After months of speculation whether actor J. August Richards would be playing Power Man or Rage in the pilot for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," we finally know the answer - and it turns out, it's a character no one ever could have guessed:
***SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT***
Richards is playing Mike Peterson.
That's right, the best friend of Slapstick, who first appeared in 1992's "Slapstick" #1, has no superpowers, and promptly disappeared from Marvel continuity two years later. Phew! Mystery solved.
...Though if that's not enough info for you, the important part about Richards' character isn't who he is, it's how he got the powers. According to reports that have begun to leak out from the pilot screening at this past weekend's D23 Expo, Peterson gains superpowers through Extremis.
Extremis, you may be more familiar with, but in case not: it's the super-macguffin used in this past Summer's Iron Man 3. In the movie, Extremis gave the user powers of regeneration, while also making them super hot. Not physically, but more temperature wise. At the end of the movie, Iron Man and his Iron Buddies had pretty much blown up everyone ever injected with Extremis, except for Pepper Potts. Pepper, off-screen, had her Extremis removed by Tony Stark, reducing her to regular human status.
Given the reports, it seems like Extremis is not only still out there, but perhaps affects people in different ways. Richards' character is super strong, but it seems like maybe he doesn't have the heat problem Aldrich Killian and company did in Iron Man 3. So did Stark release something more deadly into the world? Will we see A.I.M. resurgent, and behind all the super-powers in the Marvel TV Universe?
And with Mike Peterson already introduced, how far behind is the cartoon powered Slapstick?
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres September 24th on ABC.