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For other uses, see Deathlok (disambiguation)
Real Name Michael Peterson
Alias(es) Mike Peterson
The Hooded Hero (formerly)
Species Human
Citizenship American
Gender Male
Age 35
Date of Birth August 28, 1979
Affiliation HYDRA (formerly)
*Centipede Project (formerly)
S.H.I.E.L.D. (formerly)
TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (8 episodes)
Portrayed by J. August Richards
Status Alive
"Coulson said to bring you in."
"You can access my hardware and watch my every move. Go ahead. I will only be making amends for my actions."
"Whatever you did, you did it for Ace."
"And what I do now, that will be for him too.
Skye and Deathlok[src]

Michael "Mike" Peterson was an ordinary man until he was approached by a mysterious group who granted him superpowers through use of the Centipede Serum. However, when he compromised the secrecy of the project, they decided to eliminate him, but they were stopped by a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents led by Phil Coulson. Some time later, Peterson decided to join S.H.I.E.L.D. Peterson was later recaptured by the Centipede Project and transformed into the cybernetic operative, "Deathlok". He was used by the Clairvoyant to keep people off his trail, including Coulson's Team. After the downfall of Centipede Project and the death of John Garrett, he decided to go off on his own seeking redemption for his past crimes as Deathlok.


Early LifeEdit

"Michael Peterson, factory worker. Married, one kid. Gets injured, gets laid off, wife jumps ship. Good guy, bad breaks. Best guess is, somebody tells him they can make him strong again. Make him super."
Phil Coulson[src]

Michael Peterson was a family man that lived with his wife and his son Ace while working in a factory. After a back injury that made him lose his job, his wife abandoned him and left him alone with his son.[1]

The CentipedeEdit

"You said that if we worked hard, if we did right, that we'd have a place. You said it was enough to be a man. But there's better than man. There's gods. And the rest of us, what are we? They're giants. We're what they step on."
―Michael Peterson[src]
Michael Peterson

Peterson in Los Angeles.

During his rehabilitation he was approached by Raina, who represented an organization that created a treatment that could restore his health and put him back to work.

Raina introduced Peterson to a doctor known as Debbie. Debbie treated Peterson with the Centipede Serum, which utilized, among other things, unstable Extremis technology. A side-effect of the treatment was Peterson's development of super-powers, including strength and durability.

When Debbie's lab was destroyed by the detonation of another Centipede user, Peterson saved Debbie from the burning building. This action was observed and recorded by Skye, who was investigating Centipede for the Rising Tide. Skye posted her video online, giving Peterson an unwanted celebrity status, as he only desired to find work and raise his son in peace.

Peterson was later tracked down by Skye, who led him to believe that he was in danger from S.H.I.E.L.D.. Soon after, Peterson's condition began to deteriorate, both mentally and physically.


Peterson and Phil Coulson.

In desperation, Peterson returned to his former workplace, hoping to regain his old position. After being rebuffed, he attacked his old manager, putting him in the hospital. He then visited Debbie in the hospital, who convinced him that he needed to disappear, as the people behind Centipede did not want to be exposed.

Peterson's condition from the Centipede soon grew critical. However, he was still convinced that he needed to try to rebuild his life. He took his son and broke into Skye's Van, ordering her to take him to the nearest train station. He soon discovered that Skye was working with S.H.I.E.L.D., and escaped into the station. He was confronted by Agent Phil Coulson who tried to talk him down, before being shot by Agent Grant Ward with the Night-Night Gun, which tranquilized him with a curative agent created by Agent Jemma Simmons, saving his life.

He was then taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. protective custody for rehabilitation, and his son taken to live with Mike's sister Mindy during his recovery.[1]

Fighting BackEdit

"Did I beat Captain America's time?"
"Not even close."
―Michael Peterson and a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainer after strength training.[src]

Peterson working with S.H.I.E.L.D.

After recovering, Peterson decided to make up for his actions by working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually Agent Phil Coulson asked for his help to help bring down the organization that gave him his powers: the Centipede Project. While on the Bus, there were some hostile feelings from some members of the team (mainly Grant Ward and Melinda May), but after being outfitted with a Tactical Suit and helping Coulson and the team attack one of Centipede's bases he earned the group's trust. While back on the Bus Peterson thought about joining S.H.I.E.L.D. full time, afraid to return to his son after he had seen his rage at the train station, but Coulson assured him his son would think no different of him and told him to think on his decision.[2]

The BridgeEdit


Peterson receiving his first message from Centipede.

Mike called Ace Peterson to tell him he would return, only to have Raina, who had somehow found Ace's location, threaten to kill him if Peterson did not trade Phil Coulson for Ace. With no choice Mike was forced to trick the team into thinking they wanted him.

When the exchange started, Mike attempted to break off the deal by threatening Raina's life but Coulson told him it was okay, understanding that he had no other choice. After getting his son to safety Mike attempted to redeem himself by going back to rescue Coulson only for Raina and her group to have the Bridge explode, brutally burning him and destroying his right leg.[2]


Deathlok's leg

Peterson's cybernetic leg.

"The Clairvoyant isn't happy. You led S.H.I.E.L.D. right to us."
―Deathlok to Sofia[src]

Mike was revealed to have survived the blast, and was ultimately recovered by Centipede Project agents, badly burned, missing his right leg, and implanted with a monitoring ocular implant similar to Akela Amador's Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant.[3]

Now under the thrall of the Clairvoyant, Peterson was ordered into the service of Ian Quinn, who arranged to have Peterson's destroyed right leg replaced with a Cybertek Prosthetic Leg (Labeled "Project: Deathlok") designed by Cybertek Industries at a cost of $10 million.

After the procedure to be outfitted with the prosthetic leg, which was witnessed by S.H.I.E.L.D. consultant Skye, the Clairvoyant ordered Peterson to kill the Cybertek representatives and exit the scene without engaging the just-arriving S.H.I.E.L.D. team, who had come to arrest Quinn.

Peterson was later seen asking his handlers if it were possible for him to see his son, and being told "Not yet".[4]

Serving The ClairvoyantEdit

"Mike Peterson is dead."
―Michael Peterson[src]
Real Deathlok

An x-ray view of Deathlok's metallic prostheses.

After receiving further cybernetic enhancements, Garrett later ordered Peterson to feign an attack on himself and his partner Antoine Triplett in Sydney, Australia as a diversionary tactic to throw off suspicion and confuse the investigations into "The Clairvoyant". After taking a few shots, enough to convince Triplett in the veracity of the attack, Peterson jumped through the roof and left.  

Following that encounter, Peterson was then given the Forearm Rocket Launcher from Garrett and told him that it was time to meet.

Peterson was then sent to the Tranquility Bridge Assisted Living home in Macon, Georgia to convince Agents Melinda May and Felix Blake that Thomas Nash was the Clairvoyant. During his fight, Agent Blake tried to convince Peterson to stop, knowing that he had a son, Ace. Peterson told Blake that Mike Peterson was dead and put Blake in critical condition before trying to take out May. However, he was forced to leave and eventually lead Coulson and the others to Nash due to the Tag Rounds that were planted on him by Blake.[5]

All along, John Garrett was the Clairvoyant.[6] After he established a base in Havana, Cuba, he sent Grant Ward to retrieve the necessary pass codes to access a hard drive with the research that had been done on GH.325 that Skye had encrypted. Deathlok tailed Ward and was forced to assist him when Skye attempted to escape in Los Angeles. When Phil Coulson infiltrated the Bus to rescue Skye, Deathlok fired upon them as they jumped into Lola.[7]

When Ian Quinn needed a demonstration to show the effectiveness of the Deathlok Soldiers, Deathlok was sent to Bogotá, Colombia to kill drug lord Alejandro Castillo. He decapitated him.

Later, Peterson asked Raina her motives for working with John Garrett, explaining to her that he feared for his life and that of his son, Ace, whose pictures were being used by Garrett as a reward for Peterson's continued cooperation.[8]


"Mister Peterson's free to do whatever he wants."
Phil Coulson[src]

Deathlok stayed constantly by John Garrett's side as Garrett killed General Jacobs in the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility. Unknown to Garrett, Skye had become Peterson's new handler, having captured Kyle Zeller and overriding the computer systems. Ultimately, Skye found and freed Ace and assured Peterson that the Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant would not be used against him.

Deathlok responded by shooting Garrett with his Forearm Rocket Launcher and stomping him to death with his prosthetic leg.

