It may only be 30 seconds long, but what a glorious 30 seconds it is. This past Sunday, Marvel fans were graced with the release of the first promotional video for Joss Whedon's upcoming "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." series. While the promo may not have given us much new information about the show, it does shed some light on the mysterious role that Whedon alumni J. August Richards will be playing.
Prominently featured in two quick scenes, J. August Richards can been seen landing on the ground level of a large building (creating a huge crater upon impact) and effortlessly slamming an unknown assailant to the floor. Clearly, Richards' character has some sort of superhuman strength. But without any sort of recognizable costume to go off of, we still have no idea as to who he's actually portraying on the series!
Arguably the most obvious guess, Luke Cage (formerly Carl Lucas) is an ex-con, turned Hero for Hire, turned card-carrying Avenger. Cage has been the star of several ongoing Marvel titles recently, acting as leader for both the New Avengers and the Thunderbolts. It would make plenty of sense for him to show up in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," especially since he was already slated to make a small screen appearance in the now-defunct Jessica Jones TV series.
Former fullback at Cornell University and a veteran of the Korean War, Adam Brashear would eventually find himself at the head of a dangerous anti-matter experiment. After an unexpected explosion, Brashear discovers that he has become a living anti-matter reactor, granting him the gift of superhuman strength, speed, stamina and flight. Donning the guise of Blue Marvel, Brashear is powerful enough to take on the likes of Hyperion and Thor.
The fourth person to bear the name Goliath, Bill Foster is a biochemist who's employment history includes Stark Industries and Hank Pym's biochemical laboratory. While acting as Pym's assistant, Foster acquires the formula for the highly sought after "Pym particles" and becomes the latest version of Goliath. He has the ability to increase both his size and mass at will, granting him with proportional superhuman strength and invulnerability.
The grandson of the black Captain America (Isaiah Bradley), Eli Bradley is a founding member of the Young Avengers with superhuman abilities supposedly received via emergency blood transfusion with his grandfather. However, it's later discovered that Eli has been gaining his powers artificially via Mutant Growth Hormone (an illegal drug that causes brief bouts of super power). If he were to make an appearance on "S.H.I.E.L.D.," the MGH storyline would certainly prove to be an interesting plot twist (if they're allowed to reference mutants, whose film rights are owned by Fox).
A former member of both the Avengers and the New Warriors, Elvin Daryl Haliday is exposed to radioactive waste at an early age endowing him with superhuman strength and invulnerability. He becomes exponentially stronger with applied force, which means the more he gets hit, the stronger he will become. At this point in time, it seems fairly likely that J. August Richards will be playing Rage on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." given that a picture of the character appears in the Marvel bumper before the promo (as so keenly pointed out by io9).