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For a time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was really making strides to emphasize its interconnectedness as events from the films were referenced and impacted the TV side of things. More specifically, Marvel's flagship network show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was directly impacted by the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. But as the cinematic universe is coalescing in magnificent ways, the television universe is being left to do its own thing. One glaring example of this is the fact that the Avengers haven't been made aware of or acknowledged that Agent Phil Coulson is still alive. Speaking to reporters in advance of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season five premiere, the man behind the resurrected agent, spoke about why that will probably never happen.
It's really touching to me how much the fans stay obsessed with the idea of when the Avengers are going to learn Coulson's alive. I don't know, I find that so touching. I think the Avengers have moved on, they're busy.
While fans may be disappointed in Clark Gregg's statement (via CBR), he is probably right. If Coulson's revival was going to be addressed it would have been done by now. It's been too long a this point, might come off as forced if they tried; but fans still love the Phil Coulson character and want recognition of his continued existence. He was integral to The Avengers, and his death at the hands of Loki was the emotional catalyst that unified the group into the world-saving team they are now. Never acknowledging Coulson's resurrection does cheapen the sacrifice made in The Avengers. But Clark Gregg is accurate in saying that the Avengers are a little busy, having fought robots and each other since the first film and now facing a galactic threat.
Why Earth's mightiest heroes have never mentioned Coulson again is anyone's guess. But there are certainly some behind the scenes reasons that could have played a part. The film and TV divisions of Marvel are now separate, and not exactly working as one cohesive unit with a unified vision. We have heard in the past about filmmakers having issues with the Isaac Perlmutter leadership that is now in charge of the TV side of things, so it is unlikely that the two divisions would work together to achieve something as small as having the Avengers see Coulson again. There is also the matter of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. never really being a hit or must see television for fans of the Marvel universe. That's unfortunate, because the show has improved in quality year over year and become a good show that plays with fun comic-booky concepts.
Despite the small chance that it ever happens, fans will continue to hope to see Phil Coulson on screen with the Avengers again. A small cameo would be enough and as long as there is a Marvel Cinematic Universe this hope will not fade. While we wait, you can see Agent Phil Coulson on his own cosmic adventure in the two-hour fifth season premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Friday, December 1st at 8/7c on ABC.