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The Co-Author Of The New Marvel Studios Book Addresses Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Canon Status

Marvel TV series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, a character first introduced in Marvel Cinematic Universe progenitor "Iron Man" and reprised in a number of subsequent Marvel releases (via IMDb). Based on this fact alone, it could be inferred that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." takes place within the ever-growing MCU canon. The reality of the situation, however, is considerably more complicated, namely due to the fact that the series lacks any reference to the Thanos (Josh Brolin) snap in "Avengers: Infinity War" that kills off half of the universe's population. At one point, the series' producers wanted not just to reference the snap but explain how its principal cast of characters all survived the event. In the end, however, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." carried on as if no such snap ever occurred.

One fan on Reddit theorized that the lack a snap in the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." universe is due to its taking place in an alternate, but nevertheless canonical universe. Of course, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." occupying a canon entirely separate from the MCU would likewise explain away this discrepancy. Now, the latest person to weigh in on this ongoing debate is none other than Tara Bennett, co-author of "The Story of Marvel Studios."

Bennett denies her book confirms Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as canon

"The Story of Marvel Studios" is an illustrated book, published on October 19, chronicling the making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe through interviews with many of its architects (via Abrams Books). Initially, in response to a Portuguese-language Tweet claiming that the book confirms "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." to be canon, "The Story of Marvel Studios" co-author Tara Bennett replied, "We wrote the book. It does not say AoS is part of the MCU."

Shortly after, Bennett deleted that Tweet, and clarified her intent in a longer statement also shared to her Twitter account. "The Story of Marvel Studios," she stated, has "no binary proclamations of any kind about shows." In short, then, Bennett does not want to weigh in on whether or not the series is canonical, and would rather people "enjoy all the shows."

Though this may be something of a non-statement, it's still arguably significant in that it's the latest reaffirmation of the canonical limbo in which "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has existed for some time now. If there is a definitive answer as to whether or not the series is canon, Bennett likely has it, given her close collaboration with those who worked on the MCU behind the scenes. Instead of putting the debate to rest for good, however, Bennett maintained that no determination can be made at this time, suggesting that even officially, its canonical status may be up in the air.