The Framework was a simulation created by Holden Radcliffe and adapted from a S.H.I.E.L.D. development program designed by Leo Fitz. It was later used by AIDA after she determined that Radcliffe's potential for regret could endanger the Framework, after which the simulation became a world where HYDRA took over.
Very little is known about the Framework's early origins, apart from the fact that it was designed by Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons as a training simulation for agents, where they could act out situations with no physical harm being done to them in the real world. While at the Playground, Simmons used an early version of the Framework to walk through her lab, offering Fitz pointers on various issues currently with the design, including the fact it appeared to make her levitate off the ground while using it.
Sedating Melinda May
Holden Radcliffe used the Framework to keep Melinda May from escaping while her Life-Model Decoy had assumed her place within S.H.I.E.L.D.. Initially, May experienced getting a massage and facial but she resisted the program, eventually breaking out and fighting Radcliffe and his personal LMD Aida. When Aida overpowered and sedated her Radcliffe reprogrammed the Framework with a simulation where she became stuck in a seemingly endless loop of escaping and attempting to fight against Aida again and again.
Interrogating Billy Koenig
- "This machine will allow me access to his mind. We'll get all the information we need without laying a hand on him."
"Well, you're not gonna get anything out of me. Because my mind is a steel trap inside of a sealed box surrounded by quicksand and Oh, is that a puppy?"
- ―Holden Radcliffe and Billy Koenig
In an attempt to find the Darkhold and take it back, Holden Radcliffe allied himself with the Watchdogs to kidnap Agent Billy Koenig who knew where the Darkhold was being kept. To prevent the Superior from causing bloodshed, Radcliffe sent Koenig into the Framework where he experienced a puppy. Once the Framework finished mapping Koenig's memories, Radcliffe entered them, discovering that the Darkhold was held inside the Labyrinth vault.
A New Reality
Doctor Holden Radcliffe eventually redesigned the Framework so the user would be able to correct their greatest regret. He used the Framework to allow Agnes Kitsworth to be put inside it where her mind could live on long after her body died from a brain tumour he could not cure, allowing them to continue their relationship with Kitsworth forgot all about living in an alternative digital reality. Due to the fact that said regret was often a single defining moment in the user's life, such as the Rescue in Bahrain, however, this correction often resulted in the user becoming a drastically different kind of person.
Sometime later, Aida captured Fitz, Jeffrey Mace, Phil Coulson and Alphonso Mackenzie before uploading all of their combined consciousnesses into the Framework. Each had the biggest regret of their life undone and the Framework extrapolated their mark on its history in the same fashion as May. Following the Siege of the Playground, Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons decided to enter the Framework and extract their colleagues, unaware that the changes to each individual's life resulted in the formation of an alternate reality simulation where HYDRA had replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans were hunted and captured.
Change in Purpose
- "I knew the machine could create matter, but Aida's gone beyond that. She's found a way to generate living matter... human tissue. She wants to make herself into a real person."
"A real girl, as opposed to?"
"A simulated consciousness. She... She wants to circumvent her programming. Every step has been towards that goal. The Framework, Radcliffe, Fitz. We have to stop her."
- ―Jemma Simmons and Antoine Triplett (Framework)
Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons soon discovered the fascist regime ruled by HYDRA, but were surprised to discovered how different their friends were inside the Framework. Leo Fitz was a ruthless doctor and second-in-command in HYDRA, Melinda May was a high-ranking operative in HYDRA, Phil Coulson was a history teacher and Alphonso Mackenzie lived with his daughter. The two joined S.H.I.E.L.D., which operated as a resistance led by Jeffrey Mace, who was an Inhuman in the Framework. With the aid of virtual incarnations of people who were dead in the real world, like Grant Ward, Antoine Triplett and Burrows, Johnson and Simmons tried to convince their friends about the real world, while fighting against HYDRA and its leader, Madame Hydra, Aida's alias in the Framework at the same time.
As Johnson and Simmons almost succeeded in gathering all their friends, Mace was killed in the Framework, killing him in the real world as well. Simmons then realized Aida's true plan for the Framework: In order to create a human body for herself, Aida needed a machine constructed out of Quantum Batteries. Putting the agents in the Framework was to prevent them from stopping her plan, and also using Fitz to design the machine through Project Looking Glass. Once Aida's plan was fulfilled, she could kill them all inside the Framework.
Eventually, Johnson and Simmons managed to return to the real world with Coulson, May and Fitz, but without Mackenzie, who decided to stay with his daughter. Aida's plan for the Framework succeeded, as she created for herself a living human body. This body also granted Aida a number of superhuman abilities, obtained from Fitz's experiments on captured Inhumans.
Aida decided to delete the Framework and all its contents. Meanwhile, Elena Rodriguez entered the Framework in order to convince Alphonso Mackenzie to exit it. She woke up in the middle of the world's crisis. With the help of Holden Radcliffe, she found Mackenzie who still refused to leave. As more and more details were deleted from the Framework, Daisy Johnson created for Rodriguez and Mackenzie a way out of there. Only after Hope Mackenzie was deleted too, Mackenzie agreed to leave. As the last person in the Framework, Radcliffe accepted his death and was deleted before the Framework world was erased completely.
The Framework is a simulation where the concept of death is deemed irrelevant. The user enters the Framework through a specialized helmet that uploads their consciousness into the simulation. Once the upload is complete, the Framework adapts to the user's environment through cerebral and physical re-calibration. Nevertheless, if a user is killed within the Framework's reality, they will also perish in the real world.
|Appearances for Framework|
In chronological order:
- The Framework may be considered the first reality other than Earth-199999 to appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe-related production.
- The concept of a Virtual Reality has been used previously in Marvel Comics, although it doesn't have any relation to S.H.I.E.L.D. In Incredible Hulk #608, the Intelligencia designed a trap for the Hulk, which is also considered Earth-10508.
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.14: The Man Behind the Shield
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.01: The Ghost
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.11: Wake Up
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.12: Hot Potato Soup
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.13: BOOM
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.15: Self Control
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.16: What If...
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.17: Identity and Change
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.18: No Regrets
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.19: All the Madame's Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.20: Farewell, Cruel World!
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.21: The Return
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: World's End