"These primitives are abominations to science!"
Holden Radcliffe to Hive[src]

The Primitives were genetically altered humans made by Dr. Holden Radcliffe in a failed attempt to recreate the experiments that birthed the Inhumans.


What If... Coulson
"This is not okay!"
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Under Hive's order, Dr. Holden Radcliffe started working a pathogen able to trigger the Terrigenesis process in common humans, using an amalgamation of Terrigen Crystals, Kree blood from the Kree Reapers and Daisy Johnson, and Hive's own parasitic organism. After having synthesized the pathogen, Radcliffe used in "Alpha Test" on five members of the Watchdogs that Hive and James captured in Washington. After the procedure was done, Hive found that they were obedient as seen when he ordered them to bring Dr. Radcliffe to him. Hive then planned to obtain more specimens to make more of these Primitives. However, Dr. Radcliffe was horrified that the dark Inhuman found the results acceptable, as the experiment had reduced the Watchdogs to horrific-looking, semi-sentient beings only capable of communicating with incoherent snarling.

When Lash arrived in place of Lincoln Campbell, the Primitives assisted Hive in fighting the monstrous Inhuman. Two of the Primitives were killed by Lash, who then defeated Hive. The remaining ones were with Hellfire when he used his chain to impale Lash after he had gotten Daisy onto the Quinjet. A weakened Daisy then used her powers to knock down Hellfire and the remaining Primitives. Later they were killed by S.H.I.E.L.D. during the mission where they capture Alveus.[1]

After Hive was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and put into stasis, the pathogen was smuggled into the Playground via parts for the hangar doors, converting several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, including O'Brien, into Primitives. The Primitives promptly freed the dark Inhuman and attacked the Playground, but were fought off by those stationed at the facility. Many were killed by Coulson's team.[2]

Following Hive's defeat, Holden Radcliffe was charged with reversing their transformation and returning the victims to normal, but he warned this was irreversible. The fate of the surviving Primitives is unknown.

Powers and Abilities


  • Infrared Sensory: Primitives receive thermal vision in the infrared spectrum, allowing them to track heat signatures. Consequently, they can hunt victims down from the thermal radiation emitted by these targets. However, Primitives are rendered blind in areas with excessively high levels of heat and cannot effectively track targets, as they cannot distinguish their targets' heat signature from the surrounding environment.
  • Enhanced Strength: Primitives possess a certain degree of superhuman strength, allowing them to effortlessly break through metal restraints or easily overpower groups of highly trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.


  • Skill Retention: Primitives retain technical skills and abilities that they have learned prior to their transformation. For instance, Primitive S.H.I.E.L.D. agents continue to possess basic knowledge and learned capabilities, such as firearm mastery, computer operation, or navigation of their base.

List of Primitives




  • In the comics, the Alpha Primitives are a sub-human species created by the geneticist Avadar as servants for the Inhuman race. It was later revealed that some of the Alpha Primitives were created from humans exposed to the mists of the Xerogen Crystals when empowered by the Slave Engine.



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