death of his lady love Rosalind on Ward’s hands, Coulson decides to crush the villainous turn coat’s chest in with his robotic hand. All of this took place of course on the alien world explored throughout the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which held the exiled Agent Simmons there for quite a while after the second season. Mysteries are still abounds however as we don’t quite know the origin of the planet itself, and more importantly, the origin of the nefarious creature possessing people there. Of course, we see in the mid-season finale that even though Ward is dead, the mysterious body snatcher lives on, jumping into Ward’s body and somehow managing to make his way to Earth. Fan Dorian Parks has brought the theory to our attention that this creature is in fact the Marvel villain, Hive.
Who is Hive you may be wondering? Hive was a genetic experiment created by Hydra, modified to carry the most “important” traits of the organization into a single being. Created by Jonathan Hickman, who recently finished his magnum opus with the epic Secret Wars crossover, the parasitic villain made his debut in the pages of Secret Warriors, who also debuted in this third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. coincidentally. Eventually, while Hive was given a seat at the table in the organization of Hydra, it eventually took possession of the recently deceased Lady Viper, creating a new entity to rule named, “Madame Hydra”. While obviously bits and pieces of the origin would need to be changed for this character to work in the television show, there’s still evidence pointing to this being the case.
First, when we see the creature in S.H.I.E.L.D. holding someone under its sway, it’s clear that something is going on under the surface, with worm like creatures slithering beneath the host’s skin. This of course is very similar to the ghastly appearance of Hive in the comics, though the worms are crawling everywhere in that case. Understandably, it may be a tad more difficult for the television show to translate a walking worm pile onto the screen.
Secondly, it’s clear that when Ward returns to Earth, he immediately knows to seek out Malek, the head of Hydra who sent him on the suicide mission in the first place. Hive retains bits and pieces of its host personality once it’s fully taken over, and it would make sense that a possessed Ward would heavily influence the parasite’s actions moving forward if the case.
Finally, the simple strong connection between Hive and Hydra is there, though its clear that in this re-telling of the origin, Hive is responsible for Hydra’s origin and not the other way around. Throughout season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Inhumans have been a heavy influence on the series, with the creature itself being revealed to be an Inhuman. While not the case in the comics, these sort of things are always par for the course, changing the character to fit the rules of its new outing. Hive being an Inhuman who created Hydra sounds like a great update for the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I won’t hold it against the showrunners.
What do you all think? Is the possessor of Agent Ward in fact the villainous Hive? What are some other candidates that you think fit the bill? Let us know and remember, if you have some theories you want to send our way (or anything in general), feel free to drop us an email at Fans@ComicBook.com.