Top 5: Phil Coulson Moments

He’s the Marvel insider Rick Jones always wanted to be. He’s dashing. He’s daring. He’s got everything under control. Around here, we call him Phil Coulson, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. With another starring role out in North America this Friday, it’s time to give the man his due.

We kick off iFanboy’s Phil Coulson W.E.E.K. with some of superhero cinema’s greatest hits. These aren’t just Phil Coulson’s best moments. They’re also the crests in the mightiest waves made by Marvel Studios in the past four years. The troughs being Iron Man 2.

Difficulty: They’re all excellent. Also, Marvel’s The Avengers is off limits as it’s yet to be released in the United States. NO SPOILERS!

5. Phil Coulson Delegates Annoying Task to Multi-Billionaire (“The Consultant”)

Packaged with the video release of Thor, “The Consultant” is the first in a series of short films designed to fill in the blanks on Marvel Studio’s interconnected blockbusters while serving up additional dollops of Coulson. While this one’s on the dry side, it does showcase Coulson’s ability to delegate responsibilities, not just to subordinates, but even multibillionaires like Tony Stark. Phil Coulson puts up with a lot, but when it comes to managing Incredible Hulk continuity, he’d just as soon slide the task over to the .5%.

4. Phil Coulson Makes the Jump to Marvel Comics (Battle Scars)

The ink’s still drying on this one. Coulson recently emerged as the operative formerly known as “Cheese” in Marvel Comics’ Battle Scars, side-by-side with Nick Fury’s illegitimate son Marcus Johnson. With the traditional Nick Fury slipping in and out of public life, are these two the new face of S.H.I.E.L.D.? All we ask is that the comic iteration lose the piece as embrace his signature hairline.

3. Phil Coulson Introduces S.H.I.E.L.D. To Marvel Movies (Iron Man)

While Phil Coulson has engaged in more derring do in the Iron Man films, his best moments involved lobbying for the fledgling S.H.I.E.L.D. organization in a runner throughout the film. Eagle-eared audiences caught on early as Coulson rattled off a string of potential agency descriptors, all spelling out S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson starts out as a seemingly awkward suit desperate for Stark’s attention. By the end, he’s the spokesman for Marvel’s enigmatic Initiative and the herald of Fury. He quite literally blows the door off the place.

2. Phil Coulson Recognized as Champion of Midgard By Thor (Thor)

In and of itself, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor is a star vehicle for Phil Coulson as the operator transitions from agency lobbyist to cool, confident administrator. If Fury is Charlie and the likes of Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye his Angels, Coulson is Bosley. He oversees the excavation of the Mjolnir artifact as well as the interrogation of the mysterious Donald Blake. Though he sees through Dr. Selvig’s guileless ruse, Coulson releases Thor, eager to see what he might do in the field. In this way, we have Coulson to thank for the Asgardian’s enrollment in the Avengers Initiative. By the time Thor is back to full power and ready to pursue his loathsome brother into the cosmos, Thor pauses to recognize the agent as “Son of Coul,” in recognition as a worthy opponent and a champion to Midgard. A battle brother. It is unlikely that Thor knows Phil Coulson’s father Raleigh Coulson sold orthopedic shoes.

1. Phil Coulson Purchases Miniature Donuts
(“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer”)

Filling in the gap between Iron Man 2 and Thor, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer” serves as Coulson’s sole appearance on the Captain America: The First Avenger video release. Fortunately, it does well to redeem the features criminal lack of Coulson with the perfect, Coulsony blend of banality and heroics. In it, our hero pauses at a Roxxon gas station to fuel up and stock up on snacks. Before the late night pitstop is over, he’ll have saved the day and made yet another charming impression.


  1. Number 6: Coulson uses what Pepper first thinks is a ‘lockpick’ to access an area of Stark Industries (Iron Man 1) (I see you reference this in number 3, but it’s an awesome moment in itself.)

    Number 7: Coulson manages to threaten Stark while babysitting him (I can’t remember his exact wording, but it’s awesome.) (Iron Man 2)

    Pretty sure there’s room for another top 5 of these just in Avengers! Gosh I love Son of Coul.

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      I’m not going to lie. I probably could’ve pulled something from Iron Man 2, but it’s the one Marvel Studios movies I don’t own. I just can’t face it again.

    • I like Iron Man 2 more than most, but I don’t think anyone will blame you…

    • I believe it’s something along the lines of “I will tase you and leave you drooling on the carpet while I watch Supernanny. I actually enjoy Iron Man 2, but I can see why a lot of people don’t.

    • that line is the best line in iron man 2, and one of the best lines in movies ever.

  2. “Tell them those Tae Bo tapes really paid off”

  3. He steals so many scenes in the Avengers Assemble. Great stuff

  4. SSSHHHHHHH! you guys are ruining his cover! this is national s.e.c.u.r.i.t.y. stuff you’re messing with here!


  6. I didn’t realise Avengers is not out in the US yet. That is weird to me, from the UK. Anyway, you are all in for a real Coulsony treat, he is fantastic. So… Hard… Not… To… Spoil!

    • I know. I took the day off work to see it, so saw it the day before my girlfriend, it was so hard to avoid talking about the big spoilers, come one US catch up

  7. I just realize that Agent Coulsen is all that I want from Shield. I just don’t like Nick Fury in any form from the past decade. or so.

  8. It’s so strange that this man, this character, is the one we love the most. Typical iFanbase….

    I’m not complaining mind you. I want an Agent Coulson movie in the worst way. If anything let him be the supporting actor in the Nick Fury movie that Jackson desperately wants to do.

  9. “If Fury is Charlie and the likes of Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye his Angels, Coulson is Bosley.”


  10. Phil? His first name is Agent.

  11. Gotta agree with number one. Bag of flour, parkour-like jump off a store shelf, self-inflicted shotgun shell to the foot, what’s not to like?

    Also, W.E.E.K.? Wholly Esteemed Espionage King?

  12. That CONSULTANT short film was a waste of Clark Gregg’s talents. It felt like some producer was really losing sleep over explaining the Robert Downey Jr. cameo in INCREDIBLE HULK.

    Having a continuity fix so fanboys didn’t kill themselves because the Avengers aren’t brought together to find the Hulk…zzzzzzz… unnecessary.

  13. The guy steals every scene he’s in. And The Avengers is F**KING AWESOME!!

  14. Agent Coulson is to the Marvel Movie Universe like the Brigadier is to the Doctor.