Last night, if you weren’t distracted by baseball or football, you might have heard something from the northeastern part of this great country that sounded a little bit like the shriek of a schoolgirl.
Actually, it was a shriek, from not schoolgirls, but rather fangirls. And fanboys. And just fans in general. Why would millions of fans squeal in communal delight? The answer is simple:
That’s right friends and neighbors, the fan favorite, Agent Phil Coulson has become the first confirmed member of Joss Whedon’s upcoming ABC pilot, S.H.I.E.L.D.
The reaction to Agent Coulson’s death in The Avengers was one of heartbreak. All around the world people huddled together in comfort for the loss of a character who was beloved from his first appearance in 2008’s Iron Man. He was probably most loved by the man who portrayed him, Clark Gregg. Gregg is a self-professed geek and lover of comics and of course, Agent Coulson. So you can only imagine how it felt to sit at the Marvel panel during the New York Comic-Con and watch an “In Memoriam” tribute video to the character. Reports are that Gregg was actually moved to tears. Can’t say that I blame him.
A video of Joss Whedon started playing, saying that they had always wanted Gregg as “part of the Marvel Universe… even after his death,” and as if sent by the angels himself, Kevin Feige entered, wearing a shirt that read “Coulson Lives” and announced that Gregg would indeed be reprising the role of Agent Coulson in S.H.I.E.L.D.
Why is this such big news? Well it’s always fun to hear about our favorite characters that we all believe have died, only for them to come back to life, or find out they never died in the first place. But I think with Coulson it’s a little bit more than that. I think it’s because he is one of us. He’s a fan. Watching him meet Captain America and having that awestruck look on his face, I don’t think there’s many people who, when meeting their heroes, wouldn’t have the same reaction. Then to watch him “die” trying to protect his hero and company, I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to go out like that?
On top of that, after the massive success of The Avengers with Joss Whedon at the helm, it is exciting just to hear any news about the new show. Geeks have experienced both the highs and the lows of Whedon television shows. On one hand you’ve got the success of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, on the other hand you’ve got the great losses of Dollhouse and of course, Firefly. So when news comes out like this, a major character in a wildly successful movie blockbuster is part of the cast of the TV show, we just hold our breaths and hope that it’s enough to convince the network to stick with it.
So there you have it- Agent Coulson lives to see another day. Are you excited as I am?