Avengers Week: #4 of #10- AGENT COULSON

Note from T, The Focused Filmographer:

Welcome to AVENGERS WEEK! -where we take a more-or-less chronological shared look at the “prequel” films and characters in preparation for The Avengers. In case you missed the introductory post explaining the next several days, please visit HERE. Let the festivities continue!

Today, my friend, Ruth from Flixchatter shares her thoughts/expectations of Agent Coulson. Thank you, Ruth.

When my pal Terrence invited me to be a part of The Avengers Initiative as part of the countdown to the movie’s US release, I jumped at the chance right away. I’ve started watching some of the Marvel superhero movies, starting with Thor a few weeks ago, then Hulk last weekend and Iron Man last night. Somehow, out of all the super folks with all their bulging muscles, brainy brilliance or what have you, I’m more inclined to focus on the least likely hero of all, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson. I like how Clark Gregg himself described him in this interview at Comic-con,

… whilst everyone else is super y’know, I feel like Coulson is kind of ‘us,’ you know what I mean, they could’ve pulled him out of Hall H, and then train him as a Ninja for a while…

It’s the everyman quality and the down-to-earth, straight-forward yet charming way Gregg plays the character that make me like him more and more. I’m glad that Marvel continued to expand his role. He went from a nondescript guy in a suit bugging Tony Stark to debrief him to becoming S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director Nick Fury’s right hand man! Of course he’s not without his own ‘superpowers,’ that is the power of affability and efficiency in handling what he calls ‘diva superheroes.’

He’s the guy who’s tasked – a very disciplined guy in my opinion who possesses secrets that would turn your hair white – but at the same time he’s tasked with handling these kind of diva superheroes, you know? ‘Oh, really, Asgard? Dude, just get in the car.’
Clark Gregg on Coulson

I LOVE that he’s now got his own character poster for The Avengers, yeah!!

So for this post, I’m going to give you a brief history of who Coulson is and also the actor who plays him.

What’s S.H.I.E.L.D. ?

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, it’s a fictional espionage and a secret military law-enforcement agency that often deals with superhuman threats.

The acronym originally stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division. Within the various films set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the acronym stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

source: Wiki

What you may not know about Clark Gregg

Robert Clark Gregg was born in Boston, June 29 1962. I first saw him in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He’s done a number of supporting roles in Lovely & Amazing, In Good Company, and The Human Stain, as well as guest spots in TV shows like Will & Grace, Sex and the City and The West Wing..

What I didn’t know is that he’s also a director AND screenwriter. Apparently he wrote and directed the 2008 film Choke, based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name, starring Sam Rockwell. He also wrote the screenplay for the 2000 thriller What Lies Beneath starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. I also didn’t know he’s been married to Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey since 2001.

I think with the massive success of these Marvel films and of course, The Avengers, suffice to say Clark Gregg’s legacy will perhaps be his role as Agent Coulson.

Here’s a Geek Tyrant interview with Gregg on his role, working with Joss Whedon, etc.

Fun miscellanea on Agent Coulson

I’ve always wondered who Coulson would identify with or like the most out of the whole Avengers’ superheroes. Well, according to director Joss Whedon, the super agent has a man-crush on Captain America! [per Screenrant]

“Coulson is the face of S.H.I.E.L.D in a way that Nick Fury isn’t. Nick Fury stays in the background pulling the strings, while Coulson is the guy in the trenches alongside ‘The Avengers.’ His relationship with Steve Rogers is one of my favorites. There are so many characters in this film with a dry wit, so I wanted to find some other dynamic Coulson could have with Captain America and it hit me, ‘Oh my god, he’s a fan boy!’ Giving him a man crush on Captain America not only lent itself to some of the funniest scenes, but also established the type of relationship they had, which led to the whole trading card run in the scene, which is possibly my favorite thing in the movie.”

