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Happy to see Coulson is back. Who knew such a normal guy could be so loved in a collection of super hero movies?
BTW, my guess for how Coulson lived through the movie is simple: he was never in any danger at all! His "death" was all a ploy by Nick Fury to trick the individual Avengers (none of whom were getting along well at that point, but each of whom had reasons to like Coulson) into working together.
And finally: S.H.I.E.L.D. was indeed an international organization in the Marvel Comics of the '60s. The focus on Nick Fury tended to obscure that fact, since he was based in New York (as were ALL of the Marvel heroes at that time) -- but hey! The acronym at that time stood for "Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division!" You'd better BELIEVE they had an office in Paris!
Well, the sour point there being that he was stabbed. I just think it'll be as simple as this: when the medics took Coulson, Fury ordered them not to say anything as he transmitted that Coulson was dead, he then took the Captain America cards from Coulson's locker (he's probably pissed that they're covered in blood now, and no longer mint), put blood on them (the blood is still reasonably fresh, despite the fact that Cap and Iron Man have had enough time to get out of their gear and return to the bridge), and then they stowed Coulson away in an isolated part of the infirmary so that no one except Fury and some of the medics knew about it. Thus, Coulson simply passed out in the Hulk Cage room, and he was being fixed up the whole time the Avengers were kicking ass in New York.
SHIELD in the films, however, seems to be almost directly based on the Ultimate Marvel version of the organization, which is based solely in the US, and has since branched out across the world. Thus Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
This was my thought as well. The show should go one full season without having any of the A-level heroes. That way we can get to know the characters without any big name coming in and out shinning the cast. It's also a good way to find out if the show can last without the most popular characters.
It's S.H.I.E.L.D. LMDs (Life Model Decoys) are always a possibility
Hard to say. The film versions of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk are far more reminiscent of the classic Marvel characters than they are of the "Ultimate" universe. Why should S.H.I.E.L.D. be any different?
Actually, Cap and Iron Man are almost direct translations of the Ultimate works, though Cap is given a little bit of doubt in the US in The Avengers, as opposed to Ultimate Cap, who threw on his new uniform in a second, basically; and Tony, while he has the heart problem from the normal universe, has the same drunken-but-still-totally-sober playboy act as the Ultimate Tony Stark. The Hulk is a cross between the two, because it was gamma radiation that turned him into the Hulk, but Bruce Banner was trying to replicate Cap's super soldier serum, which is what turned him into the Hulk in the Ultimate books.
The Cinematic Universe is, to me, a combination between the classic universe and the Ultimate universe.
Except less sex, less Welshness and less killing off the main characters.
With Joss Whedon behind the wheel you can never be too sure of that last one!
Umm...not really. The "Ultimate Iron Man" book from a few years back showed a VERY different origin to that universe's Tony Stark. It's not surprising that the movie universe is going to mix&match the most enduring motifs from a variety of portrayals when using a long-standing character --happens with Bond all the time!-- but the Marvel Cinematic universe is pretty clearly based most strongly on the classic (that is, 1960s) incarnations of those characters.
And both "Ultimate Iron Man" limited series were debunked as being a cartoon that Stark Industries set up, according to Ultimate Avengers Vs. New Ultimates.