Countdown to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Day 14: The Life Model Decoy

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To celebrate the upcoming Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. on September 24, GeekMom is counting down the days to the premiere. You can find all the previous articles by clicking on the show’s tag in this post.

Up today, those artificial lifeforms called Life Model Decoys or LMDs. Until The Avengers movie, they were widely known in the comic and little known to the general public. But one line of dialogue from Tony Stark, and the whole world was clued into them.

What are they? They’re essential artificially intelligent androids that are a copy of a human, usually containing all their memories plus superhuman strength and speed. Like many other elements of S.H.I.E.L.D., they were created in 1965 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  Marvel Wikia says, “The owner can see through, speak through, and control everything the LMD does in the field.”

She-Hulk is not too thrilled with the many Fury L.M.D.s
She-Hulk is not too thrilled with the many Fury L.M.D.s © Marvel

As you can see from the panel, Nick Fury has been one of the most copied humans in comics.

Some LMDs have been known to become sentient. That was the case with Max Fury, one of Nick Fury’s many LMDs. Max even believed he was Nick for some time but when he was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., the original Fury decided he had too many dangerous memories and should be destroyed. Max escaped and later joined a secret shadow organization called, appropriately, the Shadow Council.

Why is that small statement in The Avengers important? Because fan speculation about the cause of Agent Phil Coulson’s return from the dead centers on the possibility that this Coulson isn’t him at all, but an LMD that isn’t aware he’s an LMD. Or perhaps the Coulson that died on the Helicarrier was an LMD.

The creators in the show have said Coulson’s rebirth will be a mystery to be solved sometime this season. But I’ll be checking for unusual feats of strength or speed, just in case.


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