Marvel has done it once again. They have taken a character from the jaws of death and revitalized them in the name of popularity. The latest addition to the ever-growing list of the resurrected is Agent Phil Coulson. You may remember him from Iron Man, The Avengers and most of the latest Marvel flicks. He’s played by actor Clark Gregg and, while I enjoyed Gregg’s portrayal of the character, I’m a bit peeved about the powers-that-be deciding to bring him back.
The character of Agent Coulson became one of the most popular from the various movies, mostly due to Gregg’s excellent and fun performance. Killed in The Avengers, people thought they’d seen the last of him. But he proved to be so popular that the folks at Marvel were hypnotized by the money they could make by bringing him back and attached him to the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series that is being put together by Joss Whedon. As far as being a brilliant business move, there is none better. Marvel now has a giant fan-base ready to tune into the show simply to see this one guy.
I have to wonder, however, if Joss Whedon is responsible or not and, gods forbid, if he’s hit the slow decline to selling out. Whedon is usually good about these things, not idly killing characters and then reviving them whenever fans voice disapproval. So why is this guy so special? Is the stack of money they’re giving Whedon for being the master of all-things-Marvel so huge that he just can’t resist? Did someone else push this on him?
To explain away the reemergence of Coulson, Joss Whedon, at the currently ongoing New York Comic Con said that the version of Coulson we all saw die in The Avengers was a body double of some sort. Way to backtrack, Joss. Now if S.H.I.E.L.D. has some sort of cloning facility where their most popular model happens to be the Coulson-5000, I might get behind this simply for novelty’s sake. But somehow I doubt that’s the case.
I know I don’t hold the popular opinion on this one, but my hatred of deus ex machina is strong and unwavering. This news makes me want to watch the new series much less. And unless Whedon and his crew come up with a better explanation than “body double” (or just write him out of the series early), I will not likely be watching the show for very long.