Warning: Spoilers for Avengers #10
The death of a major Marvel character has been undone in the landmark 700th issue of The Avengers, with Agent Phil Coulson revealed to be back among the living, despite being killed by Deadpool during Secret Empire on the orders of the evil Captain America. Coulson is the second character to return after being supposedly killed in Secret Empire. The first was Black Widow, who came back during the Tales of Suspense miniseries.
Avengers #700 reveals that Agent Coulson somehow survived his "death" in Secret Empire, and General Thunderbolt Ross was in on the secret. After being told by Captain America that the Avengers serve the Earth and not the United States, Ross decides to call in "The Agent", who turns out to be Agent Coulson.
Ross explains that without the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. the world will go "straight to hell" unless someone deals the country "a winning hand". Coulson's answer to the general's problems is a new team of superheroes dubbed the "Squadron Supreme of America" which consists of Nighthawk, Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, Power Princess, and Whizzer.
Agent Phil Coulson is still relatively new to the comics world, but beloved thanks to actor Clark Gregg, originally an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 2008 film Iron Man. A rise to a pivotal role in the MCU soon followed, but following his death in The Avengers, Coulson was resurrected to star in ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson transitioned to comic books in the 2012 miniseries, Battle Scars, which introduced Nick Fury, Jr..
Agent Coulson was one of many casualties during Secret Empire, the Marvel Comics event that saw Captain America take over HYDRA and lead an attack on the superheroes of Earth. Over the course of the story, several Marvel characters were killed off, including Red Skull, Black Widow, Rick Jones, and Agent Coulson. Coulson was actually one the first person to discover Captain America's deception but was murdered by Deadpool before he could take any action. Coulson's death was a shocking moment, considering that the character was a big name at Marvel. Not only was he developing a strong presence in the comics, but he was the star of a popular TV series - not to mention soon making his return to the big screen with a role in Captain Marvel.
It remains to be seen how Marvel will explain Coulson's return in the pages of The Avengers. It's possible that the comics will use this as an opportunity to tell their own version of his MCU counterpart's resurrection in season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As for what Marvel will do with him next, Coulson notes in the comic that he isn't an "agent of anything anymore", which suggests that Marvel can now take Coulson into an entirely direction, especially since being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent has always been an important part of his identity.
Avengers #700, or Avengers #10, is on sale now from Marvel Comics.