In the most recent episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we learn that

Mack and Bobbi are working another incarnation of S.H.I.E.L.D., self-dubbed the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D.

The leaders of this group don’t like Coulson because

He’s following the same path as Nick Fury (non-transparent leadership) and he isn’t the same after he was injected with alien DNA.

That makes sense. But then I wonder, why don’t they officially remove Coulson from power after introducing themselves?

If they think that Coulson would resist such official order, they can always finish it hard way after that. I don't think Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. (which has financial problems) can stand a chance against real S.H.I.E.L.D. (which has a Helicarrier). Talking about Fury's cube, there's no point in searching Coulson's office with a toy car if you know the location. After crushing the band S.H.I.E.L.D., the room can always be searched in a better way. Why exactly is the real S.H.I.E.L.D. playing monkey?

  • I suspect this is going to get answered later, but my guess would be that Coulson still has a sizeable following and inspires a lot of loyalty in his people. Assuming "real" SHIELD's motives are on the level, they may not want to start another schism in the organization Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 17:23
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    We also don't actually know they are SHIELD, they're just saying they are. Don't forget Bobbi's introduction at a Hydra facility at the beginning of the season...
    – Izkata
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 0:44
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    @JasonBaker And spying on him, working in secret to remove him from power is supposed to avoid that?
    – KSmarts
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:30
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    @Ksmarts Depends how they go about removing him. Their treatment of Hunter suggests a "hearts and minds" approach, which would in theory prevent a situation like that Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 14:37
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    Worth noting that the Battlestar SHIELD logo is slightly different as well. (The shape is a bit different, and more obviously there are some stars in the middle that aren't on the normal logo). Combined with the fact that Talbot/US Gov doesn't seem to be aware of the SHIELD faction with a big helicarrier, it seems likely that the US Gov is sponsoring the other folks. (Although the episode title refers to HYDRA...) Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


Because there is no "Official" Shield, so no official policy to challenge him with. Shield was a multinational organization with their authority granted to them by the World Security Council, probably through interlocking treaties. In the aftermath the WSC disbanded Shield, cut its funding sources, stripped its authority to operate in sponsor government territories (including the US), and so officially it ceased to exist.

Neither Coulson or Gonzales have an "official" claim to the name. Coulson's authority purely comes from what he inspires in his people and that he is Fury's protege and holds the toolbox. Gonzales's authority comes what he inspires from his people and his command of the aircraft Carrier Iliad (not helicarrier, at least not yet). And both of them maintain their respective commands only because General Talbot hasn't come through, confiscated their equipment, and disbanded them.

To follow "Official Procedure" to replace Fury as head of Shield, candidates would be presented to the WSC and they would appoint Fury's replacement. However most of the members of the WSC are dead at the end of Winter Soldier. The replacement council members appointed by the sponsor nations either approved or ordered that Shield was disbanded. So to "officially" replace Fury, the council, who has labeled Shield a terrorist organization and disbanded it, would have to decide between Gonzales or Coulson. At this point they would just be arrested and their Shield assets would be seized to be used by whatever replaces Shield.

  • But, there are official (internal) protocols..
    – user931
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 5:37
  • yes, the WSC appoints a new director. but with most of the WSC dead, and their replacements having disbanded SHIELD, they aren't ever going to appoint a new "official" director. Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 15:33

It's because "Real S.H.I.E.L.D." doesn't have any authority over Coulson. Coulson is Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. appointed by Nick Fury. Technically, the "Real S.H.I.E.L.D." is actually a rebel organization despite they are good guys.


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