Ever since those Terrigen fragments made their way into fish oil tablets in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 finale, Inhumans have been popping up across the globe. It’s no longer just a select group of individuals who are having their gifts awakened. It’s everyday people who are suddenly finding themselves with powers, whether it’s someone like Joey Guiterrez or Andrew Garner (a.k.a. Lash). Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 has continued to put Inhumans in the spotlight, and with the latter half of the season kicking off tonight, more will be drafted into the spy organization’s new branch, the Secret Warriors. One of its new recruits will be Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, a.k.a. Slingshot, played by Natalia Cordova-Buckley.
Slingshot counts herself among the many in comic book media who have been gifted with super speed. However, what makes her different from standard speedsters like Quicksilver or The Flash over at DC is that Yo-Yo always needs to return to the spot where she began running. So whether she only speeds a mile or across an entire state, eventually she’ll have to “bounce back” to the beginning point, hence her codename. Besides her speed, she’s also skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and typically uses a bo staff during missions. Before she makes her debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tomorrow, we’re here to give you some background on her time in the comics.
Secret Warriors: The Complete Collection Volumes 1 and 2: These volumes, which include all 28 issues of the Secret Warriors series and a few one-shots, are the primary reading material to learn about Slingshot and all her teammates in their first adventures.
Character History (Warning: there are SPOILERS ahead!)
Instead of being an Inhuman like in the MCU, Elena gained her powers from the mutated DNA of her father, Johnny Horton, a.k.a. the super villain Griffin. Like the other Secret Warriors, she was recruited by Nick Fury to join his strike force, and they made their first appearance during Secret Invasion event battling Skrulls. Following the event, Fury revealed to Slingshot and her teammates that the real reason he brought them together was to combat HYDRA, which was bigger and more than Fury ever realized (just like the twist in Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Fortunately, the terrorist organization had been weakened by the Skull invasion, so it was up to the Secret Warriors to weaken them further.
In the midst of their crusade against HYDRA, Phobos, the son of Ares, used his precognition to tell the other Secret Warriors their futures, and with Slingshot, he told her she would be badly injured. This came to pass during the Dark Reign period when the team went up against Gorgon, one of HYDRA’s top operatives. During the battle, Gorgon severed both of her arms, and while she managed to escape with the others, she obviously had to take time to recover. Eventually she was given new cybernetic arms that also granted her super strength, an added bonus with her speed. This returned her to active duty, and after the Secret Warriors battled Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers, she visited her family in Puerto Rico. The Secret Warriors also in the Siege event, taking on Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. when Asgard was being attacked. Following that, the team continued their missions against HYDRA, and when S.H.I.E.L.D. was reorganized under Daisy Johnson’s leadership, Slingshot and the remaining Secret Warriors became her new agents.
That brings us to Elena’s TV appearance tomorrow. Aside from sharing the same ability as her comic book counterpart, her role on the show yet hasn’t been revealed, including how she gets involved with the Secret Warriors. The only footage we’ve seen of her so far is where she demonstrates her speed in front of Mack, grabbing his gun before he can get a bead on her. However, given that she’ll be a recurring character for the latter half of Season 3, we’ll learn more about her past, and despite that limitation with her speed, it will surely come in handy in the battle against HYDRA and any other threats S.H.I.E.L.D. has to deal with.
You can catch Slingshot’s TV debut when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.