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Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Isn’t Avengers Prequel, ABC Confirms

In case you were wondering where Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot falls in the chronology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rest assured that it isn’t a prequel to The Avengers.

“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe” ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee told IGN during the Television Critics Association’s winter tour. “In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York.”

That likely means we should expect the pilot, which begins filming Jan. 22, to address how Clark Gregg’s fan-favorite Agent Phil Coulson survived his rather pointed encounter with Loki in Marvel’s $1.5 billion blockbuster. Doesn’t it? That’s not clear, of course. However, Lee notes that while S.H.I.E.L.D. will have obvious connections to The Avengers, it also will stand on its own.

“This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories,” he said. “There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”

Although Whedon himself isn’t offering any more details, he does promise S.H.I.E.L.D. will possess the “spectacle,” and super-powers, fans have come to expect from Marvel productions.

“You have to bring a bit of spectacle to it; it’s got to be bigger than your average cop show,” he told MTV. “But at the end of the day, it’s about the peripheral people. It’s about the people on the edges of the grand adventures. The whole point of the show is that even with all these big things, the little things matter,” he explained further. “It’s about people who don’t have super powers. There will be some people with powers, there will be FX, and there will be the spectacle of science-fiction storytelling — but all played on a very human, small level. That’s the appeal of the thing.”


  • Mythos

    They wanted Coulson to live, he lived. That’s pretty much it. Fans won this round.

  • Dbratt71

    Flashbacks only?

  • Sultec

    Still can’t totally rule out some cybernetic implants and a little yellow and green facepaint…

  • 0bsessions

     Probably not. If you rewatch Avengers, it leaves his death pretty easy to retcon, which seemed very intentional considering the dialogue. It’s so obvious that it’s easy to argue that they never intended to leave him dead in the first place.

    Coulson got stabbed right through the back, something that seems pretty mortal by our standards. However, this is running off of comic book science, anything could happen.

    Yes, Coulson gets “confirmed” dead, but who did the confirming? Fury, who we know has lied to them already.

    However, we don’t actual see him pass on screen. According to Fury, he was dead when the paramedics arrived, but again, Fury’s a known liar. But then, why would he lie?

    The devil’s in Coulson’s last words on screen: “This was never going to work if they didn’t have something to” (The implied final word being “avenge”). There’s Fury’s reason right there.

    Which was the operating story (Among fans) for an out long before S.H.I.E.L.D. got Gregg on board. The paramedics managed to resuscitate Coulson and Fury lied about it to galvanize the Avengers into getting their stuff together. Maria Hill even questions the sequence of events, casting doubt on Fury’s story when she pointed out to him afterwards that Coulson didn’t have the “blood” soaked cards Fury produced on him when he was “killed.”

  • 0bsessions

    I’m hoping every episode has at least one diner exchange like the one between Coulson and Sitwell in “The Consultant.”

    For that matter, I hope they get Hernandez to reprise the role for the show eventually.

  • Onyxxx Uncensored

    When dealing with SHIELD death of a major “agent” can be solved with three little letters L-M-D.
    For those not in the know that is Life Model Decoy, a very advanced almost human replica android used by many high level SHIELD operatives.

    Nuff Said True Believers 

  • sillymander

    Whedon plants seeds early in a film, which grow into harvestable moments, later.

    Stark’s introduction, where Coulson calls him, and he says, “You have reached the Life Model Decoy of Tony Stark”.

    SHIELD writers have a history of using LMDs as retcon points.

  • Joementum

    Im thinking TV Coulson is LMD. This introduces the idea of mental engrams and synthezoids. The tech needed for Ultron and Vision will become established.

  • Matthew Morris

    In the Avengers Assemble comic, the armoury where the ‘Destroyer Gun’ was is strongly implied to have LMDs anyway. 

    The Son of Coul lives!

  • Chuck

    As a long time fan of S.H.I.E.L.D. an LMD is the one who perished at the hands of Loki. A)Caulson was shown handling the evacuation when the Helicarrier was struck. B)Agent Hill says “I thought those cards were in Caulson’s locker?” C)Fury is one of the most distrusted men in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine wants to skewer him any chance he gets (for sending him after Banner, without a full briefing)  

  • Mertu

    Agent Cloneson?

  • Atomic Kommie Comics

    Actually it would be red facepaint.
    And while I like Clark Gregg, I’m not sure I’m ready for him in a yellow-green leotard…

  • darthtigris

    … dude, that made the most sense of anything that I’ve read.  Respects his death without pulling fakeout on the audience and ties into real Marvel stuff.  I’m down with this.

    Or flashbacks.