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By Jason Ray Morton Published 3 years ago 5 min read
Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson

For a solid decade movie fans, comic fans, and fans of anything and everything superhero have been treated to the world of the Avengers. It all started with Robert Downy Jr as Iron Man or it all starts out, if you do the chronological watch party, with Chris Evans' portrayal of Captain America. Either way, the decade that passed us, has treated us to a world of superheroes, unlike anything that we have ever seen. In the midst of all of this superhero fandom, and there is deservingly a lot of fandom around the MCU, there are arguments to be made about who's the strongest Avenger, the most powerful Avenger, the sexiest Avenger, and even the coolest Avenger. For that last title, I strongly have to go with none other than the level eight S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Phil Coulson.

Coulson has been stomping into the scenes on screen since the beginning. Admittedly, he's more subtle than the Hulk, more subversive than Thor, and far more meager than Captain America. Coulson's more humble than Tony Stark, he's more grounded than even Clint Barton's Hawkeye and has a tough-guy swagger rivaling Nick Fury. While we last saw him on the big screen in the Avengers, we all know that wasn't the end of Agent Phil Coulson.

Coulson brought the Avengers together. Sure, some say Nick Fury's initiative did that but Coulson, storming into a battle he could not win, being in over his head, and dying at the hand of Loki did the job. It gave them all a rallying cry, something they needed to bring them together beneath the umbrella of S.H.I.E.L.D. At the start of the battle of New York, Robert Downey Jr reminded Loki, "His name was Phil." We all saw what happened in the Avengers, he was tagged on the toe dead.

"Welcome to level seven," he said, upon his return. The shock and awe of that scene makes me want to go back and watch Marvel's Agents of Shield. Sure, I've watched the series over a couple of times and each time enjoyed it. There's something about the calm voiced, meager, soccer dad appearing, Phil Coulson. He was a lynch-pin for the Avengers, bringing them together through his death. Then, out of the shadows, he comes back with a boosted swagger and pep in his step. There's a new team of agents, a completely cool car named Lola, a monster plane to run around the world in, and a world that needs saving, again.

In season one, the story gets sort of warmed up, as Coulson and his team are introduced to the world through several adventures in a slow burn style presentation. It lost a lot of viewers during the first season because of the slow burn. How, then, did it last through five seasons only to be resurrected for a sixth and seventh? Season one delves into Hydra, connecting SHIELD to its' roots. They're everywhere, including embedded into Coulson's beloved clandestine agency.

Coulson's sacrifices evolve as the show goes on. First, he died. Then, he loses a hand fighting against a morally corrupted inhuman plot. Coulson enters season three amidst an alien contagion that compromises the people of earth. As if it isn't a hard enough life, Coulson is forced to endure his first chance at love being assassinated in front of his eyes, only to follow his former colleague turned assassin to another planet for revenge. As his relationships evolve into a teacher, leader, parent, and friend to his team, Coulson goes on, being the hero that he is meant to be. In season four, we start to see a new relationship for Coulson, as his longest time allie and friend admit they have feelings, only to find out before they can act on them, that Coulson's dying.

All through season fives' first half, Coulson hides his status in order to keep his team from being distracted. A deal with the Ghostrider, that got them through the first villainous threat of season four, is catching up with him. By the end of season five, the heroes find their way home from a dystopian future, save the present and prevent the apocalyptic events that throw mankind into peril, only for Coulson to ride off into the sunset to die.

Five seasons, Clark Greggs' Phil Coulson appears to be gone. Season six starts with questions, questions about the team, their future and what's next for the agents. By the end of the first episode, there's Clark Gregg again. If you're keeping score, that's Phil Coulson two, death zero. The thing that looked like Coulson was enough Coulson that he is in there somewhere, his memories at least. His kids are trapped in space, hunting for a missing member and his agency is fighting, well, him and his new team of space adventurers.

Aliens, it had to be aliens. So, as the world faces its' greatest threat, the team knows they need Phil Coulson, who's dead, yet again. But, is he? In this world, it seems nothing is out of the realm and we are introduced to our hero in the form of an LMD. Life Model Decoy Phil Coulson is every bit the Coulson we knew in season one, Iron Man, Thor, Avengers, and definitely more than the one we met in Captain Marvel. This Coulson comes with some ad ons and abilities, making him a superhero.

Coulson is definitely the Avenger, the pivotal Avenger of the MCU. He's the one they all have needed, the one that put them all, both his team and the Avengers, together. Black Widow died, with all the skills of a lethal assassin. Quicksilver died, with the skills of speed like the Flash and finally, Iron Man, laid down on the grenade to save the world, even though Captain America swore he was not the guy to make the sacrifice play. With a subtle swagger, Coulson has died not once, but three times, and is still going at the end of a seven-season adventure that took him to different planets and through nearly a hundred years of time. Now, tell me he isn't the coolest Avenger!


About the Creator

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

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