Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson Will Return in ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ TV Series

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 13th, 2014 at 10:02 am,

Marvel SHIELD Pilot Agent Coulson Clark Greggs Agent Coulson Will Return in S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series

It was the moment of The Avengers that fans never saw coming, and won’t soon forget. But while director Joss Whedon may have had Clark Gregg’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson pay the ultimate price to have the Avengers assemble, Whedon will be giving him a second life. Marvel announced at New York Comic-Con that Coulson will be returning in the pilot of the upcoming ABC series, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Details are slim beyond a presence in the first episode of the show, but that’s all fans need to have their faith in the surprise star of Marvel’s ‘Phase One’ restored.

We won’t presume to question the decision to kill off one of the most beloved characters that Marvel had stumbled upon, since the scene served its purpose in uniting the Avengers with a dose of poignancy and genuine sadness. But what made the choice so strange was how Whedon’s “man crush” on Clark Gregg was cut so short, just as it was showing the most promise. Originally the embodiment of S.H.I.E.L.D. – a personality-less ‘man in black’ operating in secrecy – Coulson’s character had evolved into much, much more through Thor, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, showing childlike adoration for Captain America, and romance with an unnamed cellist (Marvel Comics Easter egg alert!).

That character growth proved too good to say goodbye to just yet, as Clark Gregg made a surprise appearance during Marvel’s NYCC panel to discuss his work on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated TV show. A video was then shown in which Joss Whedon and Marvel studio head Kevin Feige announced that Gregg would be reprising his role in S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s pilot episode, previously confirmed to be written and directed by Whedon.

Agent Coulson Maria Hill Avengers Clark Greggs Agent Coulson Will Return in S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series

Exactly how the death and return of Coulson will be explained is still unclear. Nick Fury bent the truth of his passing at the hands of Loki to provide the extra “push” that Captain America and Iron Man needed to work as a team. Given that, it’s possible he was lying about the entire thing. If Agent Coulson were re-introduced under those circumstances (whether he was in on Fury’s plan or not) we’re confident that Gregg’s deadpan sense of humor and Whedon’s writing could make it believable. It would undercut the impact of his death scene in Avengers, but that’s a price fans would be happy to pay.

Of course, there is the possibility that Agent Coulson’s role in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot takes place before the events of Avengers, with the rest of the new agents and cast left to carry on the series. A longer look at the events leading up to Gregg’s demise would be a bittersweet story to see told, but would help legitimize the TV show as a canonical extension of the film universe, directly tied to the most successful Marvel movie to date.

In all honesty, we’d be fine with his death being explained away if it meant a continued role for the character in Marvel’s films and television shows. Gregg hasn’t just provided comic relief, but has shown he’s willing to back the studio in all its endeavors, and embrace the fan community. The affection he’s earned among hardcore Marvel fanboys and casual audiences is a powerful tool, but unfortunately, it also makes him the kind of character Whedon loves to kill. But will Marvel really let Whedon take that piece off the board this early?

Clark Gregg and Thor in The Avengers Clark Greggs Agent Coulson Will Return in S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series

Either way, fans haven’t seen the last of Phil Coulson. At least one more Whedon-spun story exists to be told about the enigmatic agent, but beyond that, who knows? The working relationship between Whedon and Gregg is just beginning (next demonstrated in Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing), so only time will tell.

We’d love to hear your own hopes for the character, in the TV series or films. Should Marvel bring him back to life in any and every film franchise possible, or let his sacrifice stand? Sound off in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Marvel

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  1. I am so ready for this show. I don’t mind them bringing him back, but it has to be nice how they do it. No BS.

  2. I always imagined that Loki didn’t kill the real kill Phil Coulson in the movie… but rather, a Life Model Decoy of him… after all, Agent Coulson was a level 7 agent… the only inconsistency would be the blood on the cards (LMDs don’t usually have blood), but I could imagine that being explained away quite easily

    • The blood was faked, Coulson didn´t have the cards on him when he battled with Loki. They even said so in the movie.

    • What about the blood on the end of the spear after he gets stabbed?

    • Im not a comic book reader so WHAT IS A life model decoy? is this from the comics? I understand the concept but I just dont know much about the comics! can someone please explain if this is from the comics and is common?

