Cameron Klein

JOEL GRETSCHIn the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode of this week, The Writing on the Wall, we met another character from the comics, and this one was pretty hard to catch. When deranged Sebastian Derik starts hunting down all the fellow agents who underwent T.A.H.I.T.I. project to try and understand the meaning of the writings he’s been compulsively carving on walls (and people), he saves for last a man called Hank Thompson, portrayed by Joel Gretsch. Well, when Phil Coulson intervenes, we learn that Thompson’s real name, when he was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., was Cameron Klein, “one of our best”. There’s no mention in the comics of a Derik or a Thompson, but Klein comes directly from the pages: let’s see together.

Little is known about Cameron Klein’s early life, not even the name of his parents: the real “stars”, in fact, were his grandparents. He was the grandson of Stanley and Shirley Klein, and he used to spend a lot of time with them when he was a child. Stan always told him stories from World War II, especially his favorite of when he fought in the Battle of the Bulge: Stan and one of his comrade in arms were the only survivors of their unit, but the other soldier was badly hurt. Stan held his own against overwhelming Nazi forces, who surrounded him from all sides, just to protect his friend…until cameronkleincomics1
Captain America
arrived, saving the day (and the lives of both soldiers). If this wasn’t enough, Cap also found a picture of Shirley, Stan’s girlfriend at the time, lost on the battlefield, and brought it back to the soldier, a little sign of hope that made him survive ’til the end of the war; the hero also praised the young private’s bravery, telling him he was an inspiration for his brothers in arm. Cameron listened to the same story over and overy again, without ever getting tired of it. He was inspired by his grandpa’s stories to become a hero just like him and Captain America, to protect the weak and to defend his country from all evil. When he grew up, he at first wanted to enlist in the U.S. Army just as his grandfather, but his skills with new technologies brought him somewhere else: he joined the international secret agency S.H.I.E.L.D., becoming a technician and a specialist in futuristic tech. His apparently minor role brought him to meet Stan’s hero: Captain America.

When Cap had AIM‘s superpowered living software Cache captured, Klein scanned him/it, managing to code his unique signature and to design a prison able to contain it. Eventually, however, Cache escaped from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s custody, exploiting the fact that Cap was pursuing Protocide. When the hero decided to lead a small squad directly to AIM base to apprehend the leader, Madden, he took along Dum Dum DuganSharon
and the young man who had imprisoned Cache for first, Cameron Klein. The four of them broke into the enemy’s headquarters, but found themselves transported to Hell, with Mephisto welcoming them to his reign…only, it was just another illusion created by Cache, as Cap soon realised. Since he had been busted so soon, Cache tried to escape by transmitting himself somewhere else, and that was the moment Cameron intervened: using a storage device he had personally designed following his previous analysis of the living software, he managed to trap it in a virtual prison that Klein himself explained to be something similar to a “screen capture” state for the villain. He then proceeded to bring the imprisoned Cache back to his superiors at S.H.I.E.L.D., with Cap telling him he was up to his grandfather’s name. When the moment to part ways from the hero arrived, Cameron asked him a small favor in return of his help: he brought him to the hospital, where an aged Stan Klein was dying. Thanks to his grandson, Stan was able to meet the man who saved his life once again before passing away, shaking hands like the old comrades in arms they were.

Cameron Klein is a brilliant and inventive young man, with quite a natural skill with technology and computer science. As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s also a proficient field agent, with some knowledge over both armed and unarmed combat. His field of expertise, however, is the lab, and he’s the one building all the gadgets that save the lives of regular agents up against superhuman threats…just the hero he always wanted to be.


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