"It was a "break glass in case of emergency" situation."
"Yes, but that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger."
"Exactly. And I'm damn glad I did it, too. When you want to build something, you need a strong foundation."
Nick Fury and Phil Coulson[src]

The Resurrection of Phil Coulson was an operation ordered by Nick Fury to bring Phil Coulson, who had been killed by Loki prior to the Battle of New York, back to life.


"I'm sorry, boss. The god rabbited."
"Just stay awake. Eyes on me."
"No, I'm clockin' out here."
"Not an option."
"It's okay, boss. This was never gonna work if they didn't have something to..."
Phil Coulson and Nick Fury[src]

During the Attack on the Helicarrier, Agent Phil Coulson attempted to stop Loki from jettisoning Thor out of the aircraft. Coulson approached Loki wielding a weapon reverse-engineered from the wreckage of the Destroyer, and demanded that Loki stand down.[4] However, Loki tricked him with a holographic illusion and impaled him with the Scepter.


Phil Coulson dying

Coulson died trying to say that the team would never be able to unite without something to motivate them. Nick Fury took this advice to heart, and manipulated Tony Stark and Steve Rogers into working together, using Coulson's heroic sacrifice to put aside their differences.[5] The name of the team gained meaning when they decided to "avenge" Coulson's death.[6]



Phil Coulson's first time back as an active agent with his new programming

"Let me die, please. Please. Please, I'm begging you let me die. Please!"
Phil Coulson[src]

Phil Coulson was dead for days after the Battle of New York. The doctors sent Coulson's corpse to the Guest House for procedures ordered by Nick Fury. Doctors used a serum derived from an alien corpse from Project T.A.H.I.T.I. capable of healing wounds. During the procedures, Coulson yelled "Please, let me die!", losing his will to live. In order to give it back, the doctors used a brain stimulating machine to alter the memories of the procedures so Coulson would think he was recovering in Tahiti. Unfortunately, a side effect of the memory alteration was that when everyone asked Coulson how his trip to Tahiti was, he would say that it was a "magical place."[7]



Raina helping Phil Coulson remember his past

"Why bring me back to life in the first place? Clearly, I didn't think it was the best idea. I warned you about people losing their minds."
"Agent May was on top of the situation. She says you're fine."
Phil Coulson and Nick Fury[src]

The file of Phil Coulson's revival was kept only for Clearance Level 10 or above. Coulson learned his painful truth from the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine and Dr. Streiten (who was present at the seventh procedure on reviving Coulson). When Coulson arrived at the Guest House, he was shocked that the serum that revived him was from an alien.[7]

Coulson's resurrection affected others, both friend and foe. The Clairvoyant was interested in how he returned, so he had Ian Quinn fatally shoot Skye,[8] in hopes that she would receive the same procedure. When Sif journeyed to Earth and encountered Coulson, she was visibly stunned, wondering how he returned; however, she was asked not to inform Thor.[9] Audrey Nathan, Coulson's girlfriend who cried for days after he died,[10] was never informed of his resurrection and Coulson chose to keep it secret.[11] When Maria Hill joined Stark Industries,[12] Coulson reminded her that Tony Stark believed he was dead.[13]

Agent Melinda May revealed to Agent Coulson that she was the true builder of Coulson's Team by order of Director Nick Fury in order to observe Coulson after his resurrection. Each team member had a specific purpose to that end: May reported directly to Fury; Leo Fitz could erase his memories, if necessary; Jemma Simmons could revive him, if his resurrection proved temporary; and Grant Ward could kill him, if he became a liability.[14]

Coulson Equation

Phil Coulson carving for the first time

After his victory over John Garrett and the Centipede Project, Coulson awoke in the middle of the night and began writing on the walls of the Playground in a symbolic language.[15]

As time went on, Coulson's uncontrollable urge to write the symbols became progressively more frequent. The rate at which he drew changed; beginning with three times a month, increasing to twice a week, and culminating in drawing every day. He was under the supervision of Melinda May and Skye, who researched the symbols to find their meaning. During the Attack on Hank Thompson, Coulson learned that the writing was a symptom performed by all participants of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and they were blueprints to a city. After this discovery, the urges ceased.[16]

Due to the resurrection of Coulson, Robert Gonzales felt that he was compromised, believing that the alien blood within him had caused him to make reckless decisions. Gonzales used this as justification for the Attack on the Playground.[17]


Appearances for Resurrection of Phil Coulson

In chronological order: