iFanboy Welcomes Agent Phil Coulson to Marvel Comics

Say Cheese. 

USA Today revealed yesterday (that’s a neat clause) that Agent Phil Coulson, star of the upcoming Marvel’s The Avengers film, has found a second home in Marvel comics.

The fulcrum of the Marvel Studios movieverse, Coulson is everything Rick Jones aspires to be but totally isn’t. Criminally absent from last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger, the character is back with Avengerness this year in a very big way. Not only does he figure prominently in one of cinema’s biggest mashups of all time just mere days from now, but he’s also made the transition to the mainstream Marvel U with this week’s Battle Scars #6. Sure, it’s the culmination of all things Fear Itself and the feather in newcomer Marcus Johnson’s origin story (there’s an article in itself), but more importantly it’s a turning point for the Marvel movie legacy. We’ve seen print characters take on the appearance of their onscreen counterparts and vice versa, most especially in the Ultimate Comics universe. But now a character designed as a disposable ambassador for S.H.I.E.L.D., then repurposed as a relatable everyman for modern audiences has made the jump to comics.

With a little more hair.

Welcome, Phil Coulson. We hope you’ll make yourself at home.

For more on the editorial decision and actor Clark Gregg’s favorite Marvel characters, head over to USA Today.

For more Son of Coul, you’ll want to keep it here all next week.



  1. And just like that, my interest in reading Battle Scars jumped up 10000000000000000000000%.

  2. And it looks like the return of the Cap’n Steve uniform too!

  3. Why is Ultimate Nick Fury in the 616 universe?

    • that is a very good question…

    • That’s exactly what I though! 0_o

    • Spoilers for Battle Scars, but that’s Marcus Johnson, who turns out to be Nick Fury’s son, and just so happens to look exactly like Ultimate Nick Fury (and more importantly, exactly like Samuel L. Jackson in a certain movie that’s coming out soon.) I guess they’re trying to get him out there on the off chance that non-comicbook-readers will see The Avengers and then flock to comicbook stores eager to buy more adventures of black Nick Fury. It’s really forced and obvious.

    • ok, but why’s he in Steve’s uniform from when he was just Steve?

    • Marvel knows that eyepatches aren’t hereditary conditions, right?

    • Yes they are.

    • @Ian they reveal in that last panel that Marcus was born Nicolas Fury Jr. So he is officially “Black Nick Fury” for the 616.

      @WacoKid Steve apparently has placed him in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. Guess he’ll stay Cap now and doesn’t need the suit anymore.

      @redlibertyx His eye was taken out in issue 5 (or was it 4?). Anyway, it was Orion who had it done.

      Also, there’s no way Fury’s not going to get the Infinity Formula back in him at some point down the road.

    • Thank you I was all confused there.

  4. Everyone goes nuts over this character, I never really “got it”

  5. Nick Fury Jr.?

  6. I’m starting to think the Furys’ eye problems are genetic and not combat related.

  7. They should just change Nick Fury.

    The rigamarole these editors figure out to justify their corporate mandated ideas are absurd. Just change it. No one will care in 6 months. You don’t need to create all these cosmic loopholes. It would make Wikipedia a hell of a lot shorter. I guess comic fans need everything explained though, no matter how absurd or far fetched?

    • Seriously. We can accept resurrection, multi-verses, devil deals to forget spouses exist, and Uatu the Watcher but we can’t accept Nick Fury being black (explanation or no)?

    • Agreed. Sometimes they try too hard to explain how certain continuity gets to a desired result (ending the Spider-Man marriage is a perfect example of this).

      The majority of the world now associates Nick Fury with a guy who looks like Sam Jackson. They want that reflected in the comics. Fair enough. Why create a more confusing situation where Nick Fury has a son who looks nothing like him and also happens to have an eye patch? So now they have a guy who looks just like movie Nick Fury but isn’t named Nick Fury.

      How about Nick Fury needs to transfer his consciousness to a new body and it’s this one (he has been around since WW2 after all). Or just say “cosmic cube, move along, nothing to see here.”

