During SXSW, Joss Whedon himself confirmed that Agent Coulson will indeed be a part of the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, like “for realsies”. When questioned how Coulson survived what appeared to be a fatal stab wound he mused, “Heimlich”. Apparently the Heimlich maneuver is not only capable of dislodging errant food from throats, but it’s also capable of removing fatal stab wounds from the body. While Whedon was obviously joking, there still remains the mystery of how Agent Coulson escaped the cold embrace of death. I’ve dedicated thousands of hours of research in order to compile a list of 5 plausible explanations for Coulson’s return to the world of the living.
::Note:: I realize that the most obvious explanation is that Coulson never really died and Nick Fury was fibbing the entire time but I’m not going to take the easy way out.
5) Not even Fox still owning their rights is enough to stop Marvel’s ultimate Deus Ex Machina, the Skrulls! For some reason whenever any other shape shifter in the Marvel universe attempts to impersonate someone, their deception is short lived and they’re eventually exposed. But, when it comes to Skrulls, their existence is revealed whenever a writer finds it to be convenient. Have a problem with a beloved character being dead? No problem! They never really died, it was actually a Skrull who died in their place. That character you thought had perished was really moonlighting with the Great Lakes Avengers or the X-Men “Gold Team”. Because there is an abundance of Skrulls, they serve as the perfect cop-out for “killing” the intended hero, while not really killing them off. Odds are, Whedon wouldn’t pull something so lame but I wouldn’t completely rule it out.
4) Agent Coulson did really die, but after his death his body was recovered by agents of S.W.O.R.D. (think S.H.E.I.L.D., but in space!). Said S.W.O.R.D. agents were working with Ord of Breakworld and using “Breakworld technology” they brought him back from the dead to fulfill some sort of doomsday prophecy. S.W.O.R.D. which stands for Sentient World Observation and Response Department, are practically the Men in Black of the of the Marvel universe. Why not bring S.W.O.R.D. into the mix and tie them in with the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie? Not to mention S.W.O.R.D. was created by Joss Whedon during his run on Astonishing X-Men, so ya. Despite being created by the hand of Whedon, S.W.O.R.D. has not really done much in the Marvel Universe so it would be unlikely that they would incorporate such an obscure group. Plus S.H.I.E.L.D.’s not going to allow themselves to be upstaged by some S.W.O.R.D. chumps.
3) Agent Coulson’s seemingly fatal stab wound was powered by the “Omega Effect” and did not kill him but instead sent him through time and space. In order to be available, not to mention be alive, for the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot Coulson had to fight his way through time ultimately becoming more than just a man. Instead, as a symbol, he would be incorruptible. Well, Whedon himself explained that he wanted to bring Coulson back because he wanted him to represent the “everyman” so making him superhuman, in a sense, would defeat the purpose.
1) Agent Couslon skirted death because he’s simply too bad ass to die. A great man once quoted that “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.” Well, Coulson did more than smile, he blasted death in the face with his destroyer gun, dubbed “Coulson’s Revenge”, and then crawled his way back to the world of the living. Coulson 1, Death 0.
Or maybe Coulson is a mutant with a super healing factor, or it was clone who died or he’s Xorn or Xorn’s brother disguised as Magneto. Regardless of how Agent Couslon survived, he’s back. And we couldn’t be happier.