S.H.I.E.L.D.), and has been informally known as Fury's right-hand man, as well as having taken on the role of director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- We're not exactly a team. But we're in a position to do some good.
- -- Phil Coulson src
At some time, he became agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and ascended within the organization.
Working With Tony Stark
Phil Coulson was present during events surrounding the destruction of the Arc Reactor at Stark Industries, first making himself known to industrialist inventor, Tony Stark, and also trying to assist with investigating Obadiah Stane.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s scientific branch had detected unusual electromagnetic disturbances in the vicinity of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico, which drew Coulson to the site of an impact crater. While traveling there, he stopped at a gas station and overpowered two robbers. At the crater site, he found a number of town locals trying unsuccessfully to pull a hammer from the earth in which it was embedded. He called in S.H.I.E.L.D. and had the area cleared and secured for further investigation of the object.
New Mexico: Land of Enchantment
With the hammer secured, Coulson turned his attention to the surrounding area and soon discovered equipment which led him back to astrophysics researcher Jane Foster and her colleagues based in Puente Antiguo. He immediately confiscated the remainder of her equipment and research, and when she returned home to discover her possessions being hauled away, Coulson simply brushed her off and offered a check as compensation.
Coulson was later at the S.H.I.E.L.D. compound surrounding the hammer when alarms sounded, signalling an intrusion, and he became further concerned by a corresponding build-up of anomalous weather at the same time. An unarmed intruder battered his way into the compound, right to the hammer, leaving Coulson to make a choice on whether or not to use lethal force to prevent the man from reaching it. Intrigued, he allowed the intruder to reach it, only to witness the man struggle with it before crumpling in anguish. Ordering the man captured, Coulson confronted him, pressing for information on his background and apparent military training, although the stranger only offered limited answers in reply.
The following day, Coulson was approached by Erik Selvig who spoke on behalf of the stranger and claimed the man's name was " Blake". Coulson quickly established that there were inconsistencies with Selvig's claim, but released his detainee before ordering him followed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to find out more.
Coulson was responding to another find in the New Mexico desert when he received a curious report from his agents in Puente Antiguo. An agent reported the presence of four strangely dressed newcomers, but before Coulson could give this much consideration he was faced with a more immediate problem when a wind vortex appeared at the site he was investigating. Something large thumped down into the dust nearby and when the dust cleared Coulson found himself face-to-visor with a ten foot tall humanoid metal construct. He challenged it on the basis that it appeared to be unregistered weapons technology, at which point it opened fire and scattered the assembled agents.
Coulson escaped serious injury from the encounter, but could do little more than watch as the Destroyer laid waste to Puente Antiguo. He witnessed a miracle when the hammer that he had been guarding in recent days flew from its resting place to the hand of the stranger he had been detaining and saw the destruction of the rampaging machine as the man, now possessing the full power of Thor, battered it with the hammer. Coulson approached the man in the aftermath, pointing out that 'Blake' had not been completely honest. Thor told him that their goals were the same and that Coulson could count on him as an ally, if he returned the items that were taken from Foster. Coulson accepted and pointed out that Foster would need the equipment to continue her research. He then watched as Thor and his four strange friends left town.
Later, Coulson met with Agent Sitwell in a diner to discuss the current situation involving the Avenger Initiative. While Nick Fury's superiors had approved it, they also wanted Emil Blonsky (now dubbed "The Abomination") recruited onto the team due to his military record and status as a war hero. Since he was still being held by General Ross, they planned to blame all the destruction he caused during his rampage in Harlem on Bruce Banner in order to clear his name and have him released. With Fury unable to outright refuse, Coulson proposed sending a patsy to meet with Gen. Ross in the hopes of unintentionally sabotaging the meeting so that he would refuse to hand Blonsky over. Sitwell suggested they send the "Consultant", who turned out to be Tony Stark; an idea that Coulson was adamantly against. He eventually relented, which proved to be the wiser choice as Stark succeeded in his task with Blonsky remaining in the general's custody and off the Avengers.
Assembling The Avengers
Coulson's brushes with exceptional people were only beginning. He got to witness the revival of the World War II-era hero Captain Steven Rogers, famously known as "Captain America", before again being tasked to approach Tony Stark on a matter of dire urgency. Thor's brother Loki had stolen the Tesseract, an object of limitless power, and the gravity of this situation was such that the idea of bringing together a team of exceptional people had to be revisited.
