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.