2:15 pm EST, September 20, 2013

Coulson Lives!: 5 theories about how Agent Coulson survived

We’re just days away from the series premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a reunion with everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, Agent Coulson. Since we know that the question of Coulson’s survival will not be addressed in the pilot, we thought we’d share our five theories on how Agent Coulson survived.

Now, we’re ecstatic that Agent Coulson is still alive. We couldn’t believe it when we read that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to not only feature Agent Coulson, but also take place after the attack on New York. But now we just have to know what happened to Coulson. Until that time comes, our minds are running wild with theories on how he could have possibly survived being stabbed by Loki. Here are the most plausible theories we could come up with.

Dead!Coulson was a Life Model Decoy.

Agent Coulson Sunglasses

When Agent Coulson visits Tony Stark at Stark Tower, Tony attempts to turn him away by answering Coulson’s video call as a Life Model Decoy. As funny as that moment was, we can’t help but think that the Life Model Decoy wasn’t included to just be a two-second gag. It’s too interesting of a concept. Essentially, a Life Model Decoy (or LMD for short) is a robot that’s designed in the exact likeness of a person. They’re designed to be identical body doubles. Therefore, it would be really hard for us to tell if it was Agent Coulson or his LMD that Loki stabbed with his scepter.

Loki killed Agent Coulson’s clone.

Agent Coulson Dying

If S.H.I.E.L.D. has already been able to replicate alien technology in terms of weapons and LMDs are a reality in this universe, who’s to say that they haven’t already mastered human cloning? While it’s a bit less Marvel-esque (and exciting) than him being a LMD, Agent Coulson having a clone may be more likely. LMDs technically are only supposed to replicate the outer appearance of their subject. If you remember, there’s quite a bit of blood that comes out of Coulson when Loki stabs him. The being that was stabbed could definitely have been a clone of Coulson, deployed to fight in place of Coulson because he’s too valuable to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agent Coulson died, and then was somehow brought back to life.

Agent Coulson Alive

Yes, this is a pretty tame theory (especially for Joss Whedon and the Marvel universe in general), but it is still possible. After all, the Avengers are dealing with supernatural alien forces, and it’s the Marvel universe. Weirder things than resurrection have happened. Whether it’s through modern medicine and science or magic and witchcraft, S.H.I.E.L.D. somehow bringing Coulson back from the dead is definitely plausible. Boring and not very innovative, but possible.

Agent Coulson never died.

Agent Coulson Phone

While we certainly hope that this will not be the direction that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be going in, it’s definitely a possibility. Joss Whedon has done interviews in which he discussed how he wants to keep the Marvel universe as grounded and as realistic as possible. Since we never saw the paramedics pronounce Agent Coulson to be dead and only heard about it from Nick Fury, Coulson could have never actually died. He may have been on the brink of death but, for all we know, the paramedics could have saved him just in time. We know, we know: it’s probably the most boring theory out there. But we had to throw it out there as a possibility (even though we expect way more from Joss Whedon and Co.).

Agent Coulson was the newest subject in the Super Soldier experiment.

Agent Coulson Shield

Now stay with us here. According to an article on MoviePilot, someone on Tumblr noticed that in Captain America: The First Avenger, the young boy running around with a Captain America replica shield is referred to as “Phil.” Marvel is not one to make mistakes or mention details like that without thought. If we assume that that child is in fact the Phil Coulson we know and love, he would technically much older in these movies than he actually. However, because he’s so devoted to his job and his country, it would make sense that he would be one of the first people to volunteer to test the government’s most recent attempt at the Super-Soldier Serum. How awesome would it be if Coulson was a Super Soldier too?!

What’s your theory on how Agent Coulson survived?

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