One week after Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD put the MCU’s newest Inhuman into his second Terrigenesis cocoon, a new character from Marvel Comics — modeled after Captain America — was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even fans previously unfamiliar with Jeffrey Mace from the comic books may have grown suspicious of the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who claimed to be an Inhuman. In an episode where the Life Model Decoy AIDA continued to act more ruthlessly than her creator had intended, fans were given a clear indication of where Mace’s character is headed.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Jeffrey Mace on Agents of SHIELD
Jeffrey Mace has been portrayed by actor Jason O’Mara on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD since being introduced in the second episode of the current season as the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. After the fallout of Captain America: Civil War, Mace was brought in to bring the agency back into the public eye. To show that the organization was taking a new direction, they announced that Mace, himself, was an Inhuman with super-strength similar to Captain America.
On this week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD, it was revealed that Mace isn’t an Inhuman after all. Instead, he must regularly inject himself with a super-serum that gives him his super-powers. In what could prove to be a misguided attempt to gain the trust of other Inhumans, the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. lied to the world about being an Inhuman himself. Project Patriot was supposed to come up with the next Captain America. So far, The Patriot is the closest thing they could come up with.
The Patriot in Marvel Comics
In an issue of The Human Torch from 1940, Jeff “The Patriot” Mace gives his own account of how simply wearing a patriotic costume gave him the confidence to save a plane full of government officials from their certain death. He was a physically fit newspaper reporter who was fed up with bad guys ruining his country — and he decided to do something about it, taking inspiration from Captain America.
Although he never gained any super powers as The Patriot in Marvel Comics, he did go on to become a part of the Liberty Legion and the All-Winners Club. Shortly after World War II, he was the third man to officially be recognized as Captain America. When it was explained that Steve Rogers had been in suspended animation since 1945, it was revealed that Mace had actually be Captain America from late 1946 until early 1950.
There was another character from Marvel Comics that used the moniker The Patriot and had connections with Captain America. Elijah Bradley was the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America. Elijah would join the Young Avengers as The Patriot.
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Recap: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Season 4 Episode 10 — “The Patriot”
Throughout the episode, a group of former Hydra agents (now under the employ of The Watchdogs) were after Director Mace and the mysterious metal briefcase that had been handcuffed to his assistant Burrows. Even after Burrows dies, Mace leads Coulson and Mack on a dangerous mission to retrieve the package. By the end of the episode, it is revealed that General Talbot hand-selected Jeffrey Mace to participate in Project Patriot, an attempt to create the next Captain America. At the end of the episode, Coulson and Mace agree that Jeffrey will remain the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to handle the politics while Coulson will be in charge of field operations.
Meanwhile, things continue to get out of control for Holden Radcliffe and the Life Model Decoys. Back at Radcliffe’s place, Agent May woke up from her medically induced coma and got into a physical confrontation with AIDA. Radcliffe came in just before AIDA killed the S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran, as the self-aware android continues to show tendencies more lethal than Radcliffe would like. Regarding the Melinda May LMD, Radcliffe is sure that she won’t cause any problems, because she isn’t aware of her own robotic nature. However, the final seconds of the episode show that she has made this discovery, and it’s uncertain how the LMD will respond once she has processed the information.
Finally, since Fitz and Simmons can’t seem to agree on exactly what went wrong with the original AIDA, Fitz must keep it a secret from Simmons that he is continuing to work with the severed head of the android. The fact that Fitz is lying to the love of his life over his obsession with a lifelike robot almost guarantees that something will go terribly long in the not-too-distant future.
Where To Watch Agents of SHIELD
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesday evenings on ABC at 10/9c. The first three seasons of Agents of SHIELD can be streamed via Netflix, while the five most recent episodes can be streamed via Hulu or ABC’s website.
[Featured Image by ABC/Marvel Studios]