What Marvel Character Is Raina On 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'? Her Ability To See The Future May Offer Clues
Undoubtedly the biggest revelation in last week's Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. were the flashbacks to the tragic events that led to Melinda May earning the nickname "The Cavalry" — and also caused her to retire from the field, divorce her husband, and become a professional paper-pusher until Coulson recruited her for his team. But we also got the answer to another long-lingering question that fans have been debating about for weeks: What exactly is Raina's power? That mystery was definitively resolved during the episode; but even though we know the What, we still don't know the Who. Raina can predict the future... so which Marvel character is she?
After the midseason finale's earth-shaking cliffhanger — but before we'd gotten a full glimpse of Raina post-Terrigenesis — most of the speculation hinged on an Inhuman named Tigra. Now that we've seen the transformed woman in all her spiny glory, new theories have abounded, including the reptilian Naja, the appropriately-named Quill, and even a dinosaur-like character named... Raina. However, none of these characters possesses the ability to see events that have yet to transpire.
Surprisingly, there are very few Inhumans who possess psychic abilities. If we seek to discover Raina's true identity, perhaps we need to look outside of the Kree-created race. (After all, Skye's character Daisy Johnson, aka Quake, isn't an Inhuman in the comics, either — but rather a plain-old mutant.) So let's examine some new options, now that we know the true extent of Raina's abilities.
Like Quake, Destiny is a mutant; unlike Quake, Destiny is a villain. Along with her lover Mystique, Destiny (whose real name is Irene Adler, no relation to the Sherlock Holmes character) formed an organization with the hilariously unsubtle title "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants." This totally sounds like something a resentful Raina would do. While Destiny is precognitive, she sees future possibilities rather than future facts, which allows her to manipulate events in whichever direction she prefers. The accuracy of her visions is proportional to their distance from the present.
Interestingly, Destiny is a key figure in the X-Men's Age Of Apocalypse storyline; Magneto sends Nightcrawler to find her to gaze into the future of their battle against the tyrant. If Raina is Destiny, could this be a clue that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to crossover with the X-Men for the first time? (Apocalypse is the subtitle of the upcoming sequel to X-Men: Days Of Future Past... in which Kodi Smit McPhee was just cast as Nightcrawler.) Remember that the rights to that franchise aren't actually owned by Marvel Studios, but rather 20th Century Fox. However, Marvel was finally able to broker a long-awaited deal with Sony to include Spider-Man in the MCU — could they be about to do the same with the X-Men?
While it makes sense to assume Raina would be a Marvel villain, perhaps that assumption is making us look in the wrong places. There is another mutant with precognitive abilities named Blindfold... and she fights for the good guys. While that may not quite line up with what we know about Raina at this point, there plenty of other clues pointing to this possibility. First of all, Blindfold is not only blind — she has no eyes to speak of. Sound familiar? Sure, Raina can still see, but she's been spending an awful lot of time with Gordon, the Inhuman with skin instead of eye sockets. Secondly, Blindfold's real name is Ruth Aldine... and Raina's portrayer's name is Ruth Negga. Coincidence?
OK, maybe. But these next two clues are the real clinchers: The character Blindfold was created 10 years ago, in a 2005 issue of The Astonishing X-Men, by none other than Avengers director and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. creator Joss Whedon. It makes sense that he would want to use one of his own creations on his own show. Finally, not only is Blindfold precognitive, she also possesses clairvoyance. (Yes, those are two separate abilities. The former allows you to see into the future; the latter allows you to see anywhere else in the present.) Wouldn't it be ironic if, after spending so long searching for and serving the "Clairvoyant" — aka the disappointingly human Agent Garrett — Raina herself turned out to be the real clairvoyant?
There is one Inhuman who possesses psychic abilities. His name is Ahura, and he's the son of Inhuman rulers Black Bolt and Medusa, and nephew to villain Maximus the Mad. His psychic power, referred to as his "evil eye," is powerful enough to cause death. There are admittedly many difference between his story and Raina's, but S.H.I.E.L.D. — and the MCU in general — has always been loose in its adaptation of the source material, so maybe this gender-flipped theory is close enough to carry some weight.
After all, Ahura was conceived without first gaining permission from the Genetics Council — just as Raina underwent Terrigenesis without permission. He was corrupted by mad scientist Maximus — just as Raina was corrupted by mad scientist Calvin Zabo. And Ahura was locked away in an Inhuman dungeon after his powers were deemed too dangerous — just as Raina has been locked away in the Inhuman city, Afterlife. Just as Skye has been learning to control and hone her vibration powers, Raina could potentially learn to focus her newfound ability to cause harm... and perhaps even death?
One name that was bounced around semi-frequently following Raina's transformation was Luna Maximoff, the daughter of mutant Quicksilver and Inhuman Crystal. This was mostly because Luna's eyes glow gold when activating her powers, and our first glimpse of Raina post-transformation was of her glowing gold eye. While Luna isn't a precognitive, her power is arguably similar to Raina's in that they can both "sense" things. While Raina can sense the future, Luna is an empath, able to sense, tap into, and alter other people's emotions at will.
I don't believe that Raina is Luna, but I do bring her up for a reason: I think S.H.I.E.L.D. has already shown us Luna... very recently, in fact. Luna was the daughter of an Inhuman; she was exposed to the Terrigen mists by one of her parents at an early age; at one point, that parent is harmed when a group of human soldiers attack them; Luna then taps into the fear of those human soldiers, controlling them telepathically. Sound familiar? Just last week, we saw as Agents Coulson and May tracked down an Inhuman named Eva, who had stolen Terrigen crystals to grant powers to her daughter, Katya. Katya then used her terrifying new ability to tap into the minds of the soldiers sent to kill her mother, feeding off of their pain. Did Katya = Luna? The similarities are too striking to ignore.
Of course, we can't ignore the possibility that Raina is simply a completely original creation for the show. Perhaps she's none of these pre-existing Marvel characters; perhaps she's an amalgamation of traits gathered from all of them. With only four episodes left in S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 — including the two-hour finale — hopefully we can expect a definitive answer one way or the other sometime in the very near future. (If only Raina could look into that future and just tell us the answer herself...)
Images: Kelsey McNeal/ABC (2)