If you're interested in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series being developed for ABC, it's safe to assume you're aware of the fate of Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers. With Clark Gregg reprising his role as the recurring S.H.I.E.L.D. operative from the Marvel films, many assumed that it would be set before the events of The Avengers. But ABC president Paul Lee recently spoke with IGN, and cleared this up by saying that "the story takes place after the battle for New York."
If the series isn't a prequel, then Agent Coulson's resurrection brings up some interesting possibilities. There's been some theories about Coulson's apparent demise leading to a more (super) powerful return for the character. Joss Whedon, who is currently prepping to shoot the pilot episode, has stated that even though the show is "about people who don’t have super powers. There will be some people with powers." Perhaps the resurrected Coulson could have powers??? Either way, it'd be nice for his return to be slowly revealed throughout the show and serve as a major arc for the series.
The post-Avengers timeline also keeps things wide open for the S.H.I.E.L.D. series to stand on its own. Lee added, “This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us.”
It's probably safe to assume that this world Whedon has created could serve as a way to introduce other Marvel characters somewhere down the line. But as for now, Lee says, “At this point though, we have a number of characters at the heart of the script who are real characters, who are the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the first task is to make those guys great and relatable and everything that a great show needs. Beyond that, fingers crossed!”
Even though ABC has a lot of faith in Whedon and the script for S.H.I.E.L.D., it still has to go through all the hoops before officially making its way to our television sets. If it does make it past the pilot, I'll definitely be tuning in for the return of Agent Coulson, and perhaps the whereabouts of his now blood stained Captain America trading cards.