Michael "Mike" Peterson is a cyborg S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Peterson was just an ordinary man until he was approached by a mysterious group who had promised to grant him new superpowers through use of the Centipede Serum. However, when he compromised the secrecy of the project, they had decided to elminate him, but they were stopped by a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were led by agent Phil Coulson. Some time later, Peterson had decided to join S.H.I.E.L.D. and joined Coulson's team. However, Peterson was later recaptured by the Centipede Project and transformed into the cybernetic operative, Deathlok. He was used by the Clairvoyant to keep people off his trail, including all of Coulson's team. Following the eventual downfall of the Centipede Project and the death of John Garrett, Peterson had decided to go off on his own seeking redemption for his past crimes as Deathlok. During this period, he was again recruited by a resurrected SHIELD now led by Phil Coulson and had begun working directly for him in the continued fight against HYDRA. Coulson gave him the mission to hunt down HYDRA Scientist Doctor List, who eventually captured and tortured Peterson until he was finally rescued by the former members of Coulson's own team. Deathlok continued his solo mission to protect innocent lives, eventually coming to Coulson's aid to close a portal to the Fear Dimension before then returning to running his own solo missions rather than rejoining the team.
Being chosen for a super-soldier project modified from Abraham Erskine's in 1945, Mike Peterson was presumably a good man at heart. A family man, since his wife left, he loved his son more than anything but he became crushed when an injury caused him to laid off work and, in desperation agreed to test the Centipede Project on himself to make ends meet. Though seemingly successful, the negative effects prompted a violent and unpredictable outrage.
Unlike the rest of the subjects, Peterson initially retained his original personality, stablity and hard-working ethics such as rescuing Debbie from her burning lab. Unfortunately due to the haste of revealing Centipede to the public, Peterson had no choice but to return to his old workplace. When meeting with his former boss, he releases so much anger and stress over how he was willing to use men like him as disposable machinery, that he becomes violent which accidentally begins the Centipede Serum's combustion.
Now thinking himself as a hero, he only claims to want to "look out for the little guys" against people like his supervisor, going as far to claim that this was his "origins story". This is also supported by how he proceeded into an angry rant towards Phil Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the government workforce in general; expressing how he was always told to remain clean-nosed and do what he was told but was disposed of nevertheless. Although he only attempted to fight against this system, he now believed that Coulson's Team were only there to make an example of him, attributing to his anger. However, he still had enough common sense to listen to Coulson who reminded him of what he was; a hero.
Ultimately, Peterson's love for his son is what caused him to listen to reason, eventually calming himself down from his Centipede-induced rage and joining S.H.I.E.L.D. to hone his newfound enhanced-abilities. However, Peterson became deeply remorseful over his actions, having his son witness him as a monster led him to feel undeserving of his love and cut off connection for as long as possible due to shame. Peterson's love for him was so much that he was prepared to kill or even die for him, when HYDRA also exploited this by kidnapping Ace, he was forced to kill on John Garrett's orders and did such with tremendous regret. When broken free of Garrett's control, Peterson became wracked with guilt again and wished to do further good to make amends for his actions and for Ace.
Peterson has a strong sense of loyalty as he thinly veiled his disgust at Grant Ward for betraying his team. He has a sarcastic sense of humor which Lincoln Campbell observed too when in captivity together.
Mike Peterson was a factory worker who, after suffering an injury at work, was laid off. His wife divorced him shortly afterwards and he had trouble paying his mortgage without a job.
When one of the laboratories of Project Centipede suffered an explosion caused by an unstable subject, Mike went to the aid of his suppliers, and saved the life of a doctor. He was publicly seen, and caught the attention of Rising Tide member Skye.
The now labeled "Hooded Man" tried keep a low profile, but was eventually found by Skye in a cafe, who warned him about S.H.I.E.L.D. and recommended him to go public as a superhero before the government could cover up his actions. Skye offered her help, but Mike declined. Before he left, Skye told him where to find her in case if he would ever need her help.
Afterwards, Mike tried to convince the Project Centipede to go public along with him, as it would help to show that "the product" worked, but was rejected. Desperate for a job, Mike returned to his previous workplace, but his former employer refused to reemploy him. Angered, Mike brutally injured his former employer, stating he was a hero and his boss a villain, and then fled from the scene.
At a hospital, Peterson visited the doctor he rescued because he didn't know what to do. The doctor condemned Mike's actions, because he exposed the program and put at risk the identity of the people who gave her the technology for it, and told him that Micheal Peterson had to disappear. Mike agreed with the doctor, saying he was no longer Mike Peterson but someone else, and that what the doctor said to be a disaster was his "origin story".
He went to Skye's van, who at the time was now working with S.H.I.E.L.D. as an asset, and forced her to take him away with his son, Ace, after knocking down Agent May, an agent who was escorting Skye. When Ace, Mike and Skye arrived at Union Station, Mike ordered Skye to delete all the information recorded about him so he could renew his life. However, Skye secretly managed to tell S.H.I.E.L.D. where to find them while deleting the information of Mike.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson appeared, Mike quickly tried to escape. At the same time, the doctor from Project Centipede he rescued had hired an assassin to kill him due to the threat he posed by going public and exposing the experiment. After a confrontation with agent Grant Ward, Coulson managed to convince Mike to surrender. Mike was ultimately shot by Ward with an antidote that would reverse the effects of Extremis and was taken into custody.
Mike Peterson was later recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D. Although the organization's doctors were unable to remove the Centipede device from his arm, the shot from the Night-Night Gun had stabilized the Extremis serum in his system. Mike was briefly put on Coulson's team after Edison Po, a former marine with connections to Centipede, was broken out of prison. A fight with Centipede agents in an abandoned warehouse in Oakland ensued, Centipede learned that Mike was working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and abducted his son. Although Mike told the rest of the team that Centipede wanted him in exchange for Ace, they really wanted Coulson. Mike betrayed the team and turned him over to Raina. At the last moment, he handed Ace over to Skye and turned back to save Coulson, but was apparently killed in the subsequent explosion.
Mike appears at the end of the episode in an unspecified location (presumably, from earlier dialog, in or near the building where Coulson was held) in the stinger for "The Magical Place", having lost much of his right leg, covered with burn and scar tissue, and with the Centipede eye implant in his head. He receives a welcome message and is told to get ready for an assignment from an unidentified handler as he looks at himself in a mirror at the foot of the bed. It seems he has the same eye implant as Akela Amador from the episode Eye Spy
Mike is first seen laying unconscious in a hyperbaric chamber. After he's released, it's established Mike and Ian Quinn have a prior relationship as Mike already knew who Quinn was, probably learning about him through the messages his handler sends him via his eye implant. Quinn then states he has something that will help him complete his mission, a prosthetic leg to replace the one he lost earlier. Quinn then states since they both work for the Clairvoyant Mike isn't allowed to hurt him. Quinn then hands Mike a gun and tells him to kill Skye, but Mike refuses saying those aren't his orders and she's not the person he was sent to kill. Mike is later seen talking to the Cybertek personnel that delivered his prosthetic leg telling them they failed their mission and the Clairvoyant is not happy as they allowed S.H.I.E.L.D. to follow them there. Mike kills all the Cybertek personnel present and then receives a message via his eye implant to not engage S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mike is seen at the end of the episode standing at a distance across from a playground where children are playing. He uses a notepad to ask his handler if he may see his son to which his handler replies "not yet".
Mike is given the new name Deathlok, a reference to Cybertek's Project: Deathlok which built his prosthetic leg and presumably his other cybernetics.
Mike is first seen in the episode attacking Agents Garret and Triplet in a S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house in Sydney, Australia. During the fight Mike realizes his new armor makes him bullet proof. However, Mike flees after they start shooting him with ICER's. Mike is later seen in an unknown apartment looking into the mirror realizing that part of his skull is now made of metal also. Mike then receives a message from his handler alerting him to a package at the door. Mike opens the package to find a metal gauntlet that attaches to his wrist. Mike later learns his new gauntlet gives him targeting vision and doubles as a rocket launcher. Mike then receives another message with his handler explaining that his enemies are approaching and that it's time they meet face to face.
Mike is next seen in Macon, Georgia ambushing Agents May and Blake at an assisted living facility on their hunt for the Clairvoyant. While fighting, Blake pleads with Mike saying that they can still help him and reminds him of his son. However, Mike tells Blake Mike Peterson is "dead" and he's Deathlok now before seriously injuring Blake and fleeing.
Little did Mike know, Blake shot him with a special tracer bullet which S.H.I.E.L.D. used to track him to an abandoned horse racing track in Pensacola, Florida. S.H.I.E.L.D. storms the building and briefly fights with Mike, but loses him in the underground sewers as the tracer's signal doesn't work underground.
It's revealed at the end of the episode, "the Clairvoyant" purposely had Mike lead S.H.I.E.L.D. there so him and Agent Coulson could meet face to face.
Garret orders Mike to follow Ward, who was trying to trick Skye into decrypting a data drive she encrypted, as Garret had doubts Ward could complete his mission. When Skye escapes from Ward, Mike attacks Skye and takes her back to the Bus so Ward could interrogate her and get the information.
While on the Bus, Mike tries to hack into the data drive with his cybernetics, but fails and then receives a message saying that Garret is tired of waiting and to implement "Plan B".
Mike threatens to kill Ward unless Skye tells him how to decrypt the data drive. Skye complies and later Ward confronts Mike about his interrogation tactics to which Mike simply replies "I was only following orders".
