Published on May 8th, 2012 | by Gavin Jones19
Let’s talk about Phil – Avengers **SPOILERS**
There are some things in life that it is okay to spoil, like classic shows that you should’ve seen, Magnum P.I. for example or trashy soaps, like Hollyoaks, where the whole point is to be titillated into watching even if you know exactly what is going to happen. The Avengers movie ( I refuse to call it the UK-friendly Avenger’s Assemble) does not fall into either of these categories, in fact I think it should be made law not to spoil The Avengers, punishable by death… too much?
It is for this very reason that I have engineered such a long intro to this article which you now read, it will be SPOILER heavy for anyone who has not yet seen the awesomeness of The Avengers. You’ve had fair warning so if you haven’t seen The Avengers and you keep reading you only have yourself to blame and maybe your parents for not teaching you that when The Avengers is in the cinema you go and see it…immediately and repeatedly!
Now that those non-Avengers watching nutters have gone we can get down to the true intention of this post, let’s talk about Agent of SHIELD, Phil Coulson and his untimely demise in the much discussed Avengers movie. Phil went out like a true Avenger, defending the earth from a deadly threat and paying the ultimate price…or did he? He definitely went down fighting but did he stay down? We never see the medic’s call his time of death, we are just told by Fury that they did. At this point in the movie The Avengers need a push, a push to make them a team and something to fight for that they all truly believe in, something to avenge. It would seem reasonable that he survived and Fury was using his close connection to the team to spur them into action by faking his death. I have a theory, no funeral = not dead, Whedon saw fit to -OMG massive Sereneity SPOILER coming up- give Wash a funeral and surely Coulson deserves the same?
When Coulson fell, my Sidekick in crime, Dan Marshall turned to me and said ‘You okay bre?’, ‘I’m fine, he’s not dead’ is how I replied. This isn’t because at this point I felt there was a conspiracy surrounding his death but more because I didn’t want to believe that he was dead, I couldn’t face it. Since his introduction to the Marvel movie universe in 2008′s Iron Man, Agent Phil Coulson has worked his way into my heart as I’m sure he has for many other fanboys too. After Iron Man 2 I even wrote a short post about how much of a bromance I was having with good ol’ Phil, you can read it here and also see how Coulson has started to make his way into the comic book Marvel universe too. For the last 4 years, Agent Coulson has been the glue that stuck the Marvel movie universe together and it just doesn’t seem right without him.
Often played for comic relief, Phil has a polite stubbornness and stoic attitude that make him a hard man to ignore, clearly more than just the boring bureaucrat he first appears to be. If you need further evidence of Coulson’s Bad-assness make sure you check out the Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer, you won’t be disappointed. Much of the credit for Coulson’s popularity has to go to the actor that plays him, Clark Gregg, a perfectly balanced performance by an actor who until his appearance in Iron Man had not been on too many people’s radars, apart from all those hardcore West Wing fans…you know the ones, they use let’s ‘West WIng this’ instead of saying lets ‘walk and talk’. Here’s a clip of Clark talking about his character in The Avengers:
So lets assume I’m wrong and Phil Coulson really is dead, where next? Where can I get my Coulson hit? Well, if you’re into your cartoons then you should check Ultimate Spider-Man, which just so happens to co-star Phil Coulson moonlighting as the Principal at Midtown High, where Peter Parker attends. Contrived it may be, Coulson is there to keep an eye on Spidey and his newly formed SHIELD team, it’s cool to see Marvel using Coulson in this way, especially as the character is voiced by Clark Gregg himself. For Coulson in comic book form there’s this travesty of cross-product marketing:
That’s Agent Coulson and Nick Fury Jr just introduced into the comic book Marvel universe during a recent Christopher Yost series, Battle Scars (thanks to Mikey Bumchin for that info). The less said about this, the better.
There is another interesting theory circling the Internet as to Coulson’s fate, what if he is dead but they use his mind as the basis for The Vision, the android Avenger, so far missing from The Avengers lineup. The Vision was an android created by Avengers bad guy, Ultron, himself a creation of Hank Pym (Ant Man), whose mind was based upon that of fallen Avenger, Wonder Man. I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the point in The Avengers movie world where Marvel feel the need to introduce Wonder Man, so why not base the character of The Vision on Phil Coulson? It would certainly fit with the character of The Vision and he is a character I would like to see on screen. It’s not my theory but I like it, I like it a lot.
In a final thought I would just like to say the Marvel movie universe has been a better place for Agent Phil Coulson and it will be a sadder place in his passing, lets hope he can perform one of those miraculous resurrections superheroes are famous for, he is after all, at least in my book, an Avenger.
For more future Avengers predictions, check back here tomorrow for PJ’s regular column Avengers Assemble – Speculating on Marvel Studios Phase Two part one of which can be read here.