Following the amputation of Phil Coulson's left lower arm at the hands of Alphonso Mackenzie to prevent further petrification caused by a Terrigen Crystal contaminated with Diviner metal, Leo Fitz built at least three cybernetic replacements. However, Coulson had trouble getting used to them, stating that "nothing feels normal". For example, he had trouble putting on his tie: during a meeting with Coulson, Melinda May noticed that he was not wearing a tie. Coulson showed her his hand and said that he was still learning.
Talking to Rosalind Price, who did not believe that he lost his hand in a shark attack, Coulson gave a brief synopsis of how it occurred. Coulson revealed that he suffered from phantom pain. Coulson then attempted to tie his tie with his prosthesis; since he was having difficulty, Price volunteered to do it for him.
However, Coulson put a positive spin on it. Elliot Randolph noted that Coulson was different in his attitude when Coulson threatened him with being dissected if he did not cooperate. Randolph asked him about his hand; Coulson said that it was a result of the changing times.
Using his Hand
Coulson used a prosthetic hand to choke Dwight Frye, who tried to escape Coulson's and Rosalind Price's interrogation. He claimed that the hand had a laser finger; however, when Price asked him if that was true, he stated that it was classified. During the chase of Lash, as Lash was about to kill Alphonso Mackenzie, Coulson kept him from doing so by gripping his arm with his prosthesis. It was damaged, but seemed to still be functional later.
Interrogating Rosalind Price
When Coulson allowed Price to come to the Playground and Bobbi Morse informed him that the ATCU had been creating Inhumans instead of curing them, Coulson accused Price of having lied to him since they first met. Price told him that he liked to joke about not being human because of his prosthesis and that she believed he was not.
Showdown with Grant Ward
When Coulson was distracted by Will Daniels attacking Leo Fitz when they all were on Maveth, Grant Ward used the opportunity to attack Coulson. However, Ward was restrained and had already been shot twice by Coulson, which gave him the advantage. Eventually, Coulson defeated Ward and killed him by slowly crushing his chest with his prosthetic hand. Once Ward was dead, Coulson took off his hand and left it next to Ward's corpse before leaving with Fitz through a portal. Later, Hive was shown to be in control of Ward's corpse, having taken the prosthetic with it back to Earth.
Following the Attack on the HYDRA Castle and the Battle of Maveth, Fitz built a lifelike prosthesis which feels like a real hand. Coulson showed May the new hand, and although May stated it feels real, Coulson confessed that it feels like the previous ones, realizing that the issue was never the prosthesis, but himself.
During the mission at the symposium on the alien contagion, Coulson used his new hand to shake the delegates' hands and scan their hand prints in the process, in order to make exact copies of them for Melinda May, Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter to wear and access the delegates' rooms.
When Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter were being held in an interrogation room for questioning, Coulson used his hand to jam the audio signal, so that he could speak to them privately. He wanted to help them escape by using an EMP, but Morse and Hunter declined.
- "I know you've had people killed. You've even considered shooting someone. But to drain a man's life with your own hand, to feel the life go out inside him, as Mr. Coulson did with me. That look in his eyes. A feeling so powerful, it scared him, enough to leave that hand behind."
- ―Hive to Gideon Malick[src]
Hive had kept the hand Coulson left behind on Maveth after killing Grant Ward the whole time since it got back to earth. Wanting to show Gideon Malick what true power feels like, it convinced Malick to try to acquire the Transia Corporation, which had developed the hand's nerve-wire interface. Rowan Hamilton initially refused to sell the company to Malick, however, after being shown a vision of the future by Charles Hinton where Hive kills his advisors, Hamilton quickly signed the contract. Hive killed the men anyway and HYDRA took over the building.
They brought the Transia Corporation Exoskeleton into the room, and Hive asked Malick to put it on so he would experience what true power feels like. Malick obeyed, and tested his strength by crushing a vase and flipping over a table, admitting that it feels good. Hive then told him that the true power he was referring to was taking another person's life with their own hands, as Coulson had done with his current host, and ordered Malick to kill Hamilton. Malick hesitated, but then crushed Hamilton's skull using the exoskeleton's strength. 
The Return of "Grant Ward"
Coulson clenched his fist in anger at the sight of Hive in Grant Ward's body on security feed, unwillingly activating the hand's enhanced strength and making its circuitry glow. Later, he accidentally crushed a pipe because of the fact that killing Ward in cold blood literally came back to haunt him in the form of Hive.
