|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."
- ―Jemma Simmons and Antoine Triplett
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.
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 synthesize compounds like water, Morrow claimed that the next step was creating living matter.
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.
Completion of the Project
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 fight against the S.H.I.E.L.D. subversives who were keen on taking down 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Vengeance, 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.
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.12: The Laws of Inferno Dynamics
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.16: What If...
- ↑ 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!
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.21: The Return
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: World's End