A major Marvel Comics mutant may be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Secret Invasion streaming series. Disney may have inadvertently revealed this through official Secret Invasion gifs added to Tenor (h/t Murphy's Multiverse). One of those gifs is titled "It's the Beginning Abigail Brand" and shows Clarke speaking to someone out of frame. Many fans have long speculated that Clarke could be playing Brand, whom Joss Whedon and John Cassaday created and introduced in their Astonishing X-Men run as the half-mutant/half-alien head of SWORD, SHIELD's space-facing counterpart. It seemed only a matter of time until she arrived after SWORD's MCU introduction in WandaVision.
There's still the question of whether Brand really is Brand. Secret Invasion is a spy drama involving shapeshifting aliens, and one of the biggest twists in the comic book event was the reveal that the hero Spider-Woman (whom Clarke was also suspected to be playing) was actually the Skrull queen Veranke (another character Clarke is suspected to be playing, though this one doesn't rule out the others). However, a character grid from the Secret Invasion production previously hinted at the Brand's presence in the show (which also makes sense, given that she's head of SHIELD and this is an alien invasion angle), and at least one fan went through the trouble of imagining Clarke in the role already.
That Brand is a mutant only adds to the amount of excitement that fans are likely to feel over the role. The Marvel faithful have been eager for more news about mutants since Ms. Marvel dropped mentioned mutation in its finale, and Hugh Jackman's return as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 is only fanning that flames. And that's all in live-action, not even getting into X-Men '97 reviving the classic X-Men: The Animated Series.
Brand recently returned to action in the Marvel Comics universe as the leader of a new version of SWORD created for the Krakoan age. However, it turns out Brand is a double agent, working secretly with the anti-mutant organization ORCHIS, making her one of the more complicated characters in the comics at the moment.
Secret Invasion brings back Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Nick Fury, the former director of SHIELD. Whether he'll be working together with Brand or at odds remains to be seen. Secret Invasion wrapped filming in April and is expected to premiere on Disney+ early next year.