Agent Coulson has ditched SHIELD in order to become director of the Squadron Supreme of America Project with Marvel’s Superman.
Warning! Spoilers for Taskmaster #1 below!
Agent Phil Coulson is one of the Avengers’ biggest allies, as in both the Marvel Comics Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Coulson has been largely portrayed as a heroic character. However, more recently in the comics, Coulson has taken a turn towards the dark side – so much so, in fact, he’s now leading Marvel’s Superman and the Squadron Supreme.
Marvel’s Squadron Supreme was created to be an intentional pastiche of DC’s Justice League. The team consists of both heroes and villains, including Hyperion (Superman), Nighthawk (Batman), Doctor Spectrum (Green Lantern), Power Princess (Wonder Woman), and Whizzer (The Flash). The most fearsome member of the team is Hyperion, who essentially has all the same powers and origin as Superman, instead of landing on a farm in Kansas, he ended up in the hands of the government. Marvel’s Superman gets his powers from cosmic radiation and unlike the Man of Steel, isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to accomplish his tasks.
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Coulson would become the leader of the Squadron Supreme of America after dying at the hands of Deadpool. While the popular character would return, Coulson’s revival (at the hands of Mephisto) led to a more sinister version of the character who is a borderline villain. Now leading one of the most powerful superteams in the Marvel Universe, Coulson has evil intentions when it comes to the Avengers – and following the recent death of SHIELD agent Maria Hill, he is one of the prime suspects.
In Taskmaster #1 by Jed MacKay, Allessandro Vitti, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Joe Carmagna, the death of Hill forces Nick Fury to team-up with Taskmaster, who’s been framed in the case. When discussing what Hill had been working on – a project called Rubicon Trigger, which featured some mainframes from H.A.M.M.E.R. – Fury says only three people could have possibly accessed the same files: Okoye, director of the Agents of Wakanda, Ami Han, director of South Korea’s N.I.S. Tiger Division, and Phil Coulson, who’s still working alongside the Squadron Supreme.
Finding out Coulson is still working alongside the Squadron Supreme and is one of the possible suspects in his former teammate’s murder certainly paints a bad picture for the former SHIELD agent. Coulson’s descent into villainy has come back to the forefront and with Marvel’s Superman and other extremely powerful superheroes by his side, taking him down isn’t going to be easy. Can Coulson be redeemed? If he didn’t murder Hill, sure. However, if he did, Phil Coulson’s transition from good guy to supervillain will have come full circle.
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