‘SHIELD’ TV Show Set After ‘Avengers’; How Coulson Could Return

Published 2 years ago by

SHIELD agent coulson SHIELD TV Show Set After Avengers; How Coulson Could Return

There has been plenty of speculation regarding the upcoming Joss Whedon S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series – specifically in regards to the show’s plot and whether or not well-known comic book characters will make an appearance; not to mention the question of how the series will be linked to the Marvel movie universe.

While Marvel has previously stated that the pilot will be part of their “Phase II” storyline, they have now officially confirmed the that series will take place after the Avengers movie timeline – but will consist of its own self-contained stories.

In a recent interview with IGN, ABC President Paul Lee had this to say about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s place in the Marvel Universe:

“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York.This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”

That being said, the real question on fans minds is this: If the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot takes place after the Avengers and deceased fan-fav Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is set to return, how will the character be resurrected?


Bringing Back Coulson: How It Could Be Done

With all the options of bringing a character back to life Hollywood and comics have to offer, we took the time to compile a list of the most-likely options ABC or Whedon might use for Coulson: 

Agent Coulson SHIELD TV Show SHIELD TV Show Set After Avengers; How Coulson Could Return

Flashbacks: Possible, but it would kind of defeat the purpose of having the series take place “after the Avengers.” The flashback idea also lacks the token Joss Whedon flare for the obviously complicated, but we’ll see.


A Ghost \ Helpful Sprit: Ummm, seems a bit unlikely (or at least we’re really hoping it is), despite Joss Whedon’s penchant for the supernatural and Marvel’s use of spirits in the past. The idea may sound cheesy at first (mostly because it is), but perhaps under the creative eye of Whedon it might actually work. Come to think of it, a ghost would make an excellent spy.


A Deathlok: Zombies are totally “in” right now, and a Zombie Cyborg is definitely a step up. Deathloks are dead soldiers\agents reanimated with future technology by the US government (or S.H.I.E.L.D.) to serve as the perfect military operative. The downside to a Deathlok operative is that they often end up at odds with their organic and cybernetic brains, which usually resorts in the Deathlok going crazy and turning on its masters.

SHIELD agent coulson return options SHIELD TV Show Set After Avengers; How Coulson Could Return

A Life Model Decoy of the original Nick Fury (right) and a Deathlok (left)


Life Model Decoys and Other Various Types of Robot: Marvel and Whedon LOVE robots (just ask the Vision and the BuffyBot) but the favorite of S.H.I.E.L.D. brass is the Life Model Decoy. LMDs are androids designed to function as an exact body double of the humans they’re based on.

The near-flawless mimicry of their subject’s outer appearance  - i.e., fingerprints, hair, skin, retina patterns, speech patterns, scent, body language and thought patterns – have even fooled the acute senses of Wolverine and high-level telepaths. Apart from any invasive medical examination or strong EMP, LMDs are indistinguishable from the original.

(PS: We’re also including a living computer based on Coulson’s brain patterns in with the “robot” category.)


Cloning: To say Marvel loves a good cloning would be an understatement, in fact you haven’t made it as a superhero unless some villain has tried to clone you for nefarious purposes. While LMDs maybe S.H.I.E.L.D.’s go to, clones also play a big part within the organization. The real question of cloning Coulson will be if he’s aware of his duplicate nature and if not how will he react when he finds out.


Agent Coulson Maria Hill Avengers SHIELD TV Show Set After Avengers; How Coulson Could Return

Mystical Resurrection: We all hate to lose a fantastic employee and S.H.I.E.L.D. is no different. Bringing characters back from the dead is a staple of Marvel comics (*cough* Jean Grey) and S.H.I.E.L.D. has numerous sorcerers on the payroll. The Hand, an order of evil mystical ninjas and longtime adversaries of S.H.I.E.L.D frequently use resurrection to replenish their ranks and have been known to use former superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D agents including Elektra and Northstar. Perhaps S.H.I.E.L.D’s first TV mission will be to recover Coulson’s body from the Hand’s wicked clutches?


Never Died: Most Likely. Nick Fury has shown he is a man of action no matter what he must do, and faking a man’s death to manipulate a group of super-powered narcissists into playing nice is not above him. Sure, we saw Coulson take the pointy end of Loki’s staff to the gut, but that doesn’t mean he died before making it to the top medical facilities of S.H.I.E.L.D. – or perhaps an unsuspecting Life Model Decoy took that “Red Shirt” hit in place of the real Coulson.