After leaving Stark with a convincing portfolio of the situation, Coulson escorted Steve Rogers to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, taking the time to request autographs of his hero. Once on board he took up other duties, including some involvement in ensuring that Jane Foster had been moved to a safe location.
He was present on the carrier long after the capture of Loki, when rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Clinton Barton launched a daring commando raid. Coulson procured an experimental gun from secure containment and went to one of the more obvious target objectives: Loki's holding cell. When he arrived, he found Loki outside of the cell, and Thor trapped on the inside. He threatened Loki and held him at gunpoint, but the Asgardian had created an illusion to distract Coulson while he slipped behind the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Coulson was shocked by the appearance of a blade bursting from his chest, a mortal wound dealt from behind, but scored a shot of his own with the experimental gun before Loki fled the Helicarrier.
Agent Coulson was slipping away when Director Fury found him. He tried to assure Fury that his death would provide the reason for the Avengers to assemble, but his words failed before he could complete them. Phil Coulson died believing in an ideal, believing in the Avengers, and in his death those same people found the resolution they had sorely lacked.
Back in Action
- I've seen giants. They're not heroes because they have powers. It's what they do with them.
- --Phil Coulson[src]
According to official reports, Coulson had stopped breathing for 8 seconds before being resuscitated by S.H.I.E.L.D. medics. Phil was relocated to Tahiti for recovery with help from a physical therapist, and at some point after returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. - though his survival wasn't revealed to agents below Clearance Level 7. In reality Coulson was dead for days before Director Fury tasked a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. doctors - including Dr. Streiten and Dr. Goodman - to revive him at the Guest House. The doctors revived him with a liquid from a blue humanoid corpse known as GH-325. During the process, the semi-alive Coulson would repeat "Please, let me die", so Dr. Streiten replaced these memories with those of a vacation in Tahiti. Several months later he was tasked with the creation of a new team of agents in order to deal with new abnormal situations. The teammembers chosen were operation specialists Agent Grant Ward and Agent Melinda May, weapons expert Agent Leo Fitz, and finally biochemist Agent Jemma Simmons.
The first threat they faced was the appearance of a superhero in Los Angeles, who was revealed to be empowered with a compound similar to the Extremis virus, in order to handle this situation, Coulson and his team were aided by their new asset Skye, a member of the Rising Tide, who Coulson later offered a spot in his team.
As his new team carried out various missions- including unrelated side-missions such as cleaning up the aftermath of the battle between Thor and Malekith in London and aiding Sif in recapturing escaped Asgardian prisoner Lorelei- Coulson discovered rumours of a mysterious figure known as the Clairvoyant who was attempting to perfect a means of artificially granting superpowers to chosen soldiers. Although the Clairvoyant encouraged rumours that he was an actual psychic, Coulson's investigations determined that the Clairvoyant was actually fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent John Garrett, only to find himself facing new problems when Garrett was revealed to be part of Hydra's long-term plan to subvert S.H.I.E.L.D. from within and take control when the time was right, with Hydra agents including Grant Ward. Despite the odds against them, Coulson's team was eventually able to subvert Garrett's plans with the aid of the returned Nick Fury, who subsequently appointed Coulson the new head of the remaining agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. loyal to what should have been the organisation's true mission before departing to hunt down the remaining Hydra cells.
One of the first tasks Coulson took up as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. was to retrieve the information Roger Browning, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, was trying to sell. Coulson had a team of mercenaries in his employ led by another former agent Izzy Hartley try to buy the information from him, but they were ambushed by a superpowered assassin working for an unknown third party. Using the information his team was able to bring back from the mission, Coulson discovered the Level 10 asset Browning was selling information on was an 0-8-4, the first 0-8-4, recovered by the SSR back in World War II known as the Obelisk. Soon afterwards, May was able to match the assassin's DNA to Carl Creel, an individual they believed was crossed off the Gifted Persons Index, but soon realized the officer responsible for terminating Creel was John Garrett and was probably recruited into Hydra. Coulson had Skye and May abduct the newly-promoted Brigadier General Talbot and bring him back to the Playground, where Coulson tried to get Talbot to work with him against their common enemy in Hydra. Talbot adamantly refused, and Coulson sedated him and dropped him off somewhere in the desert. Coulson then ordered Skye, May, Trip, and Hartley's mercenaries to infiltrate the army base where the Obelisk was stored to retrieve it. When the mission started to go bad, Coulson ordered his agents to continue with the mission as planned, even though this caused Hartley's mercenaries to quit the mission, taking the Obelisk with them. Skye, May, and Trip made a mad dash to a quinjet with cloaking technology while under heavy fire and were able to get away. Unknown to them, the quinjet was a secondary goal of the mission, as Coulson believed they could use it's cloaking technology to gain an advantage over their enemies.