When meeting Aida, Phil asked her about how long he had been working with Holden Radcliffe. Aida replied "since he gave me hands". Coulson misinterpreted this as she had her arms previously damaged and amputated and told her about his own prosthetic.
When Coulson hit Aida in the face with his prosthetic hand, Aida replied that her hand could do that too, and hit Coulson back.
While fighting against the Superior onboard the Ivanov Oil Platform, Coulson was pinned against a wall as the Superior put a gun under his chin and prepared to execute him. In response, Coulson activated his Energy Shield on his Prosthetic Hand and cut through the Superior's Life-Model Decoy face, exposing his Quantum Brain and killing him. Coulson later used his Prosthetic Hand to fight against the Superior's other robotic bodies.
Coulson was afraid that since he was likely to be arrested, he should not wear the Prosthetic Hand with the high-advanced capabilities because it might be confiscated, so instead he wore a regular Prosthetic Hand.
Before Leo Fitz was being frozen for decades, he hid behind one of the walls in the Lighthouse a box which contained a couple of Coulson's prosthetic hand, so when he would return to the place after his long-time sleep, they could be useful.
After Coulson returned to the present, he used again the high-advanced Prosthetic Hand. When he and Melinda May were imprisoned on Qovas' Ship, Coulson used the x-ray projection to see a way out of there cell. He later used the Energy Shield capability to defend himself and May from a Remorath with a gun.
Back to Basics
- "That's his civvy hand. It's just a prosthetic without all the cool doodads. It should've been a hook. At least you can stab things with a hook."
"Thought I was gonna be arrested."
"So, wait, that one doesn't have a blowtorch or the laser gun or anything?"
"First of all, I'm not Inspector Gadget."
- ―Alphonso Mackenzie, Phil Coulson and Yo-Yo Rodriguez[src]
The prosthetic hand can only be used when it is plugged in a special port implanted on the user's stump.
Coulson's most recent hand is a life-like prosthesis which looks and feels like a real hand.
In order to avoid having his hand confiscated by the police during his expected arrest, prior to his travels to 2091, Coulson switched to a "civvy hand" which has only enhanced strength, and nothing else.
- Strength Enhancement: This cybernetic hand gives Coulson some degree of enhanced strength. He was able to keep Lash, an Inhuman with great physical strength, from killing Alphonso Mackenzie by gripping his arm. He was also able to kill Grant Ward by crushing his chest with the hand. His new hand's grip strength is also strong enough to crush a metal pipe. His newest hand is strong enough to rip the barrel out of an assault rifle, as well as momentarily stun the super-strong Aida with a single hit. Even his "civvy hand", a prosthetic deliberately designed to have none of the gadgetry of his normal prosthetic in order to avoid having his hand confiscated by the military, is strong enough to match, and even overpower a Kree soldier’s own enhanced strength.
- Scanning: Coulson's new hand is capable of scanning someone's handprint by simply shaking their hand.
- Signal Interruption: Coulson was able to use his hand to jam the audio signal to the interrogation room where Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter were being held for questioning so that he could speak to them privately.
- EMP Creation: Coulson claimed that Fitz could remotely trigger an EMP over the hand.
- Energy Shield Projection: The prosthetic hand is able to create an energy shield that can be used to protect its user. Phil Coulson first used this feature to protect himself and Melinda May from the explosion of JT James' trailer and later to deflect gunfire while breaking out Eli Morrow. Soon after escaping the Framework, Coulson used the shield to slice the face of one of the Superior's Life-Model Decoy bodies.
- X-Ray Projection: The updated version of the hand is able to project x-rays that allow Coulson to see through objects. Coulson used this to look inside a stolen truck.
- Vehicle Manipulation: Coulson remotely controlled a Quinjet using the holographic interface on his wrist when there was no other way out of the Playground.
- Electronic Communication: When their Quinjet crashed after fleeing from the Attack on Jeffrey Mace, Coulson attempted to call the base with his hand.
|Appearances for Phil Coulson's Prosthetic Hand|
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.01: Laws of Nature
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.04: Devils You Know
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.07: Chaos Theory
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.08: Many Heads, One Tale
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.10: Maveth
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.11: Bouncing Back
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.12: The Inside Man
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.13: Parting Shot
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.15: Spacetime
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.16: Paradise Lost
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.01: The Ghost
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.03: Uprising
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.09: Broken Promises
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.21: The Return
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.01: Orientation Part One
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.05: Rewind
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.20: The Force of Gravity
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.09: Best Laid Plans