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For the Looking Glass song, see Looking Glass
"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)[src]

Project Looking Glass was a project spearheaded by Aida to create a living body using knowledge from the Darkhold.

The device draws quantum power from Hell and converts it to living organic tissue, thus effectively creating a biological being. However, since the body is made from Dark Matter, it cannot be hidden from demonic beings such as the Ghost Rider.

History

Background

"Water's not a base element... It's a compound. Not just any compound... It's the next step in the evolution of my power... Creating life."
Eli Morrow to Ghost Rider[src]

Using the knowledge within the book known as the Darkhold, Joseph and Lucy Bauer created Quantum Batteries which enabled them to create matter seemingly out of nothing. Later, their colleague Eli Morrow expanded the project and gained powers of creating matter. After being able to synthetize compounds like water, Morrow claimed that the next step was creating living matter.[1]

In parallel of all these events, Dr. Holden Radcliffe designed and created Aida, a Life-Model Decoy who served as his assistant. Aida got in contact with both the Darkhold and Quantum Batteries, even helping to defeat Morrow, and progressively grew the desire of acquiring a full human body so that she would be able to feel actual emotions and have free will. Therefore, she designed a plan where she would use the Framework, a virtual recreation of the real world, in which the brilliant S.H.I.E.L.D. engineer Leo Fitz was placed. Fitz's memories were rewritten so that he would become a HYDRA officer and Aida's lover, working with her to complete her plans.[2]

Completion of the Project

"It's done, Ophelia. I've completed the design. You won't have to live like this for much longer. I had my doubts about the project, but I finally see it. Your new body will be stronger. That's who you were meant to be."
The Doctor to Madame Hydra[src]

Under Madame Hydra and The Doctor's authority, HYDRA soon began a project known as Project Looking Glass. According to Madame Hydra, this project would help them fighting against the S.H.I.E.L.D. subversives who were keen on taking town the organization. Antoine Triplett, an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, learned about the project and took some pictures of the designs before being arrested and incarcerated in the HYDRA Enlightenment Cultivation Center.[3]

AtMM-AoS-HolotableFramework

The Doctor completes the Project Looking Glass designs

When Melinda May and Daisy Johnson escaped from the Triskelion, severely injuring Madame Hydra in the process, The Doctor was enraged and swore to exact revenge. Madame Hydra told him that completing the Project Looking Glass was the only definitive way of saving her. Therefore, The Doctor worked hard and, while Jemma Simmons recognized the design of Quantum Batteries on Triplett's pictures and finally figured out what the Project Looking Glass was about, he finished the designs and informed his lover about his achievement.[4]

"I am so happy to see you. This is what happiness feels like."
"She's not a robot anymore. Aida bleeds just like us."
"Finally, you can touch the real me."
Aida and Phil Coulson[src]

As soon as the equipment was ready, Madame Hydra ordered it to be used on her. The device scanned her body, which began the synthesis of a living body in a real world thanks to an extremely powerful reactor powered by Quantum Batteries placed in the Ivanov Oil Platform by the Watchdogs. Once the body was finished, Aida's mind was successfully transferred in it and the former Life-Model Decoy finally obtained what she wanted above all: becoming human and feeling real emotions like happiness. Moreover, this body also displayed Inhuman abilities.[5]

Aftermath

Overwhelming Feelings

"Now you are like an infant, unable to process these new emotions or the idea that you don't always get everything that you want."
Anton Ivanov to Aida[src]

Although Aida, who chose to go under the name Ophelia, successfully obtained a living body, she was not prepared to deal with the whole package of emotions that came with it. Thus, her body was the one of an adult young woman, but her mind was much more immature, with Anton Ivanov even making the comparison with an infant. Therefore, when Leo Fitz rejected her love after returning from the Framework and stated that he still loved Jemma Simmons instead, Aida was not ready to experience such an emotional pain and went insane, resolving to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and rebuilding in the real world the world she had created in the Framework, where she dominated everything.[6]

Body Destroyed

Ghost Rider Burns Aida

Aida's body is destroyed by Phil Coulson

"So you're saying Aida's made of the same stuff as the Darkhold?"
"Yeah. And the Rider wants to send them both back to where they came from."
Phil Coulson and Ghost Rider[src]

Moreover, since Aida had obtained her living body with the assistance of the Darkhold, it turned out that her body was made of dark matter and that its synthesis had triggered a breach in Hell that Ghost Rider used to escape and return on the Earthly Plane. As the Spirit of Vengeance inside him felt an immoderate hatred towards Aida and an attraction to dark matter, Ghost Rider quickly found Aida and the Darkhold. Though Aida escaped him twice, the Spirit of Vengance, briefly using Phil Coulson as a host, managed to destroy Aida's body and turn it into ashes before retrieving the Darkhold and bringing it back to Hell.[7]

Appearances

References