May meanwhile was still on Creel's trail. She almost caught up to him, but Coulson ordered her to stay back and to not engage him as they were heading into a civilian area. After she lost him, Coulson received a call from Raina, who gave him the location where Creel would hand the Obelisk off to his Hydra superiors. Coulson personally took out Creel with a device Fitz and Mack came up with to cause him to lose control of his abilities and turn into stone. Back at the Playground, May chewed out Coulson for participating in a mission, stating it was too risky for the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to act like a field agent. However, she also reminded him that he was due for an "episode," although Coulson thought he was overdue. Not long after, Coulson started creating the runes again, but this time May captured the whole ordeal on camera. The next day, Coulson let Talbot believe he was turning himself in, but really wanted to turn over Creel and show off his new arsenal of cloaking-capable airplanes to the man hunting him down.
When a 500-year-old painting is found to have the runes Coulson had been drawing on its back, Coulson and May infiltrate a fundraiser held by a Miami financier to take the painting for themselves. However, the painting had already been bought by the federal government, and Talbot was there to retrieve it. Leaving the party empty-handed, Coulson and May were confronted by Talbot on their way out. He offered to let Coulson have access to the painting if he would study at a government facility under his supervision. Coulson agreed, but needed an hour to give orders to his teammates. May went to the hotel room they were to meet him at instead. In reality, Talbot was actually the Hydra agent Sunil Bakshi in disguise, and May was attacked and replaced by an impostor. The false Agent May went back to the Playground, and reported that Talbot's offer was legitimate. Coulson and the impostor went back to the hotel room, but Coulson started noticing strange behavior out of her. Once she agreed to get a cup of coffee with him, a request May would routinely refuse, Coulson realized she was an impostor and attacked her. During their fight, Agent May escaped from her confinement in Bakshi's hotel room and barged in on their fight and took over for him. Coulson then took off after Bakshi and the painting. As Bakshi called for an extraction team, Coulson took him out with his I.C.E.R. Both of them escaped with the painting and took it back to the Playground, where an analysis revealed the runes were relatively recent. Knowing that there was another person out there making these carvings, Coulson reminded May that she would need to put him down if he ever went mad like Garrett. May refused, and showed him the plans she made to move him to the Australian Outback in a worst case scenario, but Coulson ordered her to kill him when the time came.
Skye later caught on to Coulson's condition when she spotted him etching the runes on his desk and confronted him about it. Coulson speculated that he and Garrett may have had a negative reaction to GH.325 but Skye seemed unaffected because he theorized that she may be an alien. The revelation barely had time to rattle Skye before they received a call from Raina, who wanted to meet. Upon meeting, Raina revealed that she had discovered Simmons working undercover at Hydra and threatened to blow her cover if he doesn't allow her to take Skye to meet her father. Coulson refused her bargain, having already had another undercover agent, Bobbi Morse, rescue Simmons. With her leverage gone, Raina was forced to admit that Hydra's leader, Daniel Whitehall, had threatened her life if she did not bring him the Obelisk, which was in Skye's father's possession. After getting the Skye's father's location from Raina, Coulson sent her away with a tracker in her leg. Soon after, he realized that Skye had gone ahead to confront her father. Catching up, they found a pair of bodies, prompting Skye to call her father a monster. Back at the Playground, she agreed with Coulson that her father had to be stopped, but told him that he couldn't keep any more secrets from her. Coulson then showed her the whole diagram of alien symbols he had carved the day before, which Skye identified as a map.
