Ego the Living Planet
For months fans have speculated whether Simmons was on a Kree or Skrull planet—there’s no way it could’ve been a Skrull planet because Fox owns the rights to the Fantastic Four but fans were hopeful that a covert deal had been made—but “4,722 Hours” may have given fans a clue to the planet’s identity, and it’s a doozy. It’s a desolate planet with few creatures. It even appears to be sentient. It’s gotta be Ego the Living Planet, right?
Will believes the planet is alive. The planet shifts in order to torment its two inhabitants. Canyons stretch at the planet’s will and the sun was blotted out for creatures (humans) who need a sun to function properly. Yeah, all of those are some of Ego’s abilities. So who is Ego?
Ego the Living Planet first appeared in Thor #132 in the 60s, and he’s been a weird staple in the Marvel universe ever since. Ego started as an alien scientist until he merged with his home world for survival. Ever since then, Ego has gone toe to toe with Thor and even Galactus. You don’t want to eat Ego, Galactus, he’ll only give you heartburn.
Connecting the Dots
I liked all of “4,722 Hours’” callbacks to previous episodes this season. I never thought Simmons just happened to be in the right place at the right time in order for Fitz to save her and this episode clarified why she would be in a position to see the flares Fitz fired into the portal. Simmons figures out that the Monolith’s portal works on a specific schedule, but it’s based on the planet’s moons, not by anything Earth-based. This explanation tracks with what was said in this season’s second episode, when Elliot Randolph suggested the portal opened based on a natural schedule but the schedule had nothing to do with Earth.
The three astronauts Austin, Taylor, and Brubaker, who died in Will’s team, are references to fictional astronauts from other franchises.
Austin has to be a reference to Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man. Austin was an astronaut before an accident, during an experimental flight, left him horribly disfigured. As the iconic voice over from the show would attest, scientists made him faster, stronger, better. They had the technology.
Taylor should be a reference to George Taylor, Charlton Heston’s character from the original Planet of the Apes. Taylor was another astronaut but he actually made it into space, only to discover a planet where apes evolved from man. This may be an older film but I don’t want to say much more than that and spoil the movie. The modern Planet of the Ape prequels are good but you should watch the original.
Then we get to Brubaker. This one’s a little tricky. To comic book fans, Brubaker looks like a reference to Ed Brubaker, the comic writer who brought Bucky back to life as the Winter Soldier. Okay, I didn’t call spoilers on that one but if you’re reading a secrets page about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you’ve probably seen Captain America: Winter Soldier. And in case you’re wondering, the plot of Captain America: Winter Soldier drew inspiration from Ed Brubaker’s work on Cap.
Anyway, Ed Brubaker most likely isn’t the reference Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is making by naming the third astronaut Brubaker. They’re most likely referencing Charles Brubaker, James Brolin’s character in the film Capricorn One. In this flick, Charles Brubaker is supposed to go to Mars but the mission goes belly up due to bad funding, which causing the US government to fake the mission’s success.
In short, all three fictional astronauts were involved in failed space missions, much like the three astronauts in “4,722 Hours.”
If you missed our review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “4,722 Hours,” here’s a link. Thank you for reading.