Major news about Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series: Coulson lives!

Don't ever say that Marvel doesn't listen to the fans, folks.

Coulson lives!

Word just broke from New York Comic-Con that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) will in fact have a role in Joss Whedon's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. television series on ABC, after fans have clamored for months to bring everyone's favorite alien fighter back to life.

Marvel television exec Jeph Loeb announced during a Saturday panel that Gregg will officially be back as Agent Phil Coulson in the pilot episode. According to reports from the panel, Whedon also said Coulson will be "headlining" the series—though we're not entirely sure how the writers will work around the fact that Coulson apparently died in The Avengers.

The "headlining" bit is definitely interesting, but this is Whedon, so you never know how much is true and how much might be him just messing with us.

Per TV Line, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had this to say while breaking the news to the ecstatic crowd:

"Did you ever think there would be a S.H.I.E.L.D. show without Agent Phil Coulson?"
Coulson's character has been the one thread that has tied the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe together, and it's great to hear he'll be sticking around for the television series. Plus, it's a smart move on Marvel's part to have a familiar face get the show off the ground for casual fans checking it out. It'll generate some fan buzz and make it more accessible for the mainstream. So a win-win.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. series is executive-produced by Whedon, his brother Jed, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell.

Are you glad to hear that Coulson lives? How do you think it will all work out, continuity-wise?

(Via Marvel, TV Line)

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