NOTE: This post deals with a major plot point in The Avengers. If you haven’t seen it, please turn away, major spoilers follow.

Ever since the first Iron Man, one character has been the rock of the Marvel Universe: Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. Though he didn’t appear in The Incredible Hulk or Captain America: The First Avenger, we know from The Avengers he’s very familar with “the big guy” and quite a fan of Mr. Rogers too. Add that to appearances in both Iron Man films, Thor and The Avengers and you understand why he’s such a fan favorite. He’s the human personification of the connectivity in the Marvel Movie Universe. That’s why, when Joss Whedon decides to kill him in The Avengers (I warned you there would be spoilers) you really feel something for him as does the team.

This is a comic book world though and ever since The Avengers started breaking box office records fans wondered if the tried and true practice of comic book resurrection would happen in the movies for Agent Coulson. There’s evidence and speculation on both sides of the spectrum.

The gossip really began with an Ain’t It Cool News article that had some pretty good ideas on why Coulson could not be dead, even though we saw Loki shove a spear through his chest and watched breath leave his body. I urge you to read it but, for times sake, the main jist is that Nick Fury has the resources to fake something like that and was seen using the death as a manipulative tool already. So why not put Coulson’s life in his back pocket? This article really got the discussion going. Bleeding Cool in particular has another good piece filled with theories.

Gregg himself, a self professed nerd, took to Twitter to react to the AICN piece and eventually gave them an interview on the subject. It’s long, detailed, and great, but here’s his basic reaction:

I just love all of that stuff, but you know I think I really am trying to kind of… And I never know what Marvel is going to do, but I have to kind of feel like I’m trying to do my own business with “I probably won’t get to play this guy again.” I love it, who knows? Who knows what the fans can make happen, you know what I mean? That would be hilarious to me if the fans somehow managed… It would be the fans who brought Coulson back to life, but I don’t think there’s any plans. They’ve got enough superheroes to now bring in to take his place, you know? I think people would rather see Wasp than me come back.

One of the theories in that interview was that he could possibly come back as Vision, which then became became a very popular fan opinion, one that was mightily endorsed by MTV among others.

Then just this past week at KAPOW in London, the man who runs Marvel’s comic book division, Joe Queseda, did his best to curb those rumors and speculation in an interview with Comic Book Movie:

The fans desire for him to become the Vision? I dunno man, it doesn’t feel right. That’s strictly just fan speak. I don’t where that came from. I heard that for the first time yesterday. So, nah…no comment!

The whole reason comic book movies are so popular is that they take audiences to a world where anything is possible. Where a man can fly, travel into space or transform into a huge monster. Nothing about the films is realistic (except maybe you’re Christopher Nolan’s Batman) and for that very reason, Coulson’s return is a distinct possibility. It’s not particularly probable and if it was to happen, it would be mighty hard to keep a secret (even the best kept secret in recent superhero movies, Wolverine in X-Men First Class, was leaked) but in a world where a giant God is ready to reign down on Earth, Agent Coulson could be back in almost any of the upcoming Marvel movies.

What do you think? Is Coulson dead? Can he come back? Can Marvel keep it a secret if he does?

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