Alien Technology: Why strain your brain about the Coulson issue when there’s perfectly good deus ex machina staring you in the face? The Avengers fought alien hordes of The Chitauri over NYC, and the Marvel One-Shot short film “Item 47″ already chronicled S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collection and cataloging of all the Chitauri technology leftover after the battle; who’s to say they didn’t discover tech that could bring Coulson back to the land of the living?

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Joss Whedon SHIELD TV Series SHIELD TV Show Set After Avengers; How Coulson Could Return

Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot starts filming later this month and is expected to air this fall if picked up for a full series.

Sound off, have we missed a way Agent Coulson might return from the grave? Give your own theories or comment on our ideas below. 

Source: Superhero Hype

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  1. The C is probably the best most original character that has been in along time. Use any of the conspiracy theories n it’ll work, though in my opinion the lmd makes the most sense. It also would fit S.H.I.E.L.D to a t. Biggest fear is that they will try n make it to real, n in a “real” super hero world that will kill it before it begins. Everyone that’s involved will be a super power if they do the right thing with this project, but they need to invest the money n idea power they have w the movies. If they do it right everyone wins w new shows n movies. Do it wrong n it goes back to nothing. Use old stories, but use them fully n not combine, let it build. But I was raised on comic books so what do I know ;-)

  2. From thors world use there tech of some sort to bring him back. Right?

  3. As for the never died theory, just look at all the technology shield has developed but retained in secret, possibly assuming the world is not ready for it… might abuse it. They are not without their own developers. They may have stuff collecting dust in the attic they fear might be used by the bad guy to resurrect their vanquished partners.

    Also, I read somewhere that fury is nearly a hundred years old but still alive and athletic due to some formula called “infinity” i believe. Might fit in if fury is desperate to not lose his closest and most valuable lieutenant.

    • You are referring to the Infinity Formula, which stunts the aging process in humans. Nick Fury has in fact taken the Infinity Formula, so much so that he no longer needs to take it to maintain it’s effects. In Marvel’s Mainstream Universe, Nick Fury’s children have been shown to have stunted aging due to their father ingesting the formula so much.

  4. Why couldnt Thor just go to Valhalla and get Coulson from Hades like he did with bruce banner when Loki brought the Hulk to Asguard??

  5. I distinctly remember in the beginning of Avengers when Stark made mention of a life-model decoy. Could Whedon have been hinting at it then? I just noticed it… It would be cool if they went that route with it.

  6. I was thinking never died right away. By far the most plausible, and easiest to execute. But no plot lines develop from it, so, since it’s a damn movie about already-implausible supernatural fantasy, why not do something like deathloks or ninjas or even maybe some tech from asgaard? I trust whedon so I’m not too worried about it.

  7. also, never underestimate the power of “fan favorite” or the most all-powerful might, the one-rule to ring them all… THE CONTRACT. Somebody try see if the actor is under contract with universal. That will be the end of any speculation as to if, and just leave the how.

  8. nick fury asked tony stark to build or make a arc reactor for coulson and using some sort of a device (cosmic cube or thor’s lightning) to bring him back to life…

  9. Coulson is one good agent and great heroes need this partner instead of a sidekick. Triplets would best, 2 males and a female. Raised by different families, but all three have the similar jobs, unaware of each other.

  10. Coulson is one good agent and great heroes need this partner instead of a sidekick. Triplets would best, two males and a female. Raised by different families, but all three have the similar jobs, unaware of each other.

  11. Shapeshifters would also be a good possibility. Shapeshifters (Like Mystique in the X-Men films) would be the perfect infiltrators. Maybe this Coulson is a shapeshifter sent in by some evil organization for nefarious purposes…while the real Coulson is being kept prisoner or something?

  12. In the trailer could be irrelevant. There was an item attached to someones arm. Could be Phil. In all likely hood I think was staged or a Phil clone in the Avengers.

  13. What if coulson was in actuallity a superhero in his own right but his powers didn’t come to light till his death which is in fact how he comes back from the dead. This could be one of or his only power–resurrection of the dead

  14. “Boy, I don’t know how we ever got out of that one alive…”

  15. In the first episode mai said in a a sentence I cant fully quote ” he really dosnt know ” after coulsen mentioned his time in tahiti as ” magical ”
    Surely he has been cloned ? It seems a very S.H.E.I.L.D thing to do I mean S.H.E.I.L.D agents are human no ?
    Regardless of the outcome the series is great so far and as a all out marvel fan I hope it NEVER seizes to show on tv

  16. Maybe the X-Men after changing the past in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” also had effect on the events in New York (Avengers) beingt all part of the Marvel universe.
    And therefore Coulson didn’t die in the other timeline.