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Stephen Green

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September 25, 2013 - 12:06 pm

Loved The Avengers. Loved, loved, loved that movie. After one viewing it was added to our short & selective Go-To Movies playlist in Ye Olde iTunes Movie Library. The wife loves it, the kids love it, and I think the dog even loves it.

That’s why I’m pretending the new Avengers spin-off TV show, Agents of SHIELD, doesn’t even exist. The reason? They brought back Agent Phil Coulson. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great character and Clark Gregg plays him with just the right mix of authority and humanity. But Coulson died for a reason in the movie. His death meant something. Only by a beloved character getting stabbed-through-the-chest dead was Nick Fury able to forge his dysfunctional group of feuding heroes into a team.

Take that away, and you take away what made The Avengers something more than just popcorn fare. Coulson’s death didn’t just galvanize the heroes; it galvanized the audience.

Yes, I know comic books bring back characters from the dead all the time. But you’re talking about decades-old franchises in need of freshening up every now then. The Avengers is a movie that came out just last year — it still has that new franchise smell. It needs freshening up like I need water in my brandy glass at bedtime. What the hell good did that ever do anybody?

So it doesn’t matter to me how compelling of a backstory Joss Whedon & Co. come up with to explain Coulson’s return, or how much success I wish for Gregg. I’m not going to watch this show, period.

Bring Coulson back for the inevitable reboot, please. But he fell a hero, and that’s how we should remember him.

******

Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at VodkaPundit.com in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

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All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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I watched the film again last night and I'm just not sure why anyone would think he was really dead. They say they're going to get him help, he says the team needs to think he died, they'll need motivation to go get the job done. Later, his body is missing and Fury just says he's gone. Based on Coulson's last lines in the movie and the fact that everyone kept looking at the spot where his body had been as if they expected to see it, I was never under the impression that he wasn't going to make another appearance...the dialogue had all the foreshadowing you needed.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spoiler alert...I'm serious, don't read this if you don't want to know what's happening.

To the author: you need to read more comics. Tony Stark when trying to blow off Coulson over the phone claimed to be a Life Model Decoy (LMD) of Tony Stark rather than the real thing.

A LMD is an android copy of a real person. The copy can be programmed extensively so that even close acquaintances can't tell the difference between the copy and the original. Often the copy is programmed to not realize its a copy until its confronted by the original, some programmed event happens, or it has its electronic guts ripped out of it so that it can't deny its own nature.

LMD's have been part of SHEILD's arsenal of tricks since they were first introduced in the 1960's. Doctor Doom uses a similar technology but calls his androids "Doombots".

Its likely the the big season one finale will either be the reveal that Coulson is a LMD or that Coulson is fatally wounded and the reveal will be at beginning of season two.

There would have been no reason for the Tony Stark character to have mentioned LMD's existence if the producer wasn't meaning to use it. Those kind of lines that would be neat to a long-time fan would end up on the cutting room floor because it didn't advance the movie and didn't mean anything to the wider audience. Since it wasn't useful in the movie, the usefulness of it will be in the spin-off.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had the same problem with the new Star Trek. Never in any of the Star Trek series did the destruction of Vulcan occur. I have no interest in the new movies...
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I had no problem with blowing up Vulcan. Nasty place.

I do object to Engineering looking like a brewery.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The pilot episode strongly suggests that Coulson did indeed die, and that his sacrifice meant something in actual fact. Maybe Clark Gregg's AoS character isn't actually the original Phil Coulson. Even if he is, he came back through means considerably more harrowing than Tahiti. Either way, his fate in the Avengers movie had real consequences.

For my part, I'm guardedly hopeful about the series. The pilot episode didn't knock my socks off, but it's still considerably stronger than the pilot episodes of Buffy, Angel, or Dollhouse: Whedon's shows often take a season-plus to really get off the ground and find themselves.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
First of all, it's a fictional movie based on a comic - so don't take any of it that seriously.

Second, I noticed at the time in the Avengers movie a little line that Stark/Iron Man tossed out when he was facing the bad guy at the end.

Stark was talking about all of the people who the villain had pi$$ed off - and he ended by saying there was one more person who "is" pi$$edd off at him - and mentions Coulson.

Stark was talking in the present tense, as if he knew Coulson was still alive.

Aside from that, my pet theory is also that Coulson - if he didn't survive and his death a fake - is a clone.

If Coulson is a clone, then he's not really the original Coulson person - just a copy that has all of Coulson's memories, training, attitude, etc.

Clone Coulson would be a different character than the original Coulson.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
(In the Marvel TV universe) Let's think about what SHIELD would be in the pan/post Øbama world. Here is a secret organization accountable to NO ONE, armed to the teeth with top level military personnel, state-of-the-art weaponry, an army, a navy, an air force; and it's run by a secretive "council". Did anybody notice this in the Avengers movie? I put it in the willing suspension of disbelief pile but still...
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I look at Coulson's "death" as another example of Nick Fury's rather casual attitude towards truth. He had no problem lying/dissembling about the weapons he was making with the tesseract's power, and I don't think he would be above using Coulson's "death" to manipulate the Avengers.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is also the possibility that Whedon knew, from the very beginning, that Coulson was going to die, or not going to die, and was going to come back. Whedon may not have known about the TV show at the time, maybe he planned to bring him back to life in the next movie. When the show came up, he saw a better opportunity and a way to bring a popular, beloved character to our television sets.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meh. I really liked the movie but felt it had fundamental flaws (killing off a fun yet less-than-central character because it worked in Serenity, Captain America as a lightweight whiner). And it bothers me when, in a comic book, they kill off a character to profound effect (e.g., the Beyonder wanted a meaningful existence and his death unleashes energy tht creates a new universe, giving his life/death meaning) but then they bring them back because creating new characters is harder than resurecting earlier creations. Bringing back Coulson doesn't bother me because killing him off was prolly a tactical storytelling mistake in the first place.

What WILL bother me will be episodes that regularly contain lines like, "Iron Man was here. You just missed him." and "The Hulk is just around this corner [Cut to commercial] Well, that went well with the Hulk."
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
This attitude follows the current trend in fantastic literature to have complete and pedantic historical and technical accuracy to support wildly made up bizarre stories about aliens and alternate history stories which include magic and vampires. It's mind-boggling.

How does one whine about the Duke of Wellington not having done this or that in real life when at the same time he's out inspecting magic bubbles before the Battle of Waterloo? Let it be noted that the magic bubbles/Wellington author agonized in a blog post about the fact there was no chicken wire at that time when she writing an escape scene, and how she was going to reconcile and properly research chichen coops of that era.

Just make the stuff up. I wasn't taking notes and tsk-tsking when David Innes went to the center of the earth in an iron mole, or John Carter was whisked off to Mars from a cave in Arizona.

Hail Hydra!!!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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