The character’s popularity prompted Marvel Studios to create short movies on Coulson, here’s my favorite Marvel One-Shot featuring the agent finally showcasing his um, Ninja abilities 😀

And here’s a fan-made TV spot featuring Coulson:

What I expect to see of Agent Coulson in The Avengers

Well, as he’s got his own character poster, I’m hoping he’d get more screen time as Nick Fury’s right hand man. My guess [read: hope] is that since the short movie featured him as a kick-a#$ agent, we get to see some of that in the film. Maybe he gets to save fellow SHIELD agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) from Loki’s wrath somehow? Or maybe he gets to fight alongside his man-crush Captain America? I know there are rumors of a Nick Fury spin-off, it’d be great to see Coulson getting a much more prominent role in that one as well.

Anyway, that’s just wishful thinking on my part but for now I’m just excited to see this movie!!

Let me end this post with this photo of Greg with Loki’s Tom Hiddleston, the other character I’m looking forward to the most in The Avengers!

Can’t freakin’ wait until May 4!! -Flixchatter

Are you as excited as I am for this movie? What are your thoughts on Agent Coulson?

Up Next: Ted S. (contributor at Flixchatter) shares his review of The Incredible Hulk and his thoughts/expectations of The Hulk. Stay Tuned. (In case you missed them, be sure to visit the previous posts for all of The Avengers coverage so far in Avengers Week!)

T, The Focused Filmographer



  1. Thanks for this post. Coulson is a character that I had never heard anything about, so it will be fun to watch out for him next weekend.

    And I really like the idea of having to have a super hero whose main power is the ability to manage the other super divas. I actually worked at a place for a while where that could have been my job description!


  2. I suspect Coulsen is a skrull operative 😉 nice write up. So pumped up about checking this out this weekend !!!!! Avengers Assemble!!!


  3. Great write up Ruth! I love how Agent Coulson was introduced back in Iron Man as this somewhat bureaucratic sort of character, but really… he was much more than that!

    I saw an interview with Clark Gregg yesterday – talking about Joss Whedon and working with him. He went on to say how much he enjoyed Buffy and the work that Joss put into that – just made me love Clark Gregg more!

    He’s fantastic in the film!


  4. Although I haven’t been as excited as what seems like the rest of the world, for The Avengers upcoming release, some of my friends are super excited…does that count? They’ll probably be the ones trying to convince me to go check this movie out in theaters and with such a good cast, I just may do so despite the fact that The Avengers hasn’t really been on my to-do list.

    I did, however, enjoy learning more about Agent Coulson and if he is an everyman like you say, then that gives me a reason to root for him having his place in the story. It’s always nice when movies have characters that most people can relate to and find something in common with.

    The Madlab Post
    @MadlabPost on Twitter


  5. Super informative post about Agent Coulson, Ruth! Some great research about the guy and while I was like “who is this guy??” when he showed up in Iron Man, I have become quite fond of him since. I hope he gets more screen time in The Avengers!


    • Thanks Castor! Yeah, that’s what I thought to but Coulson has really grown on me, it helps that Gregg is such a nice fellow. I do hope he gets to do more in The Avengers!


  6. Great post, Ruth. Like you say, it’s kind of interesting how Coulson has been built up slowly over the course of these movies. He was just another bureaucrat in Iron Man to me, so it didn’t even dawn on me until the Avengers posters hit that he was someone who would be a big part of the film. Made a big difference when re-watching the films and seeing just how often he really is in the thick of things. Kind of an under-the-radar character since he’s not as “flashy” as even the other supporting characters.


      • Hi Morgan, the fact that he isn’t ‘flashy’ is what I like about Coulson. He’s the calm, collected agent who’s more important that we give him credit for. I’m glad Whedon is giving this role a bit more prominence here.


  7. I recognise Clark Gregg from being Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s boss in (500) Day’s Of Summer. I’ve never been a fan of Agent Coulson, but has changed slightly since seeing The Avengers (yes, my country gets to see it early, haha). Let’s just say you won’t be disappointed with your expectations about Coulson.


  8. 1. Agent Coulson is amazing in every Marvel movie, and he is just adorable in Avengers, when he talks to Captain America
    2. Oh my god, he is married to Baby from Dirty Dancing? I had no idea! Thanks 🙂


  9. […] Hawkeye, and the lovely Black Widow all in one film. And those are just the Avengers. Nick Fury and Phil Coulson play extremely important roles in The Avengers and without them the plot just wouldn’t come […]


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