    • Scarlett Witch can’t sleep and watches the terrible Shaft remake one night, edited for TV.

      While tossing in bed after eating rancid goulash.

      Scarlet Witch: “Nick Fury… Shaft…. switcheroo..”


  8. They should just leave Nick Fury alone. The three or four people who might accidentally want to rea a comic after seeing the movie can read Ultimate Comics The Ultimates.

  9. I haven’t been reading Battlescars, but I can kind of get behind the idea of “Nick Fury” becoming a code name for whoever is running SHIELD at the moment, like “M” in the 007 stories.

    • Actually, that’s a fine and straight forward idea. Forget what I said.

    • thats a really good idea…..and really a code name like that works for security purposes….like once you go into SHIELD your old identity is erased and you are given a code name character and thats who you become. You can’t dig up dirt on people who don’t exist kinda thing!

    • Ken, you are a smart person.

    • Yeah, honestly, that would’ve been better than shoe-horning in that his birth name was Nick Fury Jr., like they did on the 2nd to last page. And Cheese was Coulson this whole time.

    • That said, what if Nick Fury was a code name as well, and they revealed the guy’s real name at the end?

    • Ken that’s a great idea. Think of all the stories we could have about retired Nick Furys. Get John Le’Carre to write it and Sean Philips to draw and we’re onto a winner.

    • I endorse this. Actually, it makes me mad that this isn’t what they did now, it’s such a good, simple, elegant solution

  10. One word: LAME!

    More words: I find it really lame that they had to shoe-horn in a Black Nick Fury and Agent Coulston to get ‘new readers’. We have no exact science that any comic book movie delivers in new readers….So why even attempt this? I know it’s been a time honored tradition in comics for years to mix in TV/Film into the comics. But I just find it so unnecessary to make a complex origin for someone (or someones) who don’t need to get introduced. You just know in about a year or two Marvel will bring back the original Nick Fury and all of it will be forgotten.

  11. I understand having the Avengers comic franchise look like the movie franchise, when it comes to marketing. But, c’mon, as DC has shown (at least to me) even the biggest of big changes do not seem to draw new customers leaving a number of long-time readers (namely myself) a bit underwhelmed because (namely myself) can see through Marvel which kinda spoils their stories.

    That said, it’s no big deal for me since I’ll be done with the Avengers for a while when Bendis goes.

  12. I like KenOchalek’s “M” idea. Regular old Nick Fury, flashy WWII vet that he is, should be retired by now anyway.

    And, hey , given the Spider-Men crossover means they’re going to cross the Ultimate and Marvel 616 universes over, they could just bring in Ultimate Fury. It’s a lot less convoluted than the son he didn’t know about losing an eye and taking his job during a series that almost no one read.

    • And thinking about it, the original Nick Fury is pretty much a public figure in the Marvel Universe, right? So his usefulness beyond of a behind-the-scenes spymaster role is pretty limited. I mean, he was in the field during Secret Invasion when Norman Osborn’s killshot made the news, so everyone in the world knows who he is.

      Retiring the actual Nick Fury and using it as a code name could open up a great marketing hook for a espionage-heavy SHIELD series — “Who is Nick Fury?”

    • The only catch with the Nick Fury job is you have to get your left eye poked out. Otherwise, great retirement benefits.

    • Actually, the MORE I think about it, the “Codename: Nick Fury” concept allows for the original Nick Fury to appear in the Marvel movies. Maybe Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury is just the current leader of SHIELD to use that codename?

      Classic Nick Fury could pop up as a young man in a WWII-era Captain America sequel. Or in a SHIELD movie set in the Cold War as the U.S. government tries to recreate the super-solider serum. Or as a walk-on role for an older actor in a future Marvel movie (maybe the original Fury has some intel Sam Jackson needs or something).

  13. “sigh” Read the series then make a call on weather it was the right move or not. I for one thought whilst it wasn’t the strongest work it certainly allows for “Sam Jack” fury to enter the 616 proper. They are simply trying to give the millions of cinema viewers an opportunity see a familiar face and ease them into the Marvel U proper.

