Ever since it was announced back at New York Comic Con, fans have been speculating about how Agent Phil Coulson would be returning for Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on ABC considering how finite his fate seemed to be in ‘The Avengers’. While many thought the show to be a prequel at first, ABC President Paul Lee, director Joss Whedon, and Clark Gregg, the man that brings Coulson to life, have confirmed that the pilot will take place after the events of the blockbuster superhero team up film. Though they’ve all sworn up and down that Coulson lives, no details have seemed to leak indicating how this is so. However, we may have a lead now that reveals the whole thing.

/Film says that they’ve uncovered one of the best kept secrets Marvel Studios has right now. According to them, a source has shared with them exactly how Whedon and company is planning on bringing the fan favorite character back for the first live action television show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Obviously, this is a HUGE spoiler for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ so if you don’t want anything ruined for you, then you should avert your eyes as soon as possible. I can only ramble on for so long before it just looks like I’m typing gibberish. Okay, everyone who doesn’t want to know has been warned, so here we go.

Here’s the explanation for Agent Coulson’s return directly from the report:

“In the pilot, it’s revealed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the ultimate super spy, faked Agent Coulson’s death on purpose to motivate The Avengers. Some S.H.I.E.L.D. members were in on it (including, possibly, Maria Hill played by Cobie Smulders) but The Avengers were not. Their security clearance wasn’t high enough. Coulson was forced to hold his breath as part of the ruse and that’s a point of contention among his colleagues.  After the fact, Fury moved him to a remote location until things died down, and then he was reinserted into duty at the time of the show.”

Somehow, deep down, I just knew that was coming. Whedon planted seeds in his film that Fury was capable of doing something like this. However, how is it that Loki’s fatal blow to the chest didn’t kill Coulson? I’m still convinced that a Life Model Decoy is involved somehow. Either way, Director Fury is definitely behind it and it’ll be interesting to see how Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, and Thor all react when they find out. (I intentionally left some team members out because frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if Black Widow and Hawkeye were in on the plot.)

But then the question arises as to IF they’ll even find out. Though the scenario is extremely unlikely, there’s a chance that the show won’t get picked up by ABC after the pilot airs. Previously, Gregg mentioned that his beloved Coulson would just stay dead if that were the case, so who knows if Whedon, Feige, and the rest of the Marvel Studios bigwigs even planned that far ahead to include Coulson elsewhere in Phase Two. If this is indeed the story that Marvel is going with, many more questions have just come flooding into play that will likely get answered over the course of a season, if we end up getting one.

This is a whole lot to take in, but what do you think of this explanation of Agent Coulson’s return in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’? Is it believable to you? Are you let down by the negation of the heartfelt, emotional events of ‘The Avengers’? Or does it only add more to the dynamic of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Share your thoughts in the comments and let us know what’s swirling around in that head of yours.