We suppose it was inevitable. No other medium loves to resurrect its characters as much as the comic. While killing characters makes for great drama, the nature of the soap-opera-esque form and the kowtowing to fans generally means if anyone "dies," sit tight, they're coming back to life in the near-future once the sturm-und-drang and consequences of a death have been throughly milked.
As such it should be no surprise that beloved S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (played by Clark Gregg), who was killed in Marvel's "The Avengers" by Loki and then "avenged" by the super hero team in the movie, is coming back to life. During this weekend's New York Comic Con Gregg himself made an appearance at the Marvel TV panel that perked up fans. And when Joss Whedon dialed in via video to reveal that Coulson would return and appear on the upcoming "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV show that will air on ABC (if/when the pilot is picked up), they were elated.
Again, this shouldn't be shocking. Fans have been beating the drum for a Coulson resurrection, even suggesting he could come back as "The Avengers" android character Vision, but the lead in the "S.H.I.E.L.D." series? That should keep everyone happy. We would lament the fact how that robs "The Avengers" of its entertaining dramatic effect and how his death created some real stakes in what could otherwise been another silly, cartoonish super hero movie, but if you're a Marvel fan, you don't care and are simply happy the character is returning. We'd assert this is yet another element that separates the Marvel movies from say Christopher Nolan's Batman films, but there's probably no point preaching to the choir. While it's entirely possible some of the "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV series takes place before Coulson's death, considering the timelines, unless they're pushing back several years and or not playing within canon (or not building a bridge to the next Marvel film as we all presume), one would assume they only have a short window to use the character. Even then, his appearance seems does seem like fan service, but I suppose we'll see.
"S.H.I.E.L.D." will likely air in time to give some additional connective threads between the Phase Two films and tie into the "The Avengers 2" when it opens on May 1, 2015. [Screen Crush]