May 2012.  The Avengers hit theaters and mowed me down.  The build-up to the movie took years with Ironman, Thor and Captain America all introduced in their own movies (multiple Hulk incarnations, too).  As a kid who learned to read with Marvel comics, I was primed to love them all.  And I did.  Thank you, Joss Whedon.

Avengers cast

In the end, I had questions.  These are the ones that bugged me most:

Captain America, Steve Rogers, Chris Evans, Avengers1. How in the heck was Steve Rogers supposed to adjust to being thrust seventy years into the future?  He was a relatively innocent young man who was only just getting used to a sickly body completely transformed into a lean, mean fighting machine.  As Captain America, he already had enough psychological baggage to contend with, let alone the fast-paced, sexually open twenty-first century.

2. What was the genesis of Agent Phil Coulson’s hero-worship of Cap?  All little boys (and bigger boys, too) look up to mentors, role models and heroes, but Captain America would have been very old-fashioned and far removed from a young Phil Coulson’s everyday life.  What was the story there?  Who was this agent that commanded so much respect and affection from the rest of SHIELD?

Agent Phil Coulson, Clark Gregg, Avengers

I wanted to answer both these questions and thought it might be possible to weave them together in one story.  I also wrote this before Phil Coulson’s resurrection in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  At the time and place of this story, the Avengers thought he was dead.  So did his family.  I think.

To read Chapter One: Timeless, click here.

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