White guy named Phil? The evidence is pretty solid.
We all know how the movie goes down; the super soldier serum is lost when its inventor dies, and the good captain "dies" in a plane crash. What the movie doesn't tell us, though, is: What would the U.S. military do if they lost the way to make superpowered soldiers and their only living specimen? Take a collective, old-timey panic shit and scramble to restart the project, that's what.
Eventually, they managed to reproduce the serum. They never got it quite right but were able to replicate some effects of the original -- delayed aging, heightened reflexes, boner that solves riddles, stuff like that. It was time to test that shit on someone. Meanwhile, Phil the trashcan lid Cap shield kid from First Avenger has grown up. He has chosen to protect America like his hero and embarked on a government career. "Fuck yeah, I'm going to volunteer for that," he thinks and goes off to volunteer. And that's how Phil Coulson can do shit like this.
"Government Agent Procedural Dropkick!"
When you think about it, Coulson's character makes zero sense if he doesn't have at least some superpowers. He is routinely sent off to face some of the most dangerous individuals in the world. Without blinking and with a smirk on his face, he sits in the same room with tank-suit wearing alcoholics, temporarily depowered Norse gods that just tore through most of his squad, and temporarily mega-powered Norse gods who are clearly going to kill him -- and he fucking owns the room anyway. The only time he flinches even slightly is in Thor, and that's because a magical robot with the power to destroy everything is actively firing explosion-rays at him. That'll piss on anyone's parade.
Man, am I the only one who now wants a big-budget Coulson solo movie?