Credit the massive "Coulson Lives" fan campaign, the endless theories, or simply just the effective smoke and mirrors on Marvel's part. However you slice it, one thing is clear: nothing can keep Nick Fury's one good eye shut for long.
At New York Comic Con, it was announced that actor Clark Gregg, one of the key members of the Marvel Universe as stoic Agent Phil Coulson, will indeed be a part of Marvel and ABC's planned "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV pilot, despite his death at the hands of Loki in "Marvel's The Avengers."
Gregg made a surprise appearance at the Marvel TV panel on Saturday (October 13), where an In Memoriam tribute piece was played before a packed crowd. When the video ended, an emotional Gregg took one last opportunity to plead for his beloved character's life.
"Have you heard of a thing called a Life Model Decoy?" he theorized. "Have you heard of the Vision?"
On cue, the visionaries behind Marvel's biggest hit, "Avengers" director Joss Whedon and president Kevin Feige, appeared on screen to reveal the news we've all been hoping for.
"There was never going to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. show without Agent Coulson," said Feige. Not only will Gregg be a part of "S.H.I.E.L.D.," he was revealed as the lead character.
"He's headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was," said Whedon.
Cue the conspiracy theories, folks: now that we know he's alive, just how exactly did Coulson cheat death? We'll return with our thoughts on the subject soon, but for now, bust out the champagne — Phil's back!
Let us know what you think of Coulson's resurrection in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!