At the beginning of the episode, Coulson and the team are sitting in their motel room watching a news broadcast about Mike killing a Columbian drug lord that had connections with HYDRA. It is later revealed that Garrett ordered Mike to kill that drug lord as a demonstration of what a Deathlok super-soldier could do in order to convince the U.S. government to invest in an army of Deathloks. As a reward for completing his mission, Garrett ordered one of his subordinates to stream some video of Mike's son to his eye implant, although this only frustrated Mike to see HYDRA keeping his son imprisoned.
Throughout most of the episode Mike is seen shadowing Garrett as a personal bodyguard. During Coulson's attack on Cybertek, Garret commands Mike to destroy Fury and Coulson, but, at the last moment, Mike receives a new message via his eye implant sent from Skye saying how she's rescued his son, Ace. At that moment, Mike realizes he's free of Garret's control and fires his rocket launcher at Garret apparently killing him.
At the end of the episode, Mike keeps his distance from Ace as he doesn't want Ace to see what he's become. Before he walks away, he tells Skye he's going to make amends for what he's done.
Mike saves Hunter and Coulson from Gonzales' agents and pilots the quinjet they use to escape. Coulson refers to Mike as Agent Peterson and mentions how he has gotten some upgrades to his cybernetics since last time they met. Coulson explains how Mike has been following a HYDRA agent named Dr. List for the last six months under his orders. Mike then reveals to Coulson that he's learned List has been hunting down and experimenting on powered individuals.
Mike assists Coulson with a plan to find Dr. List. Coulson convinces Ward to help them and Ward uses a brain washed Sunil Bakshi to set up a meeting with Dr. List with Mike posing as Bakshi's bodyguard. During the meeting, Bakshi gains List's trust by saying he brought Mike with him as a gift for him, more than likely referring to Dr. List's recent experiments on powered people.
However, their meeting is interrupted when HYDRA agents locate a teleporter they've been tracking in Milwaukee and Dr. List quickly tells his pilot to fly them there. HYDRA agents then storm an abandoned building looking for the teleporter and Bakshi tells Mike to go help them. This leads to Mike having a fight with Lincoln, but Lincoln realizes his electrical powers don't have the same effect on Mike because of his cybernetics.
Mike beats Lincoln, but then Bakshi betrays them and has HYDRA agents abduct both Mike and Lincoln.
Mike awakes in HYDRA prison cell with his weapon systems disabled. He could talk to Lincoln through the wall and assured him S.H.I.E.L.D. would rescue them. Dr. List then activated a machine inside their cells that knocked both Mike and Lincoln out. HYDRA then begins experimenting on both Lincoln and Mike, removing Mikes cybernetic eye so S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn't see what he saw and then removing his prosthetic leg.
Coulson and his team, including Ward, Agent 33, and Bakshi who has apparently been under Ward's control this whole time, rescue Mike and Lincoln. Mike is taken back to S.H.I.E.L.D. to receive medical attention and Simmons tries to comfort him by assuring him they'll get him a new prosthetic leg.
- "Repairs" (mentioned)
- "Girl in the Flower Dress" (mentioned)
- "The Bridge"
- "The Magical Place"
- "Yes Men" (mentioned)
- "Turn, Turn, Turn" (mentioned)
- "End Of The Beginning"
- "Nothing Personal"
- "Beginning of the End"
- "The Frenemy of My Enemy"
- "The Dirty Half Dozen"
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- "What the hell did they do to him?"
"What are you seeing?"
"It's not just his leg or his eye, they did stuff to him, it's all under his skin."
- ―Skye and Phil Coulson
- Artificially Enhanced Physiology and Bionic Enhancements: Due to use of the Centipede Device, a blood-filtering device made of Chitauri metal that delivers a combination of Extremis, Gamma Radiation, and elements of the Super Soldier Serum into his system, Michael Peterson has come to possess various superhuman abilities. Some of his superhuman abilities are derived from bionic enhancements he gained after he became a cyborg. Ultimately, his physical parameters are augmented to levels similar to Captain America, but still noticeably inferior.
- Superhuman Strength: Superhuman Strength: Peterson possesses strength that is greater than a normal human. He can lift much heavier objects that cannot be moved otherwise without use of machinery and overpower normal humans and send them flying about tens of feet away. With his strength, he can tear apart any solid objects like concrete with ease. In addition, his strength extends into his leg muscles as he is able to leap great distances, improved even more with a cybernetic leg.
- Superhuman Speed: Peterson is able to move at great speeds thanks to both his physiological improvements and his cybernetic leg. He managed to outrun from a full S.H.I.E.L.D. tactical team, leading them to Thomas Nash under orders of the real Clairvoyant.
