Coulson Lives! Today at New York Comic Con's Marvel Television panel, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb announced -- by way of a special video starring The Avengers director Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige -- that Clark Gregg will be reprising his role as Agent Coulson in ABC's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series."There was never going to be a 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' show without Agent Phil Coulson," said Feige in the clip shown in the middle of the panel. "He's headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was," said Whedon.

Coulson's upcoming adventures on TV follow his appearances in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers, plus the marvel movie shorts "The Consultant" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer."

Agent Phil Coulson proved so popular onscreen that he's now an animated character (voiced by Gregg) on Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man and has been integrated into the mainstream Marvel comic book continuity as well.

The status of the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series on ABC has been tentative up to this point despite the mega success of the Avengers film and persistent casting rumors. With the announcement of Gregg's involvement, however, its fate as a full series seems potentially cemented.

The ins-and-outs of how Coulson, who died battling Loki in The Avengers, will find his way back to the land of the living are still unclear. Theories joked about by Gregg himself at the panel include his death being faked in the film by way of one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s famous life model decoys, resurrection via being reincarnated as Vision, and the UK's censored cut of his death in The Avengers. Of course, these could all be moot if the new S.H.I.E.L.D. series simply takes place BEFORE the events seen in previous Marvel films.

More From ComicsAlliance