Phil Coulson

Phil Coulson

    Marvel Cinematic Universe
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... onboard a massive state-of-the-art jet, affectionately known as “The Bus.” It’s one of the many benefits of being a high-ranking member of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (otherwise known as S.H.I.E.L.D.).

Visiting... anywhere and everywhere. His job with S.H.I.E.L.D. takes him all over the world, almost always in top-secret. So no matter how exotic the locale, most often he was never really there – not officially, anyway. It’s definitely an interesting way to see the world.

Profession... top S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. The secretive government agency handles peacekeeping, intelligence gathering, and the “gifted” humans that keep popping up in a world where Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk are household names. Coulson joined S.H.I.E.L.D. when he was young, and he firmly believes in the bureaucratic system he serves. As the head of his own special unit, Coulson’s duty is to protect, guide, and lead his team of agents.

Interests... vintage cars and superhero history. Coulson is quite old-fashioned. He once explained, “With all the high-tech gadgets and gizmos at our disposal, it's easy to forget about the simple tools of the past." His personal idol is the World War II super soldier Captain America. Coulson’s most prized possession is his 1962 red Chevrolet Corvette, which he nicknamed “Lola.” Not only is the convertible a retro classic, Coulson revamped it so it can fly.  

Relationship Status... single. There was this cellist he used to date, but things got a bit complicated when she was told that Coulson died. Maintaining secrecy and disseminating mis-information as a matter of professional necessity can make personal relationships very difficult.

Challenge... figuring out how he came back from the dead. During a massive attack on New York City, Coulson was shot and killed by the villainous Loki. He was gone for only a few seconds before S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to revive him and send him on an extended vacation to Tahiti. Or at least that’s what he was told. Coulson doesn’t know exactly what happened after his brush with death, but he hasn’t been the same ever since.

Personality... professional, loyal, composed, and sardonic. Coulson may look like an unassuming corporate lackey, but he’s actually a highly trained – and deadly – agent. He prefers to try by-the-books diplomacy first, but when that fails Coulson will complete his mission using any means necessary. No matter what, though, Coulson’s first priority is always protecting his team, which he views as his family, especially his young protégé Skye. And throughout it all he always maintains his trademark dry sense of humor, cracking jokes like: “Nothing bad ever happens when you work with something called ‘Dark Force.’”


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