Well, there are some pretty long odds on this particular explanation, but we really like it so we're going to share.
About a year ago on Tumblr, a fan picked up on a quick story beat in Captain America: The First Avenger, where a child playing outside with a garbage can lid painted to look like Captain America's shield was called inside by his mother. The kid's name was Phil, which led to the original poster saying something along the lines of, "Wouldn't it be cool if Coulson were actually old enough for this to be him?".
And then another user took it a step further:
My first reaction was ‘Nice thought but there’s no way, Coulson is much younger than…’ and then I stopped mid-thought.It's almost impossible to imagine that Marvel would actually use an explanation like that when Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to TV this fall, but for fans like the one who came up with this theory, and the one writing this article, it's a fun concept to at least entertain.
Because you know what.
You know what.
After Steve, the US government had to keep trying to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum.
would be the FIRST DAMN PERSON IN LINE to volunteer?
They told us it never worked again. And that was kind of true. They never again recreated the super-strength or the gleaming pecs. But other things, they got right. They got the vastly delayed aging. And the kind of reflexes that make a man able to take out two armed thugs with a bag of flour. And the talent for leading through example. And they got the most important part, Erskine’s favorite part: the magnification of moral fiber, taking the loyalty and selflessness of a loyal and selfless man and making him into something spectacular.
Coulson didn’t buy those vintage cards on Ebay.
He’s had them since he was a little boy.
That little boy right there.
Because let's face it, that would be the most awesomely self-indulgent piece of continuity porn in film history. And what could say "comic books" louder than that?!