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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is quickly becoming one of my new favorite TV shows. Not just because of its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU), but because it’s a good standalone show that happens to be connected to the MCU. One thing that bugs me though is its star Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. If you’ve seen The Avengers (and if you haven’t then I banish you from this site), you saw him get stabbed through the heart by Loki. It was literally what made the Avengers assemble for their epic battle in New York. As with any spy organization, they’re keeping the full explanation of Coulson’s ‘revival’ under wraps. So how exactly did he survive being killed by a demi-god to now lead a mod squad of new S.H.I.E.L.D. agents? I have a few theories on that:

#1 – He’s a Life Model Decoy

Nick Fury LMDs fighting She-Hulk

For all of those who are just now learning about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s inner workings, I’ll drop some quick knowledge. In addition to their guns, blue jumpsuits, and giant helicarrier, one of the main staples of their arsenal are life model decoys, or LMDs. LMDs are non-biological automatons designed to mimic the behavior, appearance and speech of various S.H.I.E.LD. personnel. They are identical in every way to the original subject they are replicating (fingerprints, retina scans, etc). In the comics, they were used by Nick Fury and Maria Hill whenever a mission had a certain level of danger beyond what either one was comfortable with. Tony Stark even mentioned them in The Avengers, solidifying that they do exist in that universe. Knowing their need for secrecy, I could see Coulson just being an LMD that was implanted with false memories and isn’t even aware of its true nature.

#2 – Asgardian Tech/Magic saved Agent Coulson

The Destroyer Gun

Right before Agent Coulson ‘died’ he shot Loki with an experimental weapon based on the power of The Destroyer from Thor. The fact that it was able to knock him down gives us a glimpse of its power. But what if that same power based on Asgardian magic saved his life? When asked about where he went to recover from his wounds Coulson always says ‘Tahiti. It’s magical.’ Sounds to me like that some otherworldly force had a hand in his continuance with us. I know that sounds like a bit of a stretch but that’s not the case for any of Marvel’s recent movies. In fact, it’s practically the premise of the Iron Man series. At first, Tony Stark’s repulsor technology was mainly used to power his very destructive (and slightly awesome) weapons. But after a few months in captivity, he not only decided to use it to power his Iron Man armors, but to find a way to use it as a clean energy source for mankind. Turning bad into good is a staple of the Marvel Universe so I can imagine the same energies that gave The Destroyer his/her power is enough to heal a mortal man.

#3 – Agent Coulson will be The Vision!

By far the most accepted rumor involving Coulson among fans, many believe that he is an android that will eventually become the Avengers’ resident robot. One fan believes is so much, he even sculpted a bust of Vision with Coulson’s facial features (seen here). In the comics, Ultron (one of The Avengers’ biggest villains) created Vision to help in his battle against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If my LMD theory turns out to be true, Ultron could hack his systems and alter him to become Vision to help him fight the Avengers in the upcoming movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to Joss Whedon, we know that Tony Stark is going to be directly involved with Ultron’s creation instead of Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man. Stark was the worst affected by Coulson’s death in The Avengers so I can see Ultron using this as an advantage to keep Iron Man from fighting him.

Do you think any of these theories make sense? Got a better explanation? Leave a comment and let us know!

S#!T Talking Central

  • curtis yeomans

    The Scarlet Witch altered reality…

    • JUGGER

      more like she altered your reality

  • Eoghan-Tony Dwyer

    Maybe he was dead and the writers said fuck it, lets just just fuck the viewers and bring him back to life and not explain it

  • Paul Preibisius

    Or… “he was a likable character and the only significant one in the movie that would be good with jumping to the small screen.”

    If it was in the context of the same movie then yeah a good explainer has to be given. In this context meh, judge the T.V. show (good or bad) on its own merit and don’t worry too much about what happened somewhere else in this Marvel-verse

  • Amanda Marvell

    I think Scarlet Witch could have something to do with Coulsons revival, as it looks like she isn’t getting an introduction movie, showing her off through the TV series would be a great way to get her started off. Especially because a lot of people who have heard of…say: Captain America, or Thor, wont have heard of her or Quiksilver.

  • JaySin420

    Great article, I never liked the idea of Coulsen (or any other character that dies) returning and I thought LMD’s would just get too confusing and leave too many questions all the time.

    But I love your theory cause if he is an LMD that turns evil they could just get rid of all the other LMD’s because of that.

  • Mike

    The way they kept saying Tahiti is a magical place and how “he can never know” makes me think he’s not alive at all. Perhaps robot with his mind/essence transferred? Ehhh maybe.

  • James Douglas

    It’s certainly set-up for Coulson to be The Vision, in subtle ways at least. Stark mentions in Avengers that Coulson left behind a girlfriend, “a cellist” is what he says. Scarlett Witch is a cellist, is going to be in Age of Ultron, and in the comics at least winds up married to The Vision…

  • Andy Genova

    His lack of muscle memory, which he emphasized in the last episode when he couldn’t take apart the gun, would lead me to believe that he’s clearly not in his original body.