      • Its a contrivance to plug plot holes, as a general rule. Tony Stark uses the term near the start of The Avengers, but hopefully that allusion is all we’ll have of it in the MCU. Its just a clone, or more often an android. Both Tony Stark and Nick Fury, to name just two of many characters (albeit closely linked to the MCU) who have had life model decoys at various times throughout the years.

    • it was fake blood on the cards fury put fake blood on the cards to push the avengers to “assemble”

      • Given the mayhem going on, why would he need to resort to fake blood? The only thing that makes sense is that he used someone else besides Agent Coulson to get the blood from.

      • I think the cards were fake too!! He was every proud of them and they were mear mint condission

        • …with slight foxing around the edges

  3. I mean aside from Fury telling everyone he was dead we never got any actual confirmation. Actually, in the movie, medical staff came over and were working on it leaving it kid of disambiguous as to wether he is actually dead or not

  4. It was too obvious it was a LMD that was killed. Don’t get me wrong, great scene, but knew it wouldn’t last.

    • I certainly hope not!! :-(

  5. Here’s my take:

    Coulson really is dead, but he uploaded his brain into SHIELD’s computers before he died, and later Ultron creates “Vision” using the brain patterns of Phil Coulson (instead of Simon Williams/Wonder Man from the comic book version).

    Later the Vision/Coulson becomes a member of the Avengers.

    • Yes! 100% what I was thinking. That would blow my mind and add some legitimancy to the show. I don’t think I’m too excited about the idea of a bunch of indistinguishable men in black being the focus of the show. The vision would be the anchor to the marvel universe we all know. Plus whedon would get to play with a bunch of themes that worked well for him in buffy over the years

    • I personally agree with this train of thought…..

  6. They could use the tesseract to explain why he’s still alive

  7. I wish he would just freaking stay dead!!! Hopefully it is just before the Avengers.

  8. just call him a clone or a robotic version. boom. done

  9. I was and still am PIS**D that Whedon killed Coulson!!! I hope it was a lie by Fury to give the “PUSH” the Avengers needed and Coulson was revived, he was one of my Fav. characters and possibly one of everyones Fav. Characters! so it would really be stupid of MARVEL to not bring him back, I think I WILL BE EVEN MORE PI*SED IF THEY JUST DO THIS FOR THE PILOT! there is no reason for it we would ALL have given the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show a chance even without Coulson so this needs to be a permanent thing!

  10. He is going to be in the training videos, we will be following new agents while they go through training and Coulson will be the instructor in the videos

  11. I think that this can work out as a pre-Avengers-movie series. Iron Man, Thor, Cap and Hulk all had their own movies. We never see Hawkeye or Black Widow except as cameos in the earlier movies, nor do they have truly “super” powers, so they would work in the SHIELD series. This would also allow some lesser-known characters, such as Mockingbird, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

    • Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver is where the area gets grey for me as to who owns what, Fox or Marvel? I doubt you’ll see either of those two in the MCU because FOX owns their daddy, Magneto.

      • Actually, this has been a BIG bit of discussion between the studios.

        Basically, BOTH Fox and the MCU have rights to use Scarlet and Quicksilver.

        From what I have read previously….

        MCU can use them, but only if they do NOT mention thier father, or the fact they they are mutants. (leaving the origin of thier powers explained)

        Fox can use them, but cannot make any reference to them ever having been or been connected to the Avengers.

  12. He is in the epsode .
    For now,
    That is all we know .

  13. Life Model Decoy, Life Model Decoy, baby give me a Life Model Decoy!!!
    Thre real Coulson can’t have truly died! Let it be a Life Model Decoy!

    • *The

  14. Its always a good sign when people are determined to bring characters back to life who have been blasted to little bits. Maybe it was all a dream and he’ll walk out of the shower like JR did in Dallas…

    • He was hardly blown to bits. He was impaled with a magical spear. The exact same thing happened to me back in February. No big deal

      • Lol

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  16. He will be in videos and flashbacks. That way they can use him now and then and piece together the movies and TV show. The short film cast are most likely the leads.

  17. Where are you guys getting this information? What’s your source?

    The actress in Item 47 has stated that she won’t be in the TV show as she’s already busy with another unrelated TV show.

