Take it with a grain of salt, but we’re getting a hint at a new guest star for Agents of SHIELD, and not only are they a character from the comics, they’re also openly gay.
Latino Review is reporting that Saffron Burrows has been cast as Agent Victoria Hand. Burrows is a veteran actress of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Boston Legal, no stranger to television work. Latino Review chalks this info up to an unnamed source, and can’t say whether Borrows is in for a recurring role or a cameo.
A recurring role for Hand would be pretty interesting: her biggest claim to fame was being critical of SHIELD management, a position that lead to her swift promotion when supervillain Norman Osborn came into control of the organization. She followed Osborn because she genuinely believed his tactics were more effective than those of previous SHIELD directors. When he was eventually taken down, Captain America appointed her to his New Avengers, a job that would eventually redeem her to the superhero side of the alignment grid. Of course, Norman Osborn is unlikely to appear: as a Spider-Man villain, Marvel Entertainment does not currently control the film rights to his character.
Agent Victoria Hand is also canonically lesbian, and with Burrows identifying as bixexual, this would be the case of a queer actress playing a queer character, provided Latino Review is right. Agents of SHIELD‘s first season was recently renewed for nine more episodes, so it’s possible that Burrows’ casting is part of an end of season event of some sort, and I couldn’t say no to a great inside-SHIELD female villain.