Battle Scars: Enter Agent Coulson

Chris Yost describes how the beloved character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally came to the printed page!

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By Ben Morse

For the past five issues of BATTLE SCARS, Army Ranger Marcus Johnson has taken on some of the nastiest characters in the Marvel Universe and traced his paternity to Nick Fury with only one ally he could trust at his side in his comrade in arms, “Cheese.” However, as will be revealed this week in issue #6, Johnson’s buddy goes by another name that will be familiar to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phil Coulson.

Battle Scars #6 preview art by Scot Eaton

Indeed, the beloved and beleaguered agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. portrayed in “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” by Clark Gregg has finally made the leap into the Marvel Universe and he’s here to stay.

“From the first second, I knew I wanted Agent Coulson in there,” says BATTLE SCARS writer Chris Yost of the character’s comics debut. “He’s such a great part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s made his way onto [the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ animated show], and I figured if there was going to be this new ‘Nick Fury’ [in Marcus] he needed his own Phil Coulson. So when I pitched who Marcus Johnson was, his friend Cheese came with him.”

Yost credits the editorial and creative team that worked on BATTLE SCARS—including Tom Brevoort, Alejandro Arbona, Matt Fraction and Cullen Bunn—with supporting Coulson’s transition into the Marvel Universe, but admits that his day job helped as well.

Battle Scars #6 preview art by Scot Eaton

“Luckily, I work directly for Marvel Studios in my other life as a development writer for the movies,” he says. “I’d read the script for [‘Marvel’s The Avengers’] early on and knew where the character was going, so that helped.”

While the comics version of Coulson may be a few years younger than his cinematic counterpart and have an added Army Ranger background, Yost made sure to keep the qualities that has made the character a hit with fans.

“I love his persistence,” the writer notes. “He’s the everyman faced with a world of Iron Men, Super-Soldiers and gods, and he gets the job done. As Marcus makes his way through this world in the comic, Coulson is the one telling him they don’t belong there, but he stands by his friend, and never gives up in the face of all the insanity.”

The conclusion of BATTLE SCARS will launch a new chapter for Coulson as well as Marcus and the newly reconstituted S.H.I.E.L.D., but Yost promises it won’t be long before we all learn what comes next:

“The future is beginning here, and Agent Coulson’s going to find himself in the middle of it. This isn’t the last you’ve seen of either man, so keep watching!”

For the full story of Agent Coulson, plus the fate of Marcus Johnson and much more, pick up BATTLE SCARS #6, on sale this week at retailers and on the Marvel Comics app

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