Yo-Yo Rodriguez (Slingshot)

SlingshotAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is about to come back after the winter hiatus, and we already have some information about the mid-season premiere, Bouncing Back. During the umpteenth war with Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D. is recruiting more Inhumans in the new spec ops team, the Secret Warriors, led by Daisy Johnson, and one of the new recruits will be Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, portrayed by Natalia Cordova-Buckley. In the show, she’ll be found in Colombia by Al Mackenzie, but she’ll apparently escape from him thanks to her super-speed (not for much, however, since we know she’ll join the Secret Warriors). In the comics, she’s a member of the Secret Warriors as well, but her story is slightly different: first of all, she’s not an Inhuman; second, it’s not during a war with Hydra that the team is assembled. Let’s see together.

Yo-Yo Rodriguez was born in San JuanPuertorico, the daughter of John Horton and of an unnamed woman. Horton was better known as the supervillain Griffin, a massive winged monster created by the Secret Empire: her father’s mutated genes influenced Yo-Yo’s genome, and she eventually developed a weird kind of super-speed; she moved, in fact, extremely fast, but she always came back to the point where she started running from. Rodriguez lived a relatively normal life, despite her superpowers, until she was contacted by a mysterious American woman, Daisy Johnson, who happened to know everything about her origins and her abilities. Daisy was recruiting a secret strike-force team for her boss, Nick Fury, and was tracking down the secret children of supervillains, superhumans whom nobody knew even the existence of, so that they didn’t result in the government files of the Superhuman Registration Act. Spotting the possibility of doing something great of her life, Yo-Yo accepted Daisy’s offer, and joined the Caterpillars, a training team that Nick Fury himself later split into three different teams, under the guidance of agents he could trust. Yo-Yo received the codename Slingshot, and was assigned to Team White, led by Daisy Johnson herself, who was in turn the superhuman Quake, daughter ofslingshotcomics1 Mr. Hyde; along with them, there were J.T. “Hellfire” James, a descendant of Phantom RiderJerry “Stonewall” Sledge, the son of Absorbing ManEden “Manifold” FesiAlex “Phobos” Aaron, son of Ares, and Sebastian Druid, the son of the original Doctor Druid. The team trained together for a mission yet unknown to them, until it turned out that Fury’s paranoia was actually well-founded: many members of the superhuman community had been kidnapped and replaced by the alien shape-shifting race of the Skrulls, who had launched a massive invasion of Earth using their undercover agents. Since none of the Caterpillars (now calling themselves the Secret Warriors) had been previously recorded anywhere, the Skrulls didn’t know of their existence, so the team was clean of spies: they were humanity’s last resort against the invasion.

Nick Fury personally led the Secret Warriors to New York City, where the heroes not replaced by the Skrulls where fighting against the invading forces. First, Slingshot and the rest of Team White were sent against Dard’van, the religious sect that was leading the alien forces. After annihilating the enemies, the Secret Warriors arrived in Central Park, joining the main battle. At the end of the war, Norman Osborn killed Skrull Queen Veranke, ending the fight: albeit being on the winner team, the Secret Warriors came back into hiding, since Nick Fury was still an outlaw after the Secret War he led in Latveria. This proved to be another advantage, as Osborn founded his own reign of terror while directing H.A.M.M.E.R., his own twisted version of S.H.I.E.L.D., and transformed the whole United States in a military state. Slingshot and the other Secret Warriors kept working as Fury’s personal army, along with Team Black (assigned to Hydra specifically and led by Alexander Pierce) and Team Grey (assigned to Leviathan and led by Fury’s son Mikel). Fury personally assigned them the missions, always careful not to be spotted by H.A.M.M.E.R.: when the Secret Warriors were sent to Texas to investigate on suspicious slingshotcomics2movements, they discovered a secret lair of Hydra. Albeit they had been ordered to observe only, Slingshot, Druid and Stonewall chose to attack the terrorists, only to find with them Kraken and The Gorgon, a long-thought-dead agent, who was actually pretty much alive. The powerful foe had the best of the three, and even cut off both of Yo-Yo’s arms. The team retreated, and Stonewall took care of Slingshot, assisting her during her recovery. Only Jerry stood by Yo-Yo’s side. Eventually, instead of being replaced, Slingshot was given a pair of cybernetic arms, being able to join her friends on the field as well. Just in time: Norman Osborn had found Fury’s secret base, and had sent his Dark Avengers to deal with the New Warriors; Slingshot managed to defeat Dark Hawkeye (aka Bullseye) before escaping with the rest of the team. The final showdown with H.A.M.M.E.R. was approaching, and Slingshot was more than eager to try her new arms…

Yo-Yo Rodriguez is a brave yet impulsive young woman, trained to be a cold-hearted spy but with all the rush and the hot temper of her age. As Slingshot, she’s able to run at superhuman speed, but she slingshots back to the place she started running from as soon as she stops; she’s also an expert hand-to-hand combatant trained by Nick Fury in person, with quite a natural talent with her bo staff. A fast-runner, Slingshot is not as fast a thinker, but she’s nevertheless an essential member of the Secret Warriors.


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