It would seem that Joss Whedon killing off Agent Coulson in the first Avengers film and then resurrecting him on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is something that didn’t sit well with everybody at Marvel. Whedon had a chat with the folks over at IGN regarding Coulson’s return from the grave, the relationship of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the MCU, and why Coulson isn’t in Avengers: Age of Ultron:
“In terms of the narrative of these guys [The Avengers] his loss was very important. When I created the television show, it was sort of on the understanding that this can work and we can do it with integrity, but these Avengers movies are for people to see the Avengers movies and nothing else. And it would neither make sense nor be useful to say ‘Oh and by the way remember me? I died!’”
That makes some sense, but we’re talking comic book stories here. People die, disappear, and then reappear all the time without much trouble. If they really wanted Coulson back in the fold, they could do it.
The problem it seems is with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. The existence of this show seems to be a positive and a negative all at once for the folks behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving them a presence on TV that is limited by the folks who are creating the films:
“I think actually the movie people were a little bit cross about the TV show” Whedon revealed. “They were sort of like ‘Well you can have this but not this. And this but not that.’ It’s complicated enough as it is without me adding another layer of complication. We also created a TV show called S.H.I.E.L.D. right before they made a movie where they destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D.. So everybody’s having a GREAT time!”
That would definitely explain why the show was meandering through the bulk of its first season, but it certainly doesn’t explain what purpose it serves otherwise. The changes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier are what made the show worth watching, at least in my opinion. From there, the slight tie-ins here and there have been chicken feed. It’s back to where it was before, and the show can’t seem to jump into territory it might be able to if it were in the actual comics universe.
Toss in the success of something like Daredevil and the luster around Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from its introduction and premiere wears off mighty quick. I think if you’re not going to use Coulson in the films or connect them in a manner that makes the show worth watching (or just make the show worth watching in general), then why have a show? It just seems like a waste. You have to wonder if Whedon didn’t have other plans at hand before everything took off following The Avengers.
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