This article contains mild spoilers for Agents of SHIELD season 6.
As much as fans might want Agent Coulson to return in Agents of SHIELD season 6, the finale made it clear that the stakes for the director were at the highest possible level. Although we didn’t actually see him die, the unequivocal implication was that he was living out his final days in Tahiti, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. So how is it, then, that Clark Gregg, who has been the anchor of the Marvel series on ABC for the past five years, is still a part of the cast?
In an interview with Marvel.com’s Lorraine Cink in the company’s LA studio (see below), Gregg was not coy about his role in the coming season of Agents of SHIELD: it not Phil Coulson, much as it may seem the man can never truly die. “They used to say he’s the glue of the Marvel universe,” Gregg joked. “I now think he’s the cockroach of the Marvel Universe. The whole thing can go down; there can be snaps, whatever. He’s not killable apparently. He’s just still going to be around.”
But what he really means is that Clark Gregg is not removable from Agents of SHIELD since he’s back in an entirely new role. “The Coulson role, although always evolving and always having new parts of him revealed to me by our writers became a very familiar skin in a way. To change all that and suddenly find myself playing this other very mysterious person who is no Phil Coulson, and the mystery of who that is and why he looks like that is something that they’ve done groundbreaking, wild stuff with that I’m really lucky to play.”
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 6 will return this summer to ABC with a new director and with the important mission to retrieve Fitz from space, so there will be other things to worry about besides Coulson. But the fact that the trailer shows Gregg in his new role saying, “Never heard of it,” when asked about being from SHIELD means we’re in for a great core mystery in addition to the rest of the adventure that’s bound to ensue.
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Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). He co-hosts our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast and voices much of our video content.