Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 came to a close on a heck of an emotional ending for a Marvel hero. Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson was last seen going off to Tahiti with Melinda May, having come to terms with the fact that he only had a short time left to live. Due to Coulson’s popularity, fans are praying Gregg returns, but all the evidence so far is suggesting he’s gone for good.
Case in point: this new promo image reveals the team’s new director, and it’s Mack! Yup, Henry Simmons’ Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie will be promoted in Coulson’s stead and take charge of the team in season 6. The actor spoke to TV Line recently as well about what this new role means for his character, teasing that it may lead Mack to make some tough sacrifices in the new run.
“Personally, I love the challenge of being the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mack has worked side-by-side with the people he now leads, and that works to his advantage — he’s one of them. But the one thing that can hinder Mack’s ability to lead is his reluctance to put the people he loves in the line of danger. As a result, this may lead to Mack’s toughest decision as director. What sacrifices will be made?”
S.H.I.E.L.D.’s sixth season isn’t due to arrive until next summer and will be a shortened 13 episodes. If you’re worried about the show’s future, though, don’t be, as season 7 has already been confirmed. Though S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s ratings have always been unspectacular, it has a popular shelf-life on Netflix, where it outranks even the streaming service’s own superhero efforts like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Overall, it’s the most popular Marvel series there is.
We previously got our first look at Chloe Bennet’s new costume as Daisy “Quake” Johnson in season 6 and though Gregg’s on-screen future has yet to be confirmed, we know he’s set to direct the season premiere, which is promising. Even if he doesn’t return, at least we’ve got more Coulson confirmed for the silver screen instead, as Gregg’s due to star in March’s Captain Marvel, which will be his first movie appearance since 2012’s The Avengers.