“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” might be dropping some hints about next season at San Diego Comic-Con. The ABC drama is promoting Season 4 during the July convention with a trolley wrapped in advertisements. But it’s the chain of fire included in the photo that has fans coming up with theories.

The iron links are familiar to viewers who tuned in to the end of Season 3. James (Axle Whitehead), also known as Hellfire, is an Inhuman who can control fire. In episode 20, he used a chain to channel the flames. It was a nod to his comic book origins, where he used a flaming chain regularly.

The use of Hellfire’s weapon in the promotional image might hint at his involvement in Season 4. The new ads wouldn’t be the first time San Diego Comic-Con has given away spoilers. Last year, an exclusive poster revealed Coulson’s prosthetic hand.

When Season 3 left off, Hellfire fought with Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) before being knocked out by May (Ming-Na Wen). He wasn’t in great shape, but he was alive and probably in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Assuming Hive’s (Brett Dalton) mind control ends with his death, Hellfire might actually be helping the good guys when the show returns. After all, those fire powers could come in handy. However, his freedom will likely be determined by the mysterious new S.H.I.E.L.D. director.

When asked if the Inhumans would still be involved despite the Secret Warriors disbanding, executive producer Jed Whedon sounded optimistic. “Absolutely. We love [the Secret Warriors] and now the question mark of James and Deathlok [J. August Richards]…. We have a lot of people out there who we can run into and that makes us happy,” he told IGN in May.

It’s worth noting that a lot of people saw the chain and thought of Hellfire’s grandfather, Ghost Rider. Both characters use the chain, and comic book fans might think of the older hero first. Hellfire is a lesser-known character. While we can’t completely eliminate the idea, it certainly seems more likely that the image would refer to the man that’s already been introduced.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 4 will return in the fall on ABC in a new timeslot, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. 

Agents of SHIELD Hellfire (Axle Whitehead) could be in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 4. Photo: ABC