Coulson Lives!

*This is where I would put a spoiler warning for The Avengers (Assemble) although if you haven’t seen it by now, then tough shit. Really*

This look says “Yes, I am a badass motherfucker. Thank you for noticing.”

Part of Joss Whedon’s deal at Marvel Entertainment includes producing a TV series for ABC. It’s been known for a while that that series will be called S.H.I.E.L.D. and will centre on the human occupants of the fantastical Marvel Cinematic Universe as seen in the movies over the last four years. During the Marvel Television panel discussion this past Saturday at New York Comic-Con, it was announced in a pre-recorded video from Marvel Head Cheese Kevin Feige, JW himself and Clark Gregg that Agent Phil Coulson will not only be a part of the series, but will actually be leading the whole show. You may now begin happy-dancing.

Of course this news raises one or two questions. We all know that Coulson went to the big Helicarrier in the sky (umm…) during The Avengers (Assemble), so how will he be the lead in a new S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series? As I see it, there are three options:

  1. It’s a prequel. The series could be set prior to and/or concurrent with the Phase 1 movies (Iron Man to The Avengers (Assemble)), giving plenty of scope for stories built around Coulson and his gang.
  2. It’s set after The Avengers (Assemble), but Coulson has a Life Model Decoy. These LMDs have been a feature of the Marvel comics since the sixties. As the name suggests, they are androids designed to perfectly replicate a specific person, right down to fingerprints and even thought patterns*. So, either movie-Coulson or series-Coulson (or both) could be a LMD.
  3. He didn’t die. The medical team reached him in time, but Nick Fury pretended that he bit the big one in order to create the motivation that the team needed in order to work together. While New York was being torn a new asshole, he was sitting pretty in a sickbay somewhere.

Now the bad part: these options all have pitfalls. If it’s a prequel series, then it will be very hard to build suspense around your main character if everyone watching knows exactly when and where he dies. If they take the LMD route, then the same problem arises; if everybody can just be replaced with a robot then there aren’t any real stakes at the individual level. I think I like option 3 least though. As much as I loved the MCU’s not-so-secret weapon, his death served a vital dramatic purpose in the film. It galvanised everything, and it made the team really earn their name. I hated it at the time – and even got a bit misty the first time I saw it – but it was the right choice to make.

Even Paltrow is crazy for a bit of Coulson action.

Still, I can put these reservations aside and just be happy that Clark Gregg will be back in the suit again. I think Joss Whedon has earned a bit of faith that it will all work out in the end. No doubt he has thought of something that I haven’t.

Do you have any theories on the return of the Son of Coul? Let me know below or on twitter (@5wordmovies), or click that facebook link over there →

Source:, and Philip Craig for the tip.

*Thanks, Wikipedia!

Go ahead, punk. Make my day.

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