In the history of Marvel Comics, characters have been brought back to life in hundreds if not thousands of different ways, from dimensional shifts to miracle cures to time travel. Agent Phil Coulson, however, is perhaps the first to be brought back thanks to the power of the popular social media site Twitter.
Those of you who have watched the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. know the true answer behind Coulson's resurrection in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (following a stab wound in the heart courtesy of Tom Hiddleston's Loki), but on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, Clark Gregg revealed that he believes Twitter - specifically the hashtag "#CoulsonLives" - is the reason why his character was both brought back to life and given his own show. Discussing being at places like San Diego Comic-Con and interacting with fans, the actor said,
"It’s fun for me to go to Comic-Con. Because Agent Phil Coulson - now Director Phil Coulson - is a bit of a nerd. He had an awkward man-crush on Captain America. When he died, the nerds brought him back to life with a hastag, #CoulsonLives. The nerds, my people, as a nerd, they have a real connection with Phil Coulson. So when I go there, it’s real fun.”
Coulson has been a fan favorite character ever since he was first introduced in Iron Man, and his clout only grew thanks to his appearances in other Marvel movies like Thor and Marvel One-Shots. Naturally, fans were pretty shocked when Joss Whedon decided to kill him in The Avengers, but fortunately it didn't take that long for that narrative decision to be reversed. Marvel Studios was quick to hear and process outcry from fans, and as it was at New York Comic-Con in October 2012 - just seven months after Coulson's death - that his return was announced for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Of course, now that the fall has arrived fans can get a weekly dose of Director Coulson, as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just started its second season last week and will be airing its second episode - titled "Heavy Is The Head" - tonight at 9pm ET/PT on ABC. We still can't say what the film future holds for the character, but hopefully Joss Whedon has found a way to squeeze him (and perhaps some of his TV co-stars) into The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which wrapped production this summer and will be in theaters on May 1, 2015.
To watch Clark Gregg's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night and hear him talk about how Coulson was saved, head over to page 2!