When Hydra framed S.H.I.E.L.D. for an attack on the U.N., Senator Christian Ward was compelled to propose a multi-national police force to hunt down S.H.I.E.L.D. Knowing his operatives' lives were at stake, Coulson decided to personally meet Christian after learning how scared Grant was of him, and offered to trade his brother to him if he would recant his proposal. He then shared one last meeting with Grant, reminding him that he had three and a half weeks to earn back his goodwill when all he gave was silence. Grant tried to convince him that he could still help S.H.I.E.L.D. and that he was still part of his team. Coulson angrily listed the many atrocious actions Ward had committed (dropping Fitz and Simmons out a plane, killing Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig) and told him that the only reason he was alive because he was of use, and the only reason he was being transferred was because Christian was of more use. Coulson was soon called away by Triplett, having learned that Belgium foreign minister, Julien Beckers, was a Hydra agent who only opposed Christian's proposal to trick S.H.I.E.L.D. into thinking that their operatives would be safe in his borders. Though May, Morse and Hunter managed to apprehend the Hydra agents responsible, the Netherlands S.H.I.E.L.D. team were all killed. Coulson later gave Grant over to the FBI, though his former teammate escaped soon after.
Search for Answers
While May led the manhunt for Ward, Coulson's hypergraphia had worsened to the point where he was forced to carve daily. Later, one of Skye's contacts informed her of the murder of Janice Robbins, who had the alien symbols carved onto her body. Coulson identified her as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, despite her official biography, and investigated the victim's house, finding multiple artworks of the alien symbols. Skye checked S.H.I.E.L.D. records and confirmed that "Robbins" was Agent Rebecca Stevens, who had been reported to have died of cancer. Coulson then had Mack and Fitz retrieve Robbins' body, which Simmons discovered had received GH.325 injections. Realizing the killer was targeting T.A.H.I.T.I. patients, Coulson decided to use Raina's memory machine to uncover their identity. Recalling his buried memories, he remembered that the T.A.H.I.T.I. patients all began carving the symbols in any way they could, forcing the project to rewrite their memories and give them new identities. He identified the perpetrator to be Sebastian Derik, an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. assassin and he was going after the final patient, Hank Thompson/Cameron Klein. Though May ordered Skye to lock up Coulson until her return, Coulson instead threw her into Ward's cell so he could confront Thompson, thinking he knew what the alien writing meant, only for them both to be captured by Derik. Derik had recovered his memories when he began carving onto his own body. Thompson was able to free himself and Coulson, who then began fighting with Derik. Coulson spotted Thompson's train set was a 3D model of the symbols, which depicted the shape of a city. Once he and Derik came to this revelation, their insanity began to fade. After turning Derik over to the proper authorities, Coulson made it S.H.I.E.L.D.'s mission to find the alien city before Hydra could.
To find the city, Coulson took Skye, Triplett and Fitz on a mission to infiltrate a U.S. military satellite network to scan the planet for the alien city. Unfortunately, they ran into a Hydra squad that had the same idea and during the fighting, Triplett was critically wounded. Skye's father, Cal, helped patch Triplett up but accidentally gave himself away when he addressed Coulson by his first name, forcing him to sever one of Triplett's veins so Coulson wouldn't take any action. Cal revealed to Coulson that the alien city held a great power that he planned on bringing Skye and the Obelisk to; when Coulson asked if that power was equal to the Tesseract, Cal had no clue of the comparison. Cal then escaped, leaving Coulson and Fitz to save Triplett.
Once they determined that the alien city was in San Juan, Coulson, took Morse, Mack, Fitz and Simmons to scout the city, while sending Skye with the rest of the team, to keep her away from the alien city, to rescue Raina, whom Whitehall was seeking to capture. Upon finding an entrance to the city at the local garrison and discovering that the city interferes with electronic devices, they send Mack down, only for him to get possessed by the city, forcing Coulson's team to seal him down the hole.
That was the least of their problems, as Ward had rejoined Hydra and abducted Skye and Raina. Knowing that Hydra would likely be coming for the city, Coulson took May, Hunter and Morse to stop them. During the fighting, Coulson shot Whitehall from behind before he could shoot Cal, enraging Skye's father, who desired revenge on Whitehall. Cal took out his rage on Coulson, nearly beating him to a pulp before Skye intervened and forced Cal to leave. Despite Coulson's pleas, Skye went down into the alien city to stop Raina from using the Obelisk. Coulson went down after her, but was forced to contend with a still-possessed Mack. He was too late to stop Skye, Raina and Triplett from getting trapped in the central chamber. As the Obelisk was activated, the city released Mack from its thrall and the two men took cover as the city collapsed.