    Where’s this information about being in videos and flashbacks? They made a huge announcement at NYCC that Clark Gregg would be back for the TV show… why would they have made such a big deal about it if he was just going to be a periphery character in videos and flashbacks?

  18. Quick idea off the top of my head. Coulson was greviously injured during Avengers but did live. Fury uses that to galvanize the team but keeps Coulson secret, making him a black ops agent, known only to Fury. Coulson then goes on a mission in Avengers 2 and is captured. Fury sends in the Avengers, who find this agent with either his head hooded like a hostage or wearing a mask that he dons for his field work. Either during the rescue the hood is removed or after the rescue on the ride home he reveals his identity to some or all of the team and puts it back on before returning to base, not letting on that the team knows he is alive.

    • I wish something like that could happen, I love him! I swear, I wanted to cry when they killed him. Fingers crossed that you are right!

  19. I would LOVE to see Coulson only be a ‘LMD’. Even in the films. We would never know if we were seeing the ‘real’ or the ‘LMD’. That alone would be fun!

    ~ Stark

  20. Coulson’s death seemed fishy to me already given the post-death exchange between Fury and Agent Hill. Bringing him back from the the dead wouldn’t be Completely out of left field.

  21. He’s a hologram in the TV show…

  22. Two things:
    1.) Anyone familiar with Joss Whedon’s past works and with Agent Coulson KNEW (or at least suspected) he was gonna end up dead in this movie. That’s Whedon’s m.o. He gives you a beloved side protagonist to love and then brutally murders them because he’s a sadist.

    2.) I’d also like to protest “hardcore Marvel fanboys.” Dude, really? You couldn’t have just said “fans” you had to say “fanboys”? Beware the fangirls, for we are legion.

    On that note: #coulsonlives

  23. I thought the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show was going to be set before the Avengers movie and would be a sort of back story as to where Hawkeye, Black Widow and Coulson came from. Then he would be in the whole series…hopefully.

    As for what happened in the movie, I think Coulson could have been gravely injured, but ends up pulling through and Fury just needed something to give the Avengers that final push.

    Bring Back Phil Coulson!!!

  24. There is no logical reason to get rid of Phil Coulson He was an engrained part the Marvel films That really hurt alot of people believing he may have been killed It’s not financially sound either Anything that distracts perfection is in error ,and his killing is not part of perfection and therefore affects financial interests. On the other hand if he really didn’t die and was seen in up-coming Marvel films the Joy and happiness would be known world wide and could be seen in a point sufficient financial interest [I’m happy and talk about it more] creating more sales what do you think a world wide vote,- on bringing him back,- wou be

  25. I love that they brought Coulson back to life. It will make the show. Check out our meme about it.

  26. this show looks amazing (everything joss whedon writes is amazing) however i’m still not a fan of coulson or “fury jr” (aka ultimate/samjackson fury) being in the comics at all, it shows that A: they don’t respect their original fanbase’s intelligence enough to trust that they’ll stick with the story if it doesn’t have movie characters constantly popping up in them and B: they aren’t confident that their OWN writing abilities are good enough to write stories that are compelling enough to keep newer fans interested without constantly involving movie characters

  27. Bring back Colson!! I don’t care how it is done, just do it! I cannot believe someone would be brainless enough to kill off agent Colson, but Whedon is the guy. I loved the character in Thor, especially.

  28. He is a clone. I see it coming from a mile away.

  29. I find Clark Gregg to be an incredibly wooden actor. He speaks in what is almost a monotone voice, and he pivots from right to left as though his feet are screwed into the floor, while his arms flail, as though he’s lost all control of them. He did this on The New Adventures of Old Christine, he did it in the Avengers film, and he’s doing it in Agents of Shield. His character appears to be the lead for this series, and it’s frankly a wasted opportunity.
    Two other things about the first episode which I admittedly only caught a few minutes of but will watch fully: the budget limitations are immediately apparent when you see five characters with guns running around a small patch of ‘jungle'; and there don’t seem to be any black characters, or is that taken care of by Samuel L Jackson’s rumored cameo? Maybe these criticisms are unfair, and will prove unfounded when I watch the full episode, or as the series progresses.