As Ace was reunited with his aunt Mindy, Peterson watched from afar with Skye, too ashamed to approach. When Skye asked him to join Phil Coulson's team, he declined, deciding that he wanted redemption before developing a relationship with anyone.[9]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit


  • Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Due to use of the Centipede Device, a blood-filtering device made of Chitauri metal that delivers a combination of Extremis, Gamma Radiation, and elements of the Super Soldier Serum into his system, Michael Peterson has come to possess various superhuman abilities.
    • Superhuman Strength: Peterson possesses strength that is greater than a normal human. He can lift much heavier objects that cannot be moved without use of machinery and overpower normal humans and send them flying about tens of feet away. With his strength, he can tear any solid objects like concrete with ease. In addition, his strength extends into his leg muscles as he is able to leap great distances, improved even more with a cybernetic leg.
    • Superhuman Speed: Peterson is able to move at great speeds thanks to both his physiological improvements and his cybernetic leg. He managed to outrun from a full S.H.I.E.L.D. tactical team, leading them to Thomas Nash under orders of the real Clairvoyant.
    • Superhuman Durability: Before his transformation into a cyborg, Peterson could withstand physical damage much greater than a normal human, withstanding a fall from a building and the fall from the higher level of Union Station down to the ground level. Once he was outfitted with internal prosthesis, he managed to fully withstand shots from different weapons, including common firearms, a Taser Projectile Launcher and an I.C.E.R.
    • Regenerative Healing Factor: Peterson was able to heal his injuries much faster than a normal human being, as evidenced when took a shot from a shotgun but showed no significant damage upon getting up. However, he was unable to regenerate the missing leg that he lost in an explosion or the facial scars he suffered from burning, needing treatment inside an Hyperbaric Chamber to heal those wounds.
  • Enhanced Vision: Thanks to the Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant he possesses, Deathlok is capable of seeing through solid objects, which also allowed him to see in the darkness as a form of night-vision. His vision was later upgraded to include a targeting system, thermal vision and a visual output to his audio scanner.


  • Combatant: During his months as a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee, Peterson was taught basic combat skills to take advantage of his strength, and he managed to overpower skilled Centipede Soldier Brian Hayward despite having been injured. As Deathlok, his fighting style changed to take advantage of his strength and durability, often breaking his enemies' necks or stomping them with his bionic leg.


Cybernetic EnhancementsEdit


The Centipede Device on Deathlok's forearm.

  • Centipede Device: Deathlok is outfitted with a device made of Chitauri metal which injects a serum based on Abraham Erskine's Super Soldier Serum mixed with Gamma Radiation and the Extremis virus, designed to enhance his physical attributes to a super-human level.
  • Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant: A prosthetic ocular implant that allows Deathlok to see through solid objects when his eyes are closed and is also the means used by his handler to send orders and instructions.
  • Cybertek Prosthetic Leg: Deathlok's missing leg has been replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic designed and built by Cybertek that enhances his speed.
  • Forearm Rocket Launcher: Installed on to his left forearm, this unit allows Deathlok to fire guided mini-rockets at his targets.
  • Computer Enhancements: Deathlok has two USB ports,[10] one of which he used in his attempt to download Skye's encrypted hard drive.[7]
  • Heart Stopper: Deathlok used this on Grant Ward to make Skye unlock her hard drive, stopping his heart from beating and duplicating a heart attack. When Skye acquiesced, Deathlok tapped the device once to make Ward's heart beat, twice to accelerate the pulse.[7]
  • Ballistic Armor: Deathlok is equipped with armor plating that can withstand high caliber gunfire, with very little to no damage at all.
  • Internal Prostheses: Deathlok was implanted with cybernetic enhancements underneath his skin, enhancing his strength and endurance even more.

Former EquipmentEdit

Peterson Tac Suit

Peterson wearing his specialized Tactical Suit.

  • Tactical Suit: During his brief time as a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee in the field, Michael Peterson wore a Tactical Suit designed by agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. It was made of a polymer blend with ten layers of treated composite materials, and its main function was to monitor Peterson's vitals while providing a state-of-the-art ballistic protection for him.






Appearances for Michael Peterson


  • In the comics, Mike Peterson is an unrelated character that was the best friend of Slapstick.[11]
  • Michael Peterson shares the first name and many traits with the Michael Collins version of Deathlok in the comics. On the other hand, the Henry Hayes version of Deathlok was inspired by Michael Peterson.


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