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'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV show: How fan favorite Coulson could return

'S.H.I.E.L.D.' is supposed to feature the return of Agent Coulson – here are a few of the likeliest ways ABC will bring him back.

By Scott StouteScreen Rant / January 17, 2013

A 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' TV show is supposed to feature the return of fan favorite Agent Coulson. How will he be brought back?

Matt Sayles/AP

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There has been plenty of speculation regarding the upcoming Joss Whedon S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series – specifically in regards to the show’s plot and whether or not well-known comic book characters will make an appearance; not to mention the question of how the series will be linked to the Marvel movie universe.

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While Marvel has previously stated that the pilot will be part of their “Phase II” storyline, they have now officially confirmed the that series will take place after the Avengers movie timeline – but will consist of its own self-contained stories.

In a recent interview with IGN, ABC President Paul Lee had this to say about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s place in the Marvel Universe:

“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York.This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”

That being said, the real question on fans minds is this: If the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot takes place after the Avengers and deceased fan-fav Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is set to return, how will the character be resurrected?

Bringing Back Coulson: How It Could Be Done

With all the options of bringing a character back to life Hollywood and comics have to offer, we took the time to compile a list of the most-likely options ABC or Whedon might use for Coulson: 

Flashbacks: Possible, but it would kind of defeat the purpose of having the series take place “after the Avengers.” The flashback idea also lacks the token Joss Whedon flare for the obviously complicated, but we’ll see.

A Ghost \ Helpful Sprit: Ummm, seems a bit unlikely (or at least we’re really hoping it is), despite Joss Whedon’s penchant for the supernatural and Marvel’s use of spirits in the past. The idea may sound cheesy at first (mostly because it is), but perhaps under the creative eye of Whedon it might actually work. Come to think of it, a ghost would make an excellent spy.

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