    3hours till I get to see the Avengers in the UK!!!! Booyaa!!

    • I read the series too and, while kind of sort of thinking this was what was going to happen, after the end of issue 4 I knew this was what was going to happen. Coulson, though, was a complete left-field surprise. Also, there’s a – plausible – reason why this guy’s name is Nick Fury. Lame, but…plausible. Honestly, I just picked up the last issue to see if my assumption was right, I’d lost some interest in the story after issue 3. They kept dragging out the reveal and it was more annoying than suspenseful. Once the reveal happened I got what I came for, since I don’t know anything about the villain Orion or his Leviathan group.

      And don’t forget Coulson is also in Ultimate Spider-Man (with Clark Gregg voicing, natch).

    • @BC1 if you want to know more about Leviathan, read Secret Warriors. A really good book.

  14. Finally!

  15. I’d like to drop two cents for the people (like myself) who have a long history with 616 Fury, and like him just fine the way he is. Including Coulson in the 616 is one thing. He’s an original character created for the films who’s garnered quite a bit of popularity. But the suggestion that Marvel change 616 Nick Fury to resemble Sam Jackson is ridiculous.

    This has all grown from Mark Millar suggesting to Bryan Hitch that he draw Ultimate Fury this way (or however it went down), so it makes sense and it’s kinda fun that they were able to land Jackson for the role all these years later. But that’s all it ever needs to be. Let’s be honest, is there really anything special about Jackson’s Fury so far? I’m a fan of Jackson, but he’s not exactly doing anything remarkable with the character. Can’t he just be the movie/Ultimate Universe version?

    The argument that they should just change his look and characterization to avoid confusion for the Elusive New Reader is asinine. None of these movies have ever brought in any number of new readers worth noting, so why cater to them? Ya wanna print film adaptations, or put reprints of The Ultimates (which is really what this movie looks like anyway) back on the stands? Go for it. But that’s as far as it needs to go.

    That being said, I don’t mind the idea of Fury having a son who resembles the movie version, who’s also missing an eye, and who may someday replace him. It’s really lame, but I don’t mind it. Hell, I’d even be down for an idea like Ken’s above, with Fury becoming a codename for the head of SHIELD similar to M in the Bond universe. But 616 Nick Fury is just as vital as any other character in the Marvel universe, and you don’t mess with a history like that.

    • Agreed.

    • Avatar photo filippod (@filippodee) says:

      As far as I am concerned “lame” is an understatement. As a narrative device this is almost as bad as “Spider-Man: One More Day”.

    • His reasons for being replaced are explained, and groundwork was being laid even before the mini-series (check out Fear Itself: Captain America). He’s not dead, he’s still around, he’s just, as always, planning for every contingency.

  16. For one second I thought this article read, “iFanboy Welcomes Agent Phil Collins to Marvel Comics”.

    Also, I wonder if they named him Coulson just for that “Son of Coul” joke.

  17. Agent Coulson finally joins characters like Jimmy Olsen and Harley Quinn who debuted in other media before appearing in the comics.

    Coulson always reminds me of the Donald Ferguson character from the Invincible/Brit universe. Thankfully there’s been no reports of him being a cyborg in the Avengers film.

  18. Agent Coulson is awesome. And so is Clark Gregg.

    That is all.

  19. I have no problem with Nick Fury having a son of mixed race. The guy was a WWII vet and then a secret agent. He probably has a family in every port of call.

    As for Phil Coulson: I liked him in “Iron Man” and “Thor” (and that really charming online short), but it’s hard for me to get too excited about the introduction of yet another middle-aged white guy (with no powers) to the 616 Universe.

    Unless he doesn’t have powers YET…could he be the new Ant Man?!?

  20. After having seen the film – WHICH IS AMAZING – I’m very glad Coulson is being introduced into the 616.

    • I’m very interested in seeing people’s reactions to his 616 introduction after they see the film (which, as you say, is amazing.)

  21. I just got a chance to finish this series. I cannot believe– I CANNOT BELIEVE– this was the point of it the whole time. So bonkers. I love it. Shine on, you crazy diamonds!