Arguably the strongest moment in the Avengers was when Agent Coulson met his demise. The impact of his death sent waves of mourning throughout the comic book/movie cultures as we realized a character we had come to love through his recurring appearances on the screen would never be seen again. But this is comics we are talking about so the possibility of his “resurrection” is slightly higher and it appears it will be happening when Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to television.

At the Marvel television panel at NYCC last Saturday Gregg Clark was on stage when he was joined via video by Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. Whedon popped in to give us this little bit of information:

We all love Clark Gregg, there’s no doubt about that. From before we made ‘The Avengers,’ we discussed whether there was a way for him to be a part of the Marvel Universe, perhaps a part of a TV show even after his death. … The fact of the matter is, as much as we love him, now that I’m really running Marvel, I like to keep a type of artistic integrity, which means we don’t stretch the bounds of reality.

Feige was unhappy with Whedon’s explanation so he came on screen wearing a “Coulson Lives” t-shirt saying that,

There was never going to be a ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ show without Agent Phil Coulson!

Feige’s proclamation forced Joss into telling the truth that Coulson has always been planned to be the headliner for the S.H.I.E.L.D. television show.

The theories to how Coulson could have survived the stabbing from the Loki Pokey Stick have been swirling since the movie released last Spring, but now they are in full force since one of them has to be true. Life Model Decoy has been a widely believed theory that Film School Rejects points out Clark himself has mentioned as a possibility and that they are referenced both in Avengers and Iron Man 2.

With the plan of Coulson’s leading role in S.H.I.E.L.D. having been in place for some time I’m sure that Whedon has a perfectly planned return for the much loved character when the show premires. Whatever the reason for Coulson’s return, it is an announcement that will be rejoiced throughout the halls of geek-dom.

What are your thoughts about the Agent’s return? Have a theory of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

via Film School Rejects


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Zach is a recent college graduate who’s love for consuming media is surpassed only by his love for creating it. He has a firm belief that if we could all just play with LEGOs for 30 minutes a day the world would be a better place. If those two statements don’t tell you everything you need to know about Zach, follow him on Twitter at @zwoolf.


  1. I’d prefer that Coulson stay dead but bring in an LMD for the TV show.
    It would be a powerful visual for a season finale to destroy the LMD.
    You could even bring a different LMD in at the start of the subsequent season and force the other characters to deal with a “new” Coulson who isn’t “their” Coulson.
    That would be a big sandbox full of plotlines to play in.

  2. I know that I’m pleased with this. I actually had a conversation with my friends after watching the movie about the possibility of his return. My whole thing was “If Fury was willing to go get and ruin the cards to push the team into becoming an actual team, what would stop him from telling a massive lie about Coulson’s death?”

    I actually posted on Reddit shortly after the movie the scene I had hoped was going to be seen during the credits –

    Pan in on blood stained Captain America cards sitting on a table. A hand reaches into frame and picks one up. As the camera pans up to follow the hand, we hear Nick Fury’s voice.
    “What are you doing out of the medical bay?”
    The hand continues until we can see Coulson raising the card up to examine the extent of the staining.
    “Did you have to ruin my cards to get them motivated?”
    End scene

  3. So, riddle me this, Batman: If I entertain generations of kids and adults with comic books style movies, which regularly derail any sense of story arc or even mortality, how will this affect society? I wonder?

    Coulson’s death was THE ONLY PLOT POINT THAT MATTERED in the Avengers. A decoy? Please. That would crap all over the sentiments that drove the team to put aside their differences and kick Loki’s ass.

    Do “fans” expect so little? Are we all just little kids who shout “Again! Again!” when we see something we like without any appreciation of what the story really means?

  4. I love the Son of Coul BUT . . . are we absolutely sure he doesn’t appear in flashbacks, or that the entire SHIELD concept doesn’t take place before Phase 1? It was my first thought when I saw this.

    • Putting Coulson in flashbacks would be a rather flimsy long term story device, and having the whole thing set before the Chitauri would limit any possibilities of having various capes take part in things. The Avengers were supposed to be the first real big outing of most supers other than Iron Man. Thor was unknown, Cap had just come back from a 60+ year nap, and Hulk was a menace they didn’t have an answer to.

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