In the aftermath, Raina had disappeared, having been hideously transformed by a mist released from the Obelisk while Skye seemed unaffected, and Triplett had been killed. As Skye was put in quarantine, Coulson vowed to make Triplett's sacrifice worthwhile by taking down Hydra while they were reeling from Whitehall's death. His plan involved Sunil Bakshi, Whitehall's right-hand man, whom Ward captured for S.H.I.E.L.D. before he rejoined Hydra, in an elaborate sting operation to lead them to Hydra's leadership and trick them into killing each other, after which Morse and Hunter recaptured Bakshi to hand over to Talbot. Afterwards, Coulson paid a visit to Triplett's mother to inform her of her son's death.
GH.325: Coulson was the administered with the GH.325 serum, which had the effect of completely regenerating his eviscerated heart tissue. However, the use of this serum, along with all other details of his resurrection, were kept secret from Coulson.
Cybernetic Interface: Following the loss of his left hand, Coulson's lower left arm was equipped with a cybernetic system that has itself been connected to several prosthetic hands to replace the one he lost. Initially the function was simply to replace his missing hand with a functional prosthesis that responded to his nervous control as any normal hand would, however subsequent upgrades also demonstrated enhanced gripping strength, and communications technology (accessed by touches from the right hand to the left inner forearm on a 'subdermal' display) enough to remote control a quinjet.
- Expert Martial Artist: Agent Coulson is highly trained in the field of hand to hand combat. He was able to easily take down two armed men attempting to rob a Roxxon gas station. He also held his own against the highly skilled Agent 33, and subdued Sebastian Derik, an expert assassin, even after being tortured by him. He also was able to fight Calvin Zabo, a man with enhanced strength, on equal terms.
- Expert Marksman: Agent Coulson is trained in the use of conventional firearms and weapons. He has extensive experience with unconventional firearm technology, including the Destroyer Gun created from Asgardian technology, and the Night-Night Gun.
- Expert Tactician: He is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander. For the reason he was placed in command of his own S.H.I.E.L.D. unit, and has subsequently proven himself able to command even larger units, as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director.
- Expert Spy: Coulson is an expert at gathering intelligence and maintaining covers, a talent honed through long years of training and experience with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Phil Coulson has the normal strength of a man his age, height and build, who engages in frequent regular exercise. His robotic left hand has increased gripping strength enough to dent metal that would otherwise be unyielding to his normal human touch.
- "Lola" (modified 1962 Chevrolet Corvette)
- Formerly S.H.I.E.L.D. Globemaster
- Formerly the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier
- Clark Gregg portrays Agent Coulson in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Marvel's The Avengers, the television series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Marvel One-Shots The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer.
- Coulson was a Level 8 agent, prior to being tasked with rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. and being promoted to Director of S.H.I.E.L.D by Nick Fury.
- Thanks to some of his fan-favorite moments in the movies, personality and his heroic death in Marvel's The Avengers, Coulson is one of the few supporting characters with a strong fanbase, which lead to the creation of t-shirts, groups in social networks and even his introduction in the Marvel Mainstream Universe. One of the notorious campaigns through the Internet was "Coulson Lives", referring to his possible survival to his encounter with Loki.
- Coulson's encounter with Loki left him with a deep scar on his chest, which he showed Melinda May.
- His date of birth is 07/08/1964, making him 49 years old during Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
- Coulson's authorization code is "X-Ray 2896," and his "death and recovery report" is "restricted file Bravo-Charlie-Yankee 307604."
- Despite being a huge Captain America fan, Coulson has never mentioned him once on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and his office aboard the plane doesn't have any Captain America memorabilia. However, his office in the playground has a copy of "Captian America Comics No. 1" and a Cap mug that says "Trust Cap."
- While Coulson's height is given at 6'0, actor Clark Gregg is only 5'9.
- 117 Appearances of Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999)
- 11 Minor Appearances of Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999)
- Media Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 87 Images featuring Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999)
- 21 Quotations by or about Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Phillip Coulson (Earth-199999)
- Characters killed by Phil Coulson
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Thor (film)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 13
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 1
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Marvel's The Avengers
- ↑ Iron Man (film)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Iron Man 2 (film)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer
- ↑ Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 19
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 14
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 11
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 2
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 22
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 1
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 2
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 4
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 5
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 6
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 7
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 8
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 9
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 10
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 11
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 22
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 6
- ↑ Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 7
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