- Superhuman Durability: Before his transformation into a cyborg, Peterson could withstand physical damage much greater than a normal human, withstanding a fall from a building and the fall from the higher level of Union Station down to the ground level. Once he was outfitted with internal prosthesis, he managed to fully withstand shots from different weapons, including common and heavy firearms, a Taser Projectile Launcher and an I.C.E.R.; and even Lincoln Campbell's electric powers.
- Enhanced Stamina: Deathlok is more resilient to fatigue and exhaustion, especially after getting his cybernetic implants. He showed signs of fatigue while training with S.H.I.E.L.D. before getting them, but after the upgrade, he could fight and exert himself for long periods without any sign of strain or weakness.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Peterson was able to heal his injuries much faster than a normal human being, as evidenced when he took a shot from a shotgun but showed no significant damage upon getting up. However, he was unable to regenerate the missing leg that he lost in an explosion or the facial scars he suffered from burning, needing treatment inside an Hyperbaric Chamber to heal those wounds.
- Enhanced Vision: Thanks to the Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant he possesses, Deathlok is capable of seeing through solid objects, which also allowed him to see in the darkness as a form of night-vision. His vision was later upgraded to include a targeting system, thermal vision, and a visual output to his audio scanner. It can also see through a Photostatic Veil.
- Data Upload and Instilled Knowledge: His new upgrade also gave him a new ability to upload information into his mind and gain expertise in an ability. He was able to use it to instantly learn how to fly a Quinjet for Coulson and Lance Hunter.
- Combatant: During his months as a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee, Peterson was taught basic combat skills to take advantage of his strength, and he managed to overpower skilled Centipede Soldier Brian Hayward despite having been injured. As Deathlok, his fighting style changed to take advantage of his immense strength and durability, often breaking his enemies' necks or stomping them with his bionic leg.
- Acrobat: While fighting against illusions generated by the Fear Dimension, Deathlok displayed extreme agility and movement speed, easily jumping over Lash's illusion and fake Vrellnexians to take them down and quickly moving around them so they could not hit him.
- Pilot: Upon rescuing Phil Coulson and Lance Hunter from Gonzales' S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Deathlok captured and flew a Quinjet after downloading instructions and the plane's schematics.
- Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant: A prosthetic ocular implant that allows Deathlok to see through solid objects when his eyes are closed and is also the means used by his handler to send orders and instructions.
- Centipede Device: Deathlok is outfitted with a device made of Chitauri metal which injects a serum based on Abraham Erskine's Super Soldier Serum mixed with Gamma Radiation and the Extremis virus, designed to enhance his physical attributes to a super-human level.
- Computer Enhancements: Deathlok has two USB ports, one of which he used in his attempt to download Skye's encrypted hard drive.
- Cybertek Prosthetic Leg: Deathlok's missing leg has been replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic designed and built by Cybertek that enhances his speed. It also enhances the strength of his leg, allowing him to crush a man's chest with a single stomp. It was removed and dismantled when he was captured by HYDRA.
- Ballistic Armor: Deathlok was equipped with armor plating that can withstand high caliber gunfire, such as shotguns, with very little to no damage at all. It could also withstand an electrical shock.
- Forearm Rocket Launcher: Installed on to his left forearm, this unit allows Deathlok to fire guided mini-rockets at his targets. With his new upgrade from S.H.I.E.L.D., the explosives were replaced with EMP rockets, which were strong enough to take down a Quinjet.
- Heart Stopper: Deathlok used this on Grant Ward to make Skye unlock her hard drive, stopping his heart from beating and duplicating a heart attack. When Skye acquiesced, Deathlok tapped the device once to make Ward's heart beat, twice to accelerate the pulse.
- Internal Prostheses: Deathlok was implanted with cybernetic enhancements underneath his skin, enhancing his strength, cybernetic bodily functions, and endurance even more.
- Prior to the premiere of the pilot, conjecture speculated that the unidentified man played by J. August Richards may have been Elvin Haliday ("Rage"), Luke Cage ("Power Man"), or Elijah Bradley ("Patriot"). On 14 May 2013, executive producer Jeffrey Bell specifically indicated that Richards was not playing Cage, and implied that the character may be one whose 616 counterpart is not African-American.
- Michael ultimately became Deathlok, who is also an African-American superhero in the comics that was initially used as a cyborg weapon for evil. Michael in essence has fulfilled the fan-speculation of him being based on a pre-existing Marvel hero, and has become the first mainstream Marvel comics hero to debut in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. rather than the Marvel Cinematic Universe (movies).
- In the Marvel comics, the character of Michael Peterson is not Deathlok; in fact, the character appears to be a normal human that has befriended the hero Slapstick. The creators of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have merged the two different characters together.
- Peterson lived at 1141 Abali Avenue in L.A, California.
- He stands 6'3" and weighs 190 pounds.
- His driver's license number is 95D85045.