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So now we know. Two episodes in, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally revealed the identity of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s charismatic new Director, played by Jason O'Mara. We first met the character in "Meet the New Boss", but it's only in Episode 3 that we were finally given his full name: Jeffrey Mace!
Meet Jeffrey Mace - A Former Captain America!
Created in the 1940s, Jeffrey Mace was a superhero known as the Patriot. A reporter and correspondent for the Daily Bugle, Mace fought crime and Nazi spies. He was a popular superhero, becoming involved with the Liberty Legion and Captain America himself.
Decades later, in the 1970s, Marvel revisited the character of Jeffrey Mace. Marvel revealed that, back when #CaptainAmerica was lost in the ice, the US Government had replaced him with a number of temporary replacements. One of those temporary Captain Americas was Jeffrey Mace, and he successfully prevented an assassination attempt on US presidential candidate John F. Kennedy.
Eventually, believing the world no longer needed the inspiration of Captain America, Jeffrey Mace retired. He served as a reporter for years, watching as Steve Rogers returned as a superhero and the Avengers were founded. Tragically, Jeffrey Mace was diagnosed with cancer, and ultimately died — with his hero, Steve Rogers, at his side.
How has Jeffrey Mace been redesigned?
Jeffrey Mace's character has been radically redesigned for his #MCU debut. The new Director of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an Inhuman, possessed of super-strength. Fiercely patriotic, he's an experienced politician with the nerve and wisdom to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. He may not be popular, but he's getting the job done.
I sincerely doubt that Jeffrey Mace's backstory will resemble anything like that of the Patriot. That said, there has to be a reason Marvel has chosen a character with this rich history. It's worth noting that Marvel has been drip-feeding knowledge about the new Director in a way that suggests there are some interesting twists on the way.
One question resounds above all others: Will he take on the identity of Captain America? We know that Steve Rogers gave up the identity in Captain America: Civil War, but there's no reason we couldn't see someone else wield the shield before he (inevitably) picks it up again in Avengers: Infinity War. If Jeffrey Mace does so, I suspect his career will come to an unfortunate end before Infinity War, vacating the role ready for Steve Rogers once again.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is telling a fascinating story, one with countless twists — from Life Model Decoys to Ghost Rider to the Darkhold — and it's possible that Jeffrey Mace is one more twist. As of yet, we can't possibly say for certain that the new Director is indeed Jeffrey Mace; if he is, though, then we have a plot with tremendous potential.