Agents of SHIELD's seven-year run has come to an end, and many characters from the comic books were seen throughout the seasons. However, it was recently revealed that there were other characters from the page that the showrunners wanted to put into the series. During a recent interview with The AV Club, Jeffrey Bell shared that MODOK almost made it on to the show's final season. MODOK, or "Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing" was a supervillain in Marvel Comics who first appeared in 1967 and had encounters with many major heroes, including Hulk and Iron Man. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on who you ask), Marvel backtracked on allowing Agents of SHIELD to use the character.
"We had a lot of ideas where we were—and I'll say this, I don't care—we were given the green light originally to use certain characters from Marvel, and started to break story based on those characters—[Coughs.] MODOK—and then they retracted it," Bell explained. "So there were a bunch of things that were going to get a little batsh*t crazy that were above our pay grade, in terms of the toys we were allowed to play with."
"And some of our coolest characters, I'll say, were adjusted off of those ideas," Jed Whedon added.
"I think some of our best storylines and character development was born out of us having to pivot and scramble," Maurissa Tancharoen replied. "And that's the fun of our jobs—and the nature of working with an entity like Marvel, where there are a slew of characters to pull from, and there are a bunch of established moving parts. And then when you place your hopes and dreams in something and then it's not possible..."
They also spoke about the difficulties of making a Marvel series that connected with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"One of our challenges was, we were a Marvel TV show and we weren't allowed to have any of the Marvel characters," Bell shared. "The only established character from the MCU was Coulson, who'd been in a few of the movies," Tancharoen added.
"We were starting a Marvel series with five new characters who hadn't existed in the comic books," Bell explained. "So people were like, 'Boo, we don't like these people.' And what Marvel would give us is, 'You can't even have Loki's staff. You can have, like, this left-handed thing.' You know? So there was an expectation from the audience that we're gonna see a superhero show with a lot of Marvel brand names. And we weren't allowed to do that. And we had the big secret, which was we cannot say the 'H' word. We could not say 'Hydra.' We could not spoil that for Winter Soldier or it would ruin it for everyone."
The first six seasons of Agents of SHIELD are currently streaming on Netflix, and the series finale is available to watch on Hulu.