From 2013 and 2020, Marvel TV developed 11 MCU-set series for a wide variety of networks and streaming services including ABC, Netflix, Hulu, and Freeform. In fitting fashion, Agents of SHIELD was the show that started it all in the aftermath of The Avengers and later brought it to an end with the conclusion of its seventh season in 2020. But over this period, many other series came and went including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Runaways, Cloak and Dagger, and more.
These series had something of a one-way relationship with the big-screen MCU, frequently making references to larger events and occasionally introducing deeper connections. However, this was almost never reciprocated with even Marvel TV's biggest world-shattering events going unnoticed in the movies. This lead many fans to question: 'Are these shows even canon to the MCU?'
Between conflicting timelines and confusing omissions of connections, most had come to the conclusion these series were either not canon or taking place in another universe. But Avengers: Endgame threw a brand new complication into the mix as Agent Carter's James D'Arcy, who played Edwin Jarvis, made a cameo appearance.
With Phase 4 well underway, Marvel Studios certainly seems to be stepping up its game with television connections, most recently as Vincent D'Onofrio reprised his Daredevil role as Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin in Hawkeye. Several days later, another key Marvel TV star celebrated the Netflix icon's return.
Coulson Actor Reacts to Hawkeye's Surprise Villain
Agents of SHIELD and The Avengers' Phil Coulson actor Clark Gregg recently shared his excitement for Vincent D'Onofrio to reprise his Daredevil role as Kingpin in Hawkeye's upcoming finale.
In response to a tweet from ComicBook.com - which highlighted Kate Bishop actress Hailee Steinfeld's comments on D'Onofrio's return in the series finale - Gregg offered a simple and excited "F. Yes."
Are the SHIELD Crew Next Up?
With D'Onofrio's Kingpin being reintroduced in Hawkeye and Charlie Cox's Daredevil reportedly making an appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel Studios appears to finally be integrating its now-dissolved television division into the wider MCU. However, it remains unclear if the Daredevil stars are reprising their roles as the same versions of their Netflix characters or playing rebooted iterations.
Now that the door has opened to Marvel TV stars returning to the MCU, could Agents of SHIELD - the Marvel TV division's longest-running series - be next up for integration?
The popular ABC show saw Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson brought back from the dead after his encounter with Loki in The Avengers to lead a new specialist team of SHIELD agents. Throughout its seven seasons, Agents of SHIELD delved into many major Marvel concepts including the Inhumans, time-travel, and dark magic.
The series' climactic finale set each of the team onto a new path with Coulson entering retirement, SHIELD coming back to its former glory under a new director, and several characters shooting off into space, potentially teasing their involvement with SWORD.
As the series' conclusion left behind ties to both SHIELD and SWORD, the opportunities for these characters to return in future MCU projects are truly endless. After all, the opportunities are always there for top-secret government organizations to pop up in any Marvel movie or Disney+ series.
Chloe Bennet's super-powered Inhuman Daisy Johnson aka Quake is a particular favorite for an MCU return as she arguably ended up serving as the lead of the series alongside Gregg. With Johnson now operating in space after the finale, perhaps she could pop up alongside Nick Fury in Secret Invasion to help handle the Skrull threat.
Fans will have to wait and see what the future may hold for Marvel TV's most popular characters although any potential appearances are unlikely to reference past events. Based on the immensely positive reaction to Kingpin's recent return, Marvel Studios are sure to be considering which characters could be integrated next.
The entirety of Agents of SHIELD and Hawkeye, up to Episode 5, are both streaming now on Disney+.