Coulson was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. Nick Fury had seen him expire with his own eyes. He had even manipulated Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the rest of the Avengers into action by wiping some of Coulson’s blood on trading cards and displaying them for all to see. But Fury had forgotten he lived in the Marvel Universe, where, despite the call being "do or die" (hey, Steve’s died twice), no one stays truly dead forever. So is that everyone’s favourite S.H.I.E.L.D. operative is set to come rattling his chains up the stairs and spook Fury one cold winter’s night. Which is to say: Clark Gregg’s in the S.H.I.E.LD. TV series.
Yes, Marvel movie overlord Kevin Feige and current top consultant / snark-powered auteur Joss Whedon picked this past weekend’s New York Comic-Con to announce that Gregg has officially been cast as Coulson in the series.
“There was never going to be a S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ show without Agent Phil Coulson!” says Feige. “He’s headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was,” agrees Whedon, delighting Gregg / Coulson’s considerable following.
Whedon has been developing the series (currently titled Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.) with Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb, with hopes of having it on the air next year. Of course, that’ll depend on US network ABC making it happen, but given it’s spinning off one of the most successful movies of all time and features the writer-direct of said film spearheading the creative side, there’s a damn good chance it’ll happen.
More in question is how Coulson will return. Will the series be set pre-Avengers so they don’t have to pull any trickery? Or, more likely, will his death have been a clever fake (WE'RE LOOKING AT YOU, FURY) or his demise undone by some weird power? We’ll be on tenterhooks if you need us, but smiling widely at the thought of more Coulson. And someone can finally cheer up.
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, Thor bless us, every one!