main image

S.H.I.E.L.D. AGENT CODGINS

Real Name: Codgins (first name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human tech-user

Occupation: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (presumably disciplined or fired)

Group Membership: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-enforcement Division), assigned to the Helicarrier

Affiliations: Groundbase

Enemies: Aliens (including Dr. Mac-Ronn and Dr. Tara (deceased))

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
   formerly mobile aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

First Appearance: Captain Marvel I#47 (November, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Agent Codgins is not known to have possessed any powers but he was presumably given the standard amount of training that all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents received.

Limitations: It seems likely that any psychological evaluation of his fitness for duty may have been faulty.

Height: 6' (guess)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

History:
(Captain Marvel I#47 (fb) - BTS) - Codgins was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent who had strong negative feelings about UFOs and those who flew them.

(Captain Marvel I#47 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Codgins was assigned to duty aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.

(Captain Marvel I#47) - One day, while Codgins was on duty in the command center, Groundbase radioed the Helicarrier to report that they had a bogey on their tracking screens that was heading towards the Helicarrier and traveling fast. Codgins received the report, saw the bogey moving on the radar screen, and replied, "Got it, Groundbase! Too fast to be one of ours! -- Which means it's a genuine UFO! And my motto is: Shoot first and question the pieces later!"

   As he spoke, Codgins took action by pressing the single button needed to fire an anti-aircraft missile at the UFO. Observing this, another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent on duty nearby by called out to Codgins, asking what in blazes did he think he was DOING?! but by then it was too late and the missile had already been fired.

   The missile that Codgins fired quickly closed in on the Kree science cruiser manned by Dr. Mac-Ronn and Dr. Tara who tried to avoid it but failed. The missile detonated on impact, resulting in a large explosion that damaged the spacecraft and shook it violently enough that its pilot (Tara) was knocked out. As the now-pilotless spacecraft began spiralling through the air, its erratic motion caused the deactivated Sentry #459 to be thrown out of its hold. Preoccupied with trying to gain altitude, Mac-Ronn did not initially notice the robot's absence.

(Captain Marvel I#47/Captain Marvel I#48 (fb)) - The inert Sentry crash-landed in a wooded area a few miles outside of Mexico City, near where the bandit Raoul Escheverra was engaged in a gunbattle with a squad of the Mexican Federal Police. When the noise of the robot crunching through tree branches and crashing to the ground startled the police and caused them to stop firing, Escheverra took the opportunity to flee. However, the bandit mistakenly ran toward the sound of the crash instead of away and by the time he realized his mistake he was already close enough to see the Sentry. When the curious bandit approached the Sentry and touched it, that physical contact enabled the Sentry, whose previous memories had been erased aboard the spacecraft, to reprogram itself by absorbing Escheverra's brain patterns. This left the bandit's body as a mindless husk on the forest floor.

(Captain Marvel I#48 (fb) - BTS) - The Kree spacecraft continued flying northward for several hundred miles before it eventually crashed in a stretch of Texas wilderness seventy miles north of the Rio Grande.

What happened to Agent Codgins after this incident has not been revealed.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Bill Mantlo, Al Milgrom and Terry Austin.

   Yes, the missile probably doesn't deserve its own subprofile but I wanted to include those images and couldn't see a way in which I could fit them into the main profile. I would have done a subprofile on that other S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the one who objected to what Codgins did, but that pale-skinned male character was never named and he only appeared in the panel which I used for the main image, so I figured that he got enough tangential coverage in the main profile.

   I believe that, back in 1976, there was only supposed to be the one S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in existence/operation. I'm not sure when the idea that there were multiple Helicarriers was introduced or how far back in Marvel history this retcon was supposed to extend.

   According to the story in Captain Marvel I#47, the Kree spacecraft retrieved Sentry #459 from Antarctica and then flew (north) until it was struck by the anti-aircraft missile fired by Codgins. The explosive impact caused the Sentry to fall out of the ship's hold and land a few miles outside Mexico City while the damaged spacecraft managed to fly hundreds of miles further north before it finally crashed in Texas, seventy miles north of the Rio Grande. This sequence of events would make perfect sense...except for the fact that the Sentry's previous appearance had been in Avengers I#91 where it was last seen in an area in Alaska (on the edge of the Arctic Circle) where it was making a doomed attempt to hold a collapsing Kree citadel together.

   So, how did Sentry #459 get from the Arctic to Antarctica? Did it somehow walk that distance or was it transported by someone or something? Or maybe the question should be, was it actually even in Antarctica when it was recovered by the Kree?

  • If the robot really was found in Antarctica, almost halfway around the planet from where it had last been seen, then it must have somehow traveled a distance of (probably) about 10,000 miles. This would mean that an "untold story" would be required to explain who or what did the transporting and why it was done.

  • On the other hand, given that the reference to "Antarctica" was a mistake that only appeared in the Omniscient Narrative and that location was otherwise not mentioned anywhere else within the story, one could chose to simply ignore it and instead presume that the Sentry was actually found in Alaska. The only contradicting evidence, the fact that the Kree spacecraft crashed much further north than the Sentry, could easily be explained away as Mac-Ronn having accidentally reversed course while struggling to regain control of the starship.

   Although I usually prefer to consider all references within a story as being accurate, I view facts revealed in Omniscient Narratives as being less definitive/reliable than data that is presented in dialogue or in text within stories. More specifically, I hold this view about Omniscient Narratives that contain facts that are inconsistent with previously-established continuity. It's like how hearsay evidence of a crime is less likely to be accurate than an audio-visual recording of it. In this case, if Groundbase had reported that they had been tracking the bogey since it left Antarctica (or the Kree spacecraft had been shown parked next to a "Welcome to Antarctica" sign), then that would be a continuity error that I would feel should be explained away. This, not so much, so I'm comfortable with assuming that the Sentry was really found in the Arctic. Of course, if someone were to write a story that provided a plausible explanation for how the robot ended up in Antarctica, then that would also be fine.

   What actually would have happened to Agent Codgins after this incident? Although I have no knowledge of real world military procedures, I would assume that firing a missile without being explicitly authorized to do so would result in some sort of disciplinary action being taken against him. There's also the fact that, by firing on the unidentified craft, Codgins might have instigated a conflict with an alien spacecraft that could have reacted aggressively. What would have happened if the bogey had been a Kree warship manned by typical members of the Kree military instead of a Kree science vessel manned by medical technicians? An armed response by a Kree warship could probably have taken out the Helicarrier without too much trouble.

   However, that's just speculation. What about everything that did happen on Earth because Codgins prevented the Kree medical team from leaving peacefully and taking both Sentry #459 and Ronan the Accuser with them? Here's a list:
  • The Sentry's sudden arrival in the forest outside Mexico City (probably) prevented the Mexican Federal Police from either capturing or killing the bandit Raoul Escheverra.
  • Making physical contact with Sentry #459 left Escheverra a mindless husk. It has not been revealed if he recovered after the Sentry was later blasted by the insane Ronan.
  • After being reprogrammed by Escheverra's mind and/or emotions, the Sentry went on a rampage against the police in Mexico City.
  • The Sentry transformed Escheverra's friend Esteban Carracus into the super-powered Cheetah. The fact that Carracus kept using that identity led to him being one of the costumed criminals killed years later by the original Scourge of the Underworld.
  • The Sentry and the Cheetah went on a rampage across southern Texas during which they completely destroyed at least a half dozen factory complexes.
  • Ronan the Accuser escaped from the restraint-cube aboard the crashed spacecraft and killed Dr. Tara before Captain Mar-Vell could defeat him.
  • The fact that Mac-Ronn and the now-childlike Ronan were left stranded on Earth led to Ethan and Lizzie Wilford offering to let the two Kree stay with them. This act of kindness resulted in their farmhouse later being destroyed by the power beam that the Supreme Intelligence sent to restore Ronan's mind.

   So, that's the deaths of at least two people, millions of dollars worth of property damage, and the destruction of the Wilford family home and all the personal items it contained, all of which resulted from the unauthorized firing of that one million. Is this something which S.H.I.E.L.D. would have taken into consideration when disciplining Codgins? Or would the fact that he couldn't possibly have foreseen any of these consequences have been enough to let him avoid punishment?

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Codgins has no known connections to:


Groundbase

   A call sign used by a ground-based radar detection and tracking station that monitored its local airspace and reported any suspicious contacts to S.H.I.E.L.D. assets (like the Helicarrier) that were then in its territory. Exactly where this station was located was not revealed but it presumably had to be somewhere relatively close to Mexico City in Mexico.

   When the Kree science vessel manned by Drs. Tara and Mac-Ronn was detected, Groundbase radioed the following report to the Helicarrier:

"...S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, this is Groundbase! We have a bogey on our tracking screens -- heading your way -- and fast!

   S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Codgins responded with a "Got it, Groundbase!" and then proceeded to overreact in an extremely aggressive and totally unauthorized manner.

--Captain Marvel I#47


S.H.I.E.L.D. missile

   An anti-aircraft missile that was part of the armaments of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Fired without authorization by Agent Codgins, it flew through the air and struck the "bogey" that was its target, a Kree science vessel. Its warhead exploded on impact, damaging the spacecraft enough to cause it to crash in Texas soon afterwards.

   The fact that it was an anti-aircraft missile was the only specific detail about this missile that was ever provided.

 

 

 

 

--Captain Marvel I#47


images: (without ads)
Captain Marvel I#47, page 12, panel 3 (main image)
      page 12, panel 2 (Codgins watching RADAR screen)
      page 12, panel 4 (missile being launched)
      page 12, panels 5-6 (missile tracking and hitting the bogey)


Only Appearance:
Captain Marvel I#47 (November, 1976) - Gerry Conway (writer/editor), Bill Mantlo (co-scripter), Al Milgrom (penciller), Terry Austin (inker)


First Posted: 07/15/2023
Last updated: 07/15/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters