The Marvel Universe has always been somewhat confusing, and it’s gotten even more confusing over the past several years because of both the movies and the TV shows. One of the biggest points of interest that currently confuses Marvel fans is Phil Coulson; more specifically, whether or not he’s actually alive, and, if he is, if any of the Avengers know that he’s alive. In a recent interview with IGN, Joss Whedon spoke at length about Coulson’s status with the Avengers.
“Yeah he’s dead. The entire television series is just a fever dream. It’s a Jacob’s Ladder moment he’s having at the point of death, but we don’t give that away until after season seven. And there’s a snow globe. Now I’ve given it away. Bollocks!”
“It’s a weird little yes and no. As far as I’m concerned in the films, yes he’s dead. 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!'”
According to Joss Whedon, this has been a bit of a sore spot between him and Marvel, especially the guys behind the Marvel movies. As Whedon puts it, Marvel movies aren’t exactly happy with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, and this is why Coulson hasn’t appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, or any of the films that were released between the Avengers: Age of Ultron and the first Avengers film. It could also explain why almost nobody from the movies has appeared in the TV show.
“I think actually the movie people were a little bit cross about the TV show. 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!”
Whedon has also professed that he doesn’t understand the idea of a rivalry between DC and Marvel, pointing out the different worlds in which each brand operates.
“I get very confused when people are like ‘oh, you guys are in competition.’ I’m like, ‘Competition for what?’, you know? Because their movies are so different, and the way they approach them is, you know, the Marvel aesthetic and the DC aesthetic, and they just, they couldn’t be more opposite, and I love that. You know, I love going to their movies.”