Phil Coulson has had the craziest of rides in the MCU. If this show would’ve been MCU canon (yet to be confirmed for sure by Mr. Feige), then he certainly would’ve been the greatest of heroes the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. The guy has died & returned countless times. He has fought many Hydra thugs, Inhumans, LMDs, the Kree & many other aliens. He made a deal with the Spirit of Vengeance and temporarily became the Ghost Rider for God’s sake. None of the Marvel heroes have had adventures like Phil Coulson. And in Agents of SHIELD Season 7, he has been brought back in a way that most people didn’t expect.
SPOILERS for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 1 follow.
The finale of Season 6 revealed that Phil Coulson will be back in Season 7 as a Life Model Decoy (LMD) who has been upgraded with Chronicom Hardware and the memories of the past 2 years (or rather the past 2 seasons) have also been updated into his mind. The characters of the show know that it is morally incorrect to bring someone back from the dead like this and even Phil Coulson did not want this. But it is the need of the hour as the Chronicoms have Nick Fury’s black box and they know at which points in time they need to attack in order to erase SHIELD from existence.
With the Agents of SHIELD not having a clue as to where & what the Chronicoms plan to target, they need Phil Coulson now more than ever as he has had a good look at Nick Fury’s Black Box more than anyone. Hence the decision of Coulson’s return as a LMD Chronicom hybrid has been made for now, but it will be debated later towards the end of the season. As of now, Coulson has actually seen the bright side of being alive this way as an CLMD (Chronicom Life Model Decoy) body comes with its benefits.
For the first time, Phil Coulson has permanent superpowers. Until now, he had a fake super prosthetic arm which had a few tricks of its own. Then he temporarily became the Ghost Rider. In Season 6, his body was recreated by the creation of monolith & then possessed by an evil alien being who gave him regenerative abilities and kept bringing him back from the dead. That evil version of Coulson was probably the most powerful one, but back then, it wasn’t technically Coulson who had superpowers, it was the parasite alien who did. Right now, CLMD Coulson does have his own superpowers.
For starters, we saw a tease of the ability that came with Coulson being the “most advanced LMD.” During the fight in Ernest Koenig’s illegal bar, Coulson took his LMD body for a spin as he with his swift movement, he was able to take a shot gun bullet to his shoulder and pin the shooter down. So, he got resistance and agility, which was later confirmed by Mack as he described this event to Quake. Quake asked Mack how Coulson was doing and he replied, “He shrugged off a bullet. Other than that, he’s pretty much himself. But you knew him better than I did.”
Later in the episode when Coulson teamed up with Quake, he stated that it was the first time she wasn’t the only super powered agent in the field and acknowledged the advantages of his new form. He said:
“This LMD thing might not be all bad. We’re together, at a party with FDR. I look good. You look great. And for the first time, we’re both superheroes!”
It’d be interesting to see what other tricks does CLMD Coulson packs up his sleeve. Agents of SHIELD returns next week